Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can File Explorer Auto-Refresh be Disabled?

  1. #1

    Can File Explorer Auto-Refresh be Disabled?


    I have searched G and cannot find any definitive answers so it seems as if the answer is "No, it can't" The main thing that keeps me questioning this matter is the fact that when I load a SD card and copy files to it, the directory does not refresh automatically. Therefore, there must be a way to turn off the Auto-Refresh for the HDD files.

    Has anyone successfully achieved this or officially debunked the possibility?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Is the SD slot run by the same controller as the HD? I remember on an HP desktop machine it would pulse the HD access light once per second. Turns out it was checking the optical drive for disc present. The DVD drive was on the same controller. When I disabled the DVD drive the pulsing stopped. Of course I couldn't leave it like that so I taped something black over the LED.

    On another machine I noticed the SD readers were showing a red LED pulsing so I assumed that was on the same controller as the optical drive. You could go into device manager and disable the optical drive just to see what happens as I did. Then you'll know if you can stop the refresh or not.
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  3. #3


    I'm not sure you are understanding me. When I copy files, the file appears in the list alphabetically because I have the folder set to sort by name. When I rename a file, it automatically sorts immediately, instead of waiting until I hit f5 to refresh. I want to disable the immediate "file list refreshing" and force windows to wait until I hit f5 to Refresh and Sort By Name.

    Does that make sense? Many of these terms are interchangable with other functions so it can be difficult to phrase my question properly. I just don't want the file I renamed in File Explorer window to change order until I hit Refresh.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I am looking for a possible difference the SD vis a vis the HD. The controller pulse polling for optical disc contents(a disc in the drive) may be related, or not. It only takes a moment to disable the optical drive to see if it makes a difference.

    I haven't heard of this issue before so I am just taking a guess.
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  5. #5


    Thanks for clarifying.

    It's more of a peeve to me than a Win issue. In older ver. like 98, XP, NT and so forth, the auto-refresh file listing was not happening. I'm a photographer, so there are times when I need to rename the files. Classic example is Mardi Gras time, which it is now. I like to rename the generic file names "img_0001.jpg" to reflect which parades and floats are present in the shots for posting reference instead of using my Photo Browser to distinguish every time I want to share the different shots. It gets annoying when I hit enter and the file jumps to the end or beginning of the list.

    The only way I have been circumventing this is after renaming, use the mouse to click on the next file instead of pressing Enter. The renamed file will still ReSort itself but the selected file is the next in sequence. Otherwise I have to scroll through the list to get back to the files I still need to rename. PITA!

    Thanks for helping. I haven't found anything in RegEdit that seems to enable or disable this function. I'm still trying to figure out a way though
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  6. #6


    Not sure if this helps but you could try the "sorting by date modified" and it should put all files just moved and changed up top at all times..

    Click image for larger version
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  7. #7


    I have used the sort by date which does stop the files from resorting after renaming. For the most part that way works but there are instances where it's not very effective once I have renamed many files.

    Using a "search *" will yield a list and allow me to rename without refreshing as well but then I wind up with many files in the list that are irrelevant and it's less convenient to use a seperate folder for eveything in order to list only the files that need attention. I guess I hoping that I was overlooking some simple switch to turn AutoRefresh on or off. Thanks everyone!
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  8. #8


    sort by date is different than sort by date modified.. just make sure..

    you have to actually add the sort option..

    Click image for larger version


    you can also try Agent Ransack and search with crazy options.. but maybe watch people use it on youtube..

    https://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/download
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  9. #9


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I found this page with work-arounds for Windows 7:
    When renaming files in windows 7, prevent explorer from instantly resorting the list (and losing your place) - Super User

    See the one about sharing the folder with yourself. Kind of a reach I admit. Another better alternative may be a File Manager that is more flexible than Explorer. There are many free ones. My favorite used to be FreeCommander until 64 bit Windows became common.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Thanks for that. I haven't searched for "auto arrange" yet. I was using other terms. I have been considering a third party file manager but i'm like what's the point of Win Explorer if it's not robust. If ANY filemanager should have the most options , it's the one integrated into the OS!

    "LOL Silly Microsoft Progamming For Kids LOL"-Trix Rabbit
    Is FreeCommander like Midnight Commander for Windows?
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Can File Explorer Auto-Refresh be Disabled?
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