Technology

Mac OSX Finder Refresh

Apple LogoNote: Mac OSX 10.5.x “Leopard” may not need this – however some users have reported it still adds value. Apple seem to have made some changes in the way Leopard interacts with the file system making automatic refreshes far more instant.

A small but annoying thing about Mac OSX is that sometimes it doesn’t refresh itself when a file or folder is changed – especially when dealing with SMB (Windows) share drives.

In Windows you can hit F5 to refresh the current Window, but Apple seemed to have forgotten to add this feature to Mac OSX.

Well I searched the web and finally found an Applescript to do this which is here:

tell application “Finder”
tell front window
update every item with necessity
end tell
end tell

Now thats fine, but I wanted something that would tie into the Finder window. So I grabbed the refresh icon from a Firefox theme (GrApple) and made an Application Package in Script Editor. So here it is for people that want it:


Download Link
Version 1.5


 

To install:

1. Unzip to your Applications Folder *
2. Open a Finder window.
3. Go to Applications and scroll to “Finder Refresh”
4. Left-click & drag Finder Refresh to the Finder window toolbar – you should see the other icons spread out.
5. Let go of the mouse button and there you go – should look like below.

* If your web browser auto-unzip’s (ie Safari) then “Finder Refresh” will be in your download directory so you can skip Step 1

Finder Refresh Installed

From then on just click the button to refresh the currently open Finder window. It works for me, and now one small thing no longer annoys me.

Uninstallation: To Remove from the Finder Window, Hold down the Command/Apple key, left click on the icon and drag off the Finder Window – you’ll see your mouse cursor turn into a cloud, at this point let go of your mouse button. Done!


1.1 Update Note: I have added the code necessary to make this script run in the background (so it’s more integrated) and rolled the version number to 1.1 . Thanks to this post here for the necessary steps.

1.2 Update Note: Thanks to commenter kristaps, the issue with the edit screen coming up has been fixed. I have added the change and rolled the version number to 1.2

1.3 Update Note: After way too much time and enough requests, I’ve updated the icon to a hand-crafted icon that I hope you like. It should now closely match the standard Leopard Finder Icons.

1.4 Update Note: Updates the icon again to a vector version made by Cicciokun from http://www.360fun.net/blogfun/. Thanks!

1.5 Update Note: Icon size has been adjusted so that it is the correct size on Lion. Previous version 1.4 is still available if you don’t like it.

Regards,
Shane.

98 thoughts on “Mac OSX Finder Refresh”

  1. Yeah ! great, thanks !I had the problem with tiger, but I still had it with leopard ! (the shares appears randomly anyway, sometimes after 30 secs, sometimes 1 min, or more… maybe I’m a bit impatient sometimes but that hack just solves my problem 🙂 )cheers

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  2. Yeah ! great, thanks !I had the problem with tiger, but I still had it with leopard ! (the shares appears randomly anyway, sometimes after 30 secs, sometimes 1 min, or more… maybe I’m a bit impatient sometimes but that hack just solves my problem 🙂 )cheers

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  3. When trying to refresh an empty folder, then pops up that window with EDIT and OK buttons.Solution is to put the script in try … end try block.Basically it should look like this:try tell application “Finder” tell front window update every item with necessity end tell end tellend try

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  4. @kristaps,Thanks so much for finding this – it has been bugging me and as I am no expert in programming or Applescript I hadn’t found a solution. I have applied the change and the version number is now 1.2Regards,Shane.

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  5. When trying to refresh an empty folder, then pops up that window with EDIT and OK buttons.Solution is to put the script in try … end try block.Basically it should look like this:try tell application “Finder” tell front window update every item with necessity end tell end tellend try

    Like

  6. @kristaps,Thanks so much for finding this – it has been bugging me and as I am no expert in programming or Applescript I hadn’t found a solution. I have applied the change and the version number is now 1.2Regards,Shane.

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  7. Running mail 2.1 and OSX 10.4.11 it often takes minutes for the inbox or sent screen to refresh and display message lists after switching from one box to another. 0 messages displayed. Frequently happens after I organize or file a number of messages. Would your refresh script work inside mail ?I cannot upgrade OSX because I have a legacy system 9 application that is critical to my work.

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  8. Running mail 2.1 and OSX 10.4.11 it often takes minutes for the inbox or sent screen to refresh and display message lists after switching from one box to another. 0 messages displayed. Frequently happens after I organize or file a number of messages. Would your refresh script work inside mail ?I cannot upgrade OSX because I have a legacy system 9 application that is critical to my work.

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  9. Shane,This is awesome. I use Leopard, but it still has occasional refresh issues, so this is great even for infrequent use.Have you considered posting this to macosxhints.com? If you don’t have time, I’d be glad to post it for you… it’s very elegant 🙂

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  10. Shane,This is awesome. I use Leopard, but it still has occasional refresh issues, so this is great even for infrequent use.Have you considered posting this to macosxhints.com? If you don’t have time, I’d be glad to post it for you… it’s very elegant 🙂

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  11. but it doesn't work if you rename file(s) and want the finder to just sort all the files alphabetically. is there a sortcut for this? or can you make it work that way (like in windows, if i remember correctly)

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  12. YOU ARE AWESOME! I have been wondering if this tool existed in the Mac OS for a long time. I finally did a search, and found this. Also, interesting tip about Lepoard, and the fact that this is not necessary… Another reason to upgrade, I guess.

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  13. This is still a useful app for Leopard. Often I'm copying a file via SCP from linux to OSX… When I want to see the progress on my machine, OSX does a poor job of updating the file size. This little app does the trick.

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  14. I have Leopard and also found this very useful. I access my PC files through a mounted shared volume however when a new file is created on the PC it often doesn't show up in the mac finder (although weirdly it shows in any docked folders). This was a great solution for me!

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  15. Many thanks from Czech Republic!You saved me one headache today… as I was wondering why I did not see anything on Samba drive, when I was sure, there are some files.

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  16. awesome! I can not thank you enough! I use a network drive and when I make a change thru one mac the other does not see it for a while. I use two macs for my work simultaneously and this is great!!!!!

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  17. Cool little app, except it doesn't work under OSX 10.5.8 :(I can click the refresh button till I'm blue in the face and it won't update the list. And yet I can manually go to shell and see the file I'm looking for.I seem to be spending more and more time in a shell nowadays just to get around a br0ken GUI. Reminds me of the early Linux days where the only way to fix something was to drop to shell.

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  18. Hi. Not sure what's gone wrong for you but it definately works under 10.5.8 on all the systems I've tested. Perhaps there is something more deep rooted that needs to be resolved on your system?Thanks,Shane.

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  19. Dunno… It's behaved that way since the day I bought it.Same thing with the “compress” function screwing up and giving “compression failed due to an unknown error” forever more until I reboot the machine.

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  20. Thanks!I'm new in the mac world, and needed the refresh function when connecting to my NAS. Not only did it fix my problem it also showed me the need way of enhancing the GUI and the functionality of the system. Im pretty impressed! 🙂

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  21. I've been looking for a solution since OSX arrived – and with every new feline hoping someone at apple would have double clicked a newly-changed-but-stuck-on-an-old-date file only to have it jump, thus firing the file that moves into it's place and ruining something they had been working on, and then realizing it needed fixing.Talk about amateur hour. I wonder if the Tampod does this too?Thanks so much Shane. Works great on 10.4.11. I've seen the future and it is Snow Leopard and it look just like the future in all those bleak SciFi films. I'm hanging on as long as possible. But truly, can I have OS9 back?Cheers

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  22. Thanks but for some reason when I rename a file it seems to disappear rather go in the alphabetical order where it belongs on my external Passport drive. I'm using a Mac Mini and a Passport external drive. I'm not sure why it is doing this but the refresh doesn't seem to help in the finder window of Passport but when I do a manual search it shows it in the directory. When I go back to the folder it is in, it's not there. Weird?!?

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  23. I installed this button but this tool does not solve the problem I am havingit not that the Finder window shows no files but it does have files (what refresh F5 in Windows is supposed to fix), but that next to each file to the left in Finder is a mini-icon that is a picture of the file if the file is an image. I transferred in some new picture files and all these mini-icons are blank or generic, whereas for the picture files that have been there awhile they all have the mini-iconsmaybe rebooting my machine will force a refresh? or does Mac OS 10 have an indexing feature that creates these mini-icons? if so, how do I make it work faster?

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  24. Well done mate, much appreciated. I have a directory on a Windows server with 6000+ directories and files in it and OS X has always struggled to recognise the changes that are happening to it. Problem solved!

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