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 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.