Refresh Finder Window

I have many wishes for Mac OS X. Lots of them have been filled in the 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 releases of OS X, but one has not. As much as we would like them to, Mac OS X (and for that matter Mac OS 9) Finder windows do not refresh as fast as we would like them to. You have to close out of, or collapse if in List view, the window, and reopen it to force a redraw. In Windows hitting F5 will refresh the current window. Now why can't OS X do this? I am sure it can! This is the number one feature I would like to see in the next release of OS X, be it a dot dot release, or in 10.4, thought it would be nice to see it sooner then that. On a related note, you should submit your feedback to Apple on OS X. Who knows, something positive just might come of it.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Refresh Finder Window:

» roulette from roulette
You may find it interesting to visit the sites about roulette blackjack [Read More]

Comments (12)

Leland Jordon:

Interesting -- Jag autorefreshes often enough for me.

Dave:

One of my biggest complaints when using OS X was getting the Finder to update the list of files on a Corba/Somba(I can't remember which it is...) drive on a Windows machine. I had to resort to using an FTP server on the Windows machine and FTP client on the Mac to send files back and forth between them.

I too would like to see this problem fixed. Though it occurs very seldom for me. However, I don't want to copy the F5 Refresh button 'feature' of Windows. This is a poor way to fix the problem and is a perfect example of the flawed logic that makes Windows an inferior operating system.

Having an F5 key to refresh anything is just an admission by a company that they're too lazy or too ignorant of their users to do it right. That is, to have Windows explorer.exe or the Mac Finder be notified immediately of file system changes. And MS obviously don't care that they force users to do something manually that their operating system can & should do automatically.

While Apple's not 100% perfect in this area, it was with Mac OS 9 and is getting better at it with Mac OS X. Sometime soon it'll be 100% fixed to work 'the way it should'. We Mac users never needed an F5 button under Mac OS 9; the Finder always updated itself immediately a change occurred. But Mac OS X didn't work as well as 9 did in this respect. However, the kqueue extensions added to Darwin's kernel in 10.3 have provided the tools necessary to do Finder updating perfectly. It's just a matter of sending Apple feedback and waiting for Finder updating to work the right way.

Peter:

I agree with Dale--this is always one of my favorite Mac vs. Windows things.

Set the wayback machine to 1998. I'm working on a Mac project at a PC company. I need a PC file from one of the PC developers. I ask him to copy it to the server. I figure I'll use the PC, copy it a floppy, and stick the floppy in my Mac to get the file.

Using the PC, I open up the window on the network drive where the file is to be copied. Hmm...not there yet. Okay, I'll just wait.

...and wait...

...and wait...

Finally, I wander back over and ask the PC Developer if he's copied the file. "Yup." Did you copy it to the correct location? "Yup. See? Here it is." I go back to my machine. Nope. Not there.

Close the window. Open it up again. Yup. There it is.

Somehow, Macs are able to do this. Somehow, Windows is not.

I assume that, when mounting a Windows volume, it just queries the number of files every so-many seconds to see if it changed. But if Apple were to make that time shorter, all the IT directors would complain that Macs are "chatty" on the network... :-P

Funny thing, though--it works great with AFP servers. Maybe you should switch...

Heavyboots:

Okay, so here's a one-line Applescript solution (well, plus tell wrappers).

tell application "Finder"
tell front window
update every item with necessity
end tell
end tell

Copy it, open Script Editor and save it as an executable application in your Utilities folder. Now put shortcuts to it in your Dock or your Sidebar or whereever. When you run it, the frontmost window in the Finder will be refreshed to its most current state from disk.

HTH,
Eric.

I had no luck with this applescript when trying to refresh and FTP volume on a Dell server.

Greg:

"Having an F5 key to refresh anything is just an admission by a company that they're too lazy or too ignorant of their users to do it right."

What moron would make this statement. Oh, I know, someone who doesn't have a clue about data communications.

It is not the responsibility of the server to proactively inform clients of changes to files on the server. It is the clients responsibility to request the information. Do you know how much over head on the network and servers this would cause if the server handle this function?

The reason why Macs do this is because of the stupidity principle. Make it so an idiot can use them.

As for PCs, let the end-user decide what is acceptable. They can set the Auto refresh according to policy and network infrastructure.

Nevertheless, I can take care of Macs hogging network badwidth - QOS and link speed on Routers and Switches. See if your refresh is instantaneous.

o2madness:

your apple script works perfect on Tiger for the finder refresh
Thank you very much!!!

Andre Mas:

"It is not the responsibility of the server to proactively inform clients of changes to files on the server. It is the clients responsibility to request the information. Do you know how much over head on the network and servers this would cause if the server handle this function?

The reason why Macs do this is because of the stupidity principle. Make it so an idiot can use them."

Well its not a question of stupidity. Its a question of the "it just works" approach to using a system. Users should not have to be second guessing what is happening and instead be presented with the information as is.

Getting every client to ask the server whether a file has changed is a lot more work than the server telling all the clients. Of course this really depends on the protocol used. The are number of approaches that could be used.

The way I like to see it, using an analogy, is as follows:

When a customer in a restaurant orders food the server will take the request and deal with it. If for whatever reason things have changed, like having run out of steak, the server comes back to the client and tells them that this is no longer an option. The customer nows knows the state of things and adapts their request.

The other approach is getting the customer to keep on asking the server what the state of things are.

The latter approach corresponds to the notion of "polling" and from discussions that I have had, this does not seem to be a very popular way of implementing things. If the server knows that the client is looking at a particular resource and it knows that something has changed then it should notify it. Two approaches to this could be via broadcast or sending individual requests to everyone.

Nonesense:

You wouldn't be making that analogy if you had 500 - 1000 systems the server had to poll, not to mention the left open windows/sessions that the server still would be 'updating' even though they are idle.. or of course, now the server has to process how long the session has been idle and assume a disconnect.

Point is, fine, if you need to KISS, then at least document an alternative to either change the option manually or allow a manual override. You can KISS AND open it up. Problem is Mac mentality is one way and M$ is the other... when will they start learning from each other and meet in the middle ground while also allowing mass configuration by an administrator.

ShaSpleen:

A Quick Easy & Dirty Tip:

On the Network just add a new-folder (shift-apple-n) in the window you want to update. TA-DA!

Its stupid, and yes you have to delete the folder later. But it works, around this amazingly stupid problem with OS X

Shockie:

Two approaches to this could be via broadcast or sending individual requests to everyone.

Or to everyone that cares, simply send a refresh message to anyone who has a file or directory open within the changed files path... the Server should keep track of what folders are being browsed by the clients and can easily send refreshes to just those few clients... quite an optimization if I do say so myself... now if someone at apple who cares would just implement this idea immediately!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Warning: include(/home/meancode/public_html/breakingwindows/footer.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/breaking/public_html/2003/12/refresh_finder_window.php on line 540

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/meancode/public_html/breakingwindows/footer.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/breaking/public_html/2003/12/refresh_finder_window.php on line 540

Blogcritics Magazine

Social Networking

Mac Headlines

Read up-to-date headlines on everything Mac.

Content provided by prMac.

ESRB Search

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Enhanced with Snapshots