In my windows 7 64 bit laptop, every time I delete a file or a folder using the mouse, the icons of the deleted content remain visible (even though the content is actually deleted) until I press F5, which then clears off the icons. Has anyone experienced this behavior on their machines?

My laptop has all win 7 updates installed.

  • same problem with me on my desktop
    – kaykay
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 7:11
  • 2
    Have you tried cleaning up unnecessary files using "Disk Clean-up" utility? the issue might be because of large file thumbnail history that gets created overtime.
    – Kushal
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 8:26
  • I have the same problem with one file that is deleted off the system, but I can't delete the icon off of my desktop. It has been there for months. It tells me that it can't locate the file. Pressing F5 does nothing. Any ideas?
    – user130006
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


Win 7:

  1. Click on your start button and search for index. You should find Indexing Options.
  2. Click on Indexing Options.
  3. Click The Advanced Button (Admin/elevated privileges needed)
  4. Click Rebuild.

{Indexing options can also be found in Control Panel When Large or Small icons instead of Category is selected.}

  • The question has nothing to do with indexing.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 9:38
  • The indexing some times breaks which causes refreshing issues i.e. when deleteing, cutting and moving. So rebuild re-structures the indexes and by rebuilding them, hopefully the problem may get solved. It worked for me. i had the same issue. Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 1:54

If Windows is unable to self refresh you may wan to perform a systems file check post a health check.

In CMD C:>DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth sfc /scannow

  • These are the commands for repairing Windows 10. Do you know if they work for Windows 7? Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 19:08
  • sfc still works, that hasn’t changed for years. However, not sure about the others, see if DISM is present in Win7. Win10 introduced a different kernel so it may not work.
    – camf33
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 13:16

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