Among the most commonly used functions on a Windows PC is ‘Refresh’ that appears in the right-click context menu. It is also possible to refresh a Windows PC using the F5 key. Many people use the Refresh function whenever their PCs start to lag or slow down. But what actually happens when you click Refresh or press F5? Does it really improve your computer’s performance? Well, there’s no official word from Microsoft on this topic, so it’s kind of debatable. Here’s what you need to know.
No improvement in computer performance: Computer experts say that clicking Refresh neither improves the performance of the PC, nor does it clear the RAM cache. Experts say that Refresh is just there to update the folder where the right-click is used. The desktop is also a folder, so clicking Refresh just updates the folder with the latest information.
The performance improvement psychology: Many people click Refresh thinking that it will improve their PC’s performance. Experts believe that this is just a perception and nothing more than that. Some experts have even tried to explain the phenomenon, saying that when a Windows PC slows down, it takes a few seconds to regain its normal speed. During this time, the user may keep on clicking Refresh, until the computer speed returns to normal. As such, users start thinking that using Refresh improved their PC’s performance. They do not realize the fact that the computer has itself regained its normal speed after a few seconds. And this habit of clicking Refresh has been passed from user to user, creating a generalized perception that it improves computer performance. Not many people have tried to change this false perception because clicking Refresh does not create any problems.
What Refresh actually does: Clicking Refresh just updates the folder with the latest information. This is normally done automatically by Windows, but in certain circumstances, it has to be done manually by clicking Refresh or pressing F5. For example, when you uninstall a program, the icon may continue to be displayed on the desktop. You will have to use Refresh to update the folder. Refresh is also used to update Wi-Fi networks, align icons, update connected devices, etc.
Experts say that clicking Refresh actually puts additional burden on the processor. However, this burden is miniscule and it does not impact the computer’s performance. So, you can continue to use Refresh as many times and as frequently as you want. However, be aware that it will not improve the performance of your PC in any manner.