In the left side of the Finder, under favorites and devices there is a shared list that contains computers and other devices on the network. I use the MacBook in two places, both with wifi. When I switch between these places, the Mac automatically connects to the wifi network there, but sometimes the Finder's shared list still contains the devices in the previous network.

If I close the laptop's lid and open it again, the list refreshes, but is there any other/better way to trigger the refresh? Why doesn't the refresh happens automatically?

5 Answers 5


Relaunch the Finder

option+right click [or Ctrl+Opt+left click] the Finder icon in the Dock, last item is Relaunch.

Or try this I found on StackOverflow Automator Command to Refresh ALL Finder/all Finder Windows - works for Finder windows, can't test for Shared items.

tell application "Finder"
    set theWindows to every window
    repeat with i from 1 to number of items in theWindows
        set this_item to item i of theWindows
        set theView to current view of this_item
        if theView is list view then
            set current view of this_item to icon view
            set current view of this_item to list view

        end if
        set current view of this_item to theView
    end repeat

end tell

Or use Terminal app to performing it manually

killall Finder

Also turning WiFi off and back on should refresh the shared list.


I've just had the very same problem (OS X El Capitan) and refreshing the Finder didn't work out for me. Neither turning off and then back on the WiFi.

What worked for me was restarting the router.


If the remote machine is not listed in Finder window, try this:-

Click on the Apple icon (top left) and look through "Recent Items" list, if the share is listed, simply click on the share name and it will automatically re-appear in Finder.

Obviously this will only work if you have not cleared the recent items list!

Hope this helps.

  • This worked perfectly and reconnected the Windows network drive even though the computer no longer appeared in the Network tab
    – Brandon
    Nov 28, 2020 at 7:09

One method I've found to refresh the list of shared computers in the sidebar without quitting the Finder or restarting the machine is this:

$ sudo ipconfig set en1 DHCP

(replace en1 with whatever interface is active on your system)

Another, slightly more disruptive command that works for me is to completely down the network interface(s) with ifconfig and then bring them back up:

$ sudo ifconfig en1 down; sleep 1; sudo ifconfig en1 up

This has the unfortunate side-effect of killing any active states/connections (including virtual machine traffic). So, the first command is usually preferred. I am still actively seeking more precise means to refresh whatever daemon is caching this information.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .