Why does the Finder (MacOS) not automatically update the list of files when the download is finished? How to solve this problem?

Actually, I always need to click on another folder and back to the Downloads folder to see the new file.

  • Finder calls are asynchronous now. I've sometimes found the AppleScript ||||do shell script "killall Finder"|||| to be handy in getting things to show up promptly. Those vertical lines are just to offset the code in the comment. Apr 5, 2019 at 20:36
  • 1
    @WayfaringStranger You don't need to use vertical lines. You can use inline code formatting instead: `do shell script "killall Finder"`, which produces do shell script "killall Finder". Apr 5, 2019 at 22:00
  • Never met tilda before here. Apr 6, 2019 at 0:24
  • @WayfaringStranger @haykam Stop killing Finder. It’s not necessary here, and why would you run a shell script command from AppleScript…? Why not just use a shell script ? But AppleScript is better for two things: tell app "Finder" to update every item in the front Finder window, which does the refresh. And next time, instead of killing, consider just quitting: tell app "Finder" to quit.
    – CJK
    Apr 17, 2019 at 15:58
  • @CJK I like killing. I run it a an Applescript because then I can save it in FastScripts, and execute as a keyboard shortcut, rather than typing it in terminal. Apr 17, 2019 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


Open your dowload folder and sort by date added. Under the View Menu select show view options. This opens a pane like the one shown below.

enter image description here

You want to make sure your 1st 4 settings are identicle to the ones shown above in the top red rectangle and the "Show Columns" settings has the "Data Added box checked.

Now when you download a file the name should appear almost immediately at the top of the window.


I found a solution to my problem. It is very simple:

Hold down the OPTION key and right-click on the Finder icon in the Dock, choose “Relaunch”.

Reference: http://osxdaily.com/2013/08/30/refreshing-finder-windows-in-mac-os-x/

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