Notoriously slow Finder updating mechanism. When this occurs, OPTION-click & hold the Finder's Dock icon and select Relaunch. That'll force it to update itself. If that fixes the issue, file a bug report with Apple via http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html.
I've also got this problem. I need to restart Finder to get it out of this apparent loop. (Hadn't realised there was a Relaunch option.) I also sometimes discover that files I have just saved to the Desktop aren't visible there and don't show when I navigate to the Desktop within the Finder hierarchy. The restart (and I assume relaunch) fixes this.
I am having this problem right now. A folder on my external hard drive which I was just editing, shows 60gb.
Lots of files and folders in it.
Now showing nothing in it.
Still says size is 60gb, but when I open it, the files do not show.
What is going on?
I tried the fix above a few times, it did not work.
If you can help me with this, it would a huge help.
ps. in mountain lion, late 2011 mac.
I actually just had this same problem yesterday. I moved 7GB to a folder that had 1.7GB before. Now finder shows 8.7 GB folder size but I only see the previous 1.7GB files.
Lots of important files in there.
Mac experts, Your Prompt help is highly appreciated.
Mac OS X, v10.7.5
MACbook air 1.7Ghz, i5.
As I wrote above, I was having this problem the other day.
I ended up fixing it thanks to the help of others.
Take a look here.
I can't remember exactly what I ended up doing that fixed it, but I remember I wrote down what I did.
Much thanks Benway1,
After enabling the viewing of hidden files I discovered folder ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache which had 6.1GB of files!! It turns out dropbox has its own recycle bin (trash) so the issue for me luckily was different.
I was myself confused as I had been moving pictures around and in my last action I wasn't sure of the folders sizes so I assumed it was not being shown properly by finder.
As a precaution I double checked the list of files in dropbox trash and found them all in my backup drive.
It was a good learning experience!