How to Refresh a Webpage

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How to Refresh a Webpage

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How to refresh a web page

These guides will show you how to reload a webpage and refresh your web browser cache for a particular page. Alternatively, you might want to completely clear your cookies, cache and history.

 

Browser Refresh Guide

Below is a list of specific guides to help you refresh a web page in your web browser (Chrome is recommended). Following these guides will help you refresh a single page on a website (which will often solve problems with other pages on the same website too). If you prefer, you can clear your browser cache, cookies and history for all the websites you've visited instead.

 

Why would you need to refresh a web page?

Refreshing a web page when you are having trouble with a website is a very common first step.

Sometimes - with computers - if something doesn't work the first time, simply trying again does actually seem to work a lot of the time! So completely refreshing a page that didn't load or work properly should basically always be the first thing you try.

Technically (and simply) speaking, the reason reloading a page can help is that the various files which get stored in your web browser cache can get out of sync with what's on the webserver - so the contents of the current webpage no longer work in harmony with the cached copies of the styles/javascript/images that your computer has stored. Doing a full refresh of the page forces a clean slate and can solve some kinds of problems.

Triggering a full/hard refresh of a webpage is the first step to solving troubles with a website.

Note:  The only time you probably don't want to do reload a page is when you are completing payment for an online purchase as it potentially may trigger two purchases... Most e-commerce websites these days have protection in place to stop these kinds problems, but it's worth being aware of.

What is a web browser cache?

As you browse the internet, your web browser will normally keep a temporary copy of all the files it needs to display a web page (files such as images, styles and JavaScript code) on your computer or phone - this is known as your "web browser cache".

Why does my web browser keep a cache of website data?

Your browser keeps a cache to help make your web browsing experience faster - so that when you go back to a page that you've already visited, or go to other pages on the same site, your browser already has a copy of most of the required files and doesn't need to re-download those common files (such as logos, icons, backgrounds, or JavaScript code etc) again. This is particularly helpful when your internet connection isn't very fast or reliable - the less you need to download the better!

Caching files in your web browser also helps the website too! It doesn't need to keep sending the same files over and over again to a visitor, which can help reduce the cost of running the website.

What does refreshing a page actually do?

Fully refreshing a webpage will cause your web browser to bypass the cache of files for a website that it has previously downloaded and instead download all of the files freshly. This ensures that you get the latest version of the website. If there's an underlying problem with the website then you'll still have that problem; but if the problem was some kind of inconsistency between your browser's local cache and the latest version of the website then it should theoretically fix your problem.

How to refresh a web page in Chrome

If you're having trouble with a website one of the first and easiest things you can try to fix the problem is simply telling your web browser to bypass its local cache of the site and to freshly download and re-display the whole page - this is sometimes known as doing a "hard refresh".

The easiest way to tell Chrome to bypass its cache and completely refresh a page is to:

Hold the  Shift key and click the Reload this page button with your mouse

The Reload button appears next to the Address Bar in Chrome. Here's a screenshot of it (highlighted with a blue circle):

Screenshot showing the mouse cursor hovering over the Reload button

How to refresh a web page in Firefox

The easiest way to tell Firefox to bypass its cache and completely refresh a page is to:

Hold the  Shift key and click the Reload current page button with your mouse

The Reload current page button appears in the Navigation Bar in Firefox. Here's a screenshot of it (highlighted with a blue circle):

Screenshot showing the mouse cursor hovering over the Reload current page button

When you hold  Shift and click the Reload button, Firefox will completely reload the page that you're currently looking at; it will freshly download all of the HTML, Images, Styles, JavaScript code etc and re-display the page.

How to refresh a web page in Edge

The easiest way to tell Edge to bypass its cache and completely refresh a page is to:

Hold the  Shift key and click the Refresh button with your mouse.

The Refresh button appears in the Navigation Bar in Edge. Here's a screenshot of it (highlighted with a blue circle):

Screenshot showing the mouse cursor hovering over the Refresh button

When you hold  Shift and click the Refresh button, Edge will completely reload the page that you're currently looking at; it will freshly download all of the HTML, Images, Styles, JavaScript code etc and re-display the page.

How to refresh a web page in Safari

The easiest way to tell Safari to bypass its cache and completely refresh a page is to:

Hold the  Shift key and click the Refresh button with your mouse

The Refresh button appears in the Navigation Bar in Safari. Here's a screenshot of it (highlighted with a blue circle):

Screenshot showing the mouse cursor hovering over the Refresh button

When you hold  Shift and click the Refresh button, Safari will completely reload the page that you're currently looking at; it will freshly download all of the HTML, Images, Styles, JavaScript code etc and re-display the page.

How to refresh a web page in Internet Explorer

The easiest way to tell Internet Explorer to bypass its cache and completely refresh a page is to:

Hold the Ctrl key and click the Refresh button with your mouse

The Refresh button appears in the Address Bar in Internet Explorer. Here's a screenshot of it (highlighted with a blue circle):

Screenshot showing the mouse cursor hovering over the Refresh button

When you hold Ctrl and click the Refresh button, Internet Explorer will completely reload the page that you're currently looking at; it will freshly download all of the HTML, Images, Styles, JavaScript code etc and re-display the page.

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