How to do a "hard refresh" in your browser and clear your cache

You may have noticed that when you return to a website you've visited before, it loads faster than it did when you first visited it. This is because your browser stores a copy of the website on your computer.

The browser does this because it is much faster for your browser to load the site locally rather than retrieving the site from the internet again.'

Why is it necessary to do a "hard refresh"?

Although storing pages in your browser's cache makes them load faster, it can mean that changes made to the website's code aren't always visible until you do a "hard refresh". For example, when I run an update into a website that changes something in the working code front end, it is not always possible to see these changes until you have done a "hard refresh" on your computer. This is because a local version is stored on the computer and therefore a "hard refresh" is useful in this situation. It is easy to perform a "hard refresh" and the commands vary depending on the browser and operating system you are using.

    How to do a "hard refresh" if you use Chrome.

    Chrome and Windows:
    There are two ways you can do this if you want to "hard refresh" Google Chrome on Windows:

  • Hold down Ctrl and click the Reload button.
  • Or hold down Ctrl and press F5.


  • Chrome and Mac:
    If you want to do a "hard refresh" on Google Chrome on Mac, there are two ways you can do it:

  • Hold down Shift and click the Reload button.
  • Or hold down Command and Shift, and click the R key.

    How to do a "hard refresh" if you use Firefox.

    Firefox and Windows:
    You can also use two easy hotkey commands to update Firefox on Windows:

  • Hold down Ctrl, Shift and the "R" key.
  • Or hold down Ctrl and press F5.


  • Firefox and Mac:
    To hard refresh Firefox on Mac, there are also two easy key combinations you can use:

  • Hold down the Command, Shift and R keys.
  • Or hold down Shift and press the reload button.

    How to do a "hard refresh" if you use Safari.

    Safari:
    If you want to do a "hard refresh" in Safari, there's a simple way to do it.

  • Press and hold the Select and Command key, then press the E key.

    How to do a "hard refresh" if you are using Internet Explorer

    Internet Explorer

  • Hold down the Control key and press the F5 key.
  • Or hold down the control key and click the Refresh button.

This post is made with basic knowledge and with inspiration from fabricdigital who has made a really nice graphical presentation of how to do it. I don't know the agency. Check it out here:

"hard refresh" infographic made by Fabricdigital