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

Have you ever noticed that when you visit a website for the second time, it loads faster than the first time? This is because your browser stores a copy of the website on your computer in its cache.

This is a smart feature as it means your browser can load the website locally instead of downloading all the files again from the internet. This saves time and speeds up your browsing experience.

But this caching feature can also have a downside. If changes have been made to the website's code since your last visit, they may not be visible until you do a hard refresh. A hard refresh is a way of forcing your browser to download all the files again and refresh the website completely.

For example, if I have made changes to the working front-end code of a website, these changes may not be displayed unless you perform a hard refresh. This is because the previously saved version of the website is still being loaded from the cache. By performing a hard refresh, you ensure that you see the latest version of the website with all updates.

Performing a hard refresh is fairly simple, but it can vary depending on the browser and operating system you use. Here are some common commands to perform a hard refresh:

Google Chrome:
Windows / Linux: Press Ctrl + F5
Mac: Press Shift + Command + R

Mozilla Firefox:
Windows / Linux: Press Ctrl + F5
Mac: Press Shift + Command + R

Mac: Press Option + Command + E
Microsoft Edge:

Windows: Press Ctrl + F5

Windows / Linux: Press Ctrl + F5
Mac: Press Command + R

Internet Explorer:
Windows: Press Ctrl + F5

By performing a hard refresh, you can ensure that you always see the latest version of a website and avoid any issues caused by saved cached files.

However, remember that it is not necessary to perform a hard refresh every time you visit a website. Usually, the browser's caching feature is useful and improves your browsing experience. A hard refresh is only necessary when you want to be sure to see the latest changes on a website.

It is important to note that a hard refresh may vary depending on your operating system and the specific browser you are using. It is always recommended to double-check the instructions for the specific browser version you are working with, as reload methods can change over time.

"hard refresh" infographic made by Fabricdigital