Web browsers usually download and store web pages on your computer’s hard drive as a way of improving the speed of websites. This process is referred to as caching. Even though it is a helpful function, it can be such a pain for developers.

When in development mode, the changes you have made on the CSS or JavaScript may not be visible in the browser. This is because the browser tends to load the cached pages. To see the changes, you have made, you will have to do a hard refresh.

So before we delve into the process of doing a hard refresh, let’s first answer the question –

what is hard refresh in chrome, and also look at why you may need it.

Do I need hard refresh in my browser?

A hard refresh refers to the process of clearing the browser cache on a specific page in order to make it load the most recent version instead of the cached version of the page. A hard refresh usually does the trick, but in some instances, it might require the deletion of all browser cache.

Browser cache also poses a risk to the user. If someone gains access to your computer, all they need to do in order to see some of your personal data is open your cache folder. This is another reason why you may want to delete your cache.

Also, as your browser stores more data, the browser gets heavier over time. Deleting the cache may, therefore, free up some space and ironically help you to have a faster browsing experience.

The following are the steps to follow when doing a hard refresh on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

How can I hard-refresh my browser in Chrome, Mozilla, and Edge?

In Chrome

Windows and Linux operating systems,

  1. Hold down the CTRL key and then click on the reload button.
  2. Alternatively, hold down the CTRL key and then press the F5 key.

The other method of doing a hard refresh is opening the Chrome Dev Tools (press F 12) and then right clicking on the refresh button. From the resultant drop-down list, select “hard reload.”

For Mac users,

  1. Hold down the Shift key and then click on the reload button.
  2. Alternatively, hold down the Cmd key and then press the R key.


Windows or Linux operating systems,

  1. Hold down the Ctrl Key and then press F5.
  2. Alternatively, hold down the Shift key and Ctrl key, and then press the R key.

on Mac,

  1. Holding down the Shift key, click the reload button
  2. Or, hold down the Cmd and Shift keys and then press the R key.


Doing a hard refresh on Edge/Internet Explorer uses the same commands across the different operating systems.

  1. Hold down the Ctrl key and then press your F5 key.
  2. Or, hold down the Ctrl key and then click the Refresh button.

Doing a hard refresh almost always works. However, there are some special circumstances where you may perform the steps suggested above and still notice no change after reloading your edited webpage. If this happens, you might have to either try loading the page in a different browser or take the longer route of deleting all of your browser cache.


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