Force a cached Web page to reload

When you load Web pages in your browser, the browser creates a local copy of the data on that page. Depending on your browser and the specific Web page being viewed, you may get only this cached version the next time you load the page (as in when you press the Back button), or the page may refresh automatically (on a news page, for instance). However, sometimes things seem to get “stuck”—this past weekend, for instance, my local news page was showing headlines from Friday, even though I was looking at it on Sunday afternoon.

The brute force solution is to simply empty your browser’s cache. In Safari and Camino, you can use Command-Option-E to quickly empty the cache; in Firefox, choose Tools -> Clear Private Data. But this is a bit excessive—your browser will then have to re-cache every page you visit, when really, all you wanted to do was clear one page’s cache.

So the next time you’ve got a “stuck” page, try this method of forcing that single page to ignore the values in cache and grab a fresh copy from the net. In Camino and Firefox, press Shift-Command-R (or hold Shift and click the Reload button). In Safari, hold the Option key and press the Reload button in the toolbar. Note that Command-Option-R might also work in Safari, but I cannot find any documentation to back that up.

This may not work in all situations, but I’ve found that it’s usually effective—it worked this weekend to unstick the stubborn local news page.

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