Frequently Asked Questions - Refresh Your Browser



What does "Refresh Your Browser" mean?

When a web developer changes your website, he will often let you know to "refresh your browser".

What that means is for you to click your "refresh" or "reload" button at the top of your browser window so that it will load the new changes.

When you go to a website your computer stores the page information (text and images) into a temporary cache memory file so that as you scroll back and forth between pages your computer does not have to go back to the web server and retrieve the page you were just visiting.

If the cache problem is on your computer, you can most likely clear it out yourself. Also, there are many ways to do this. In most browsers like Internet Explorer and FireFox, you can press the F5 function key on your keyboard to refresh your browser. In the FireFox browser they call it "reload" but it's the same thing. For mouse users, there should be an icon on the toolbar near the "home" icon to refresh/reload the web page.

If you don't "refresh" after your web developer has made some changes, your computer might be reading the older version stored in your cache memory.

AOL doesn't seem to refresh. Why?

Proxy Server
In some cases, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) — the company you pay to access the Internet — may have a proxy server setup to speed up frequently used web page access. That works fine when a web page doesn't change frequently, but when it does, you will see an old copy of the page that is stored in the proxy server's cache. America Online is one ISP who does this.

Note for AOL users: If you are using AOL to surf the web, AOL can cache an old web page for approximately 24 hours in its proxy servers, even if you refresh the web page. For this reason alone, we do not advise using AOL to surf the web.

How do I force my browser to reload an embedded PDF document. F5 doesn't seem to work.

Click on the refresh button in Internet Explorer, or the reload button in Firefox.

[Refresh] [Reload]
Internet Explorer
Refresh button
Firefox
Reload button

How do I manually delete the cache in Internet Explorer?

If you are using Internet Explorer and you don't see the updates after refreshing, you may need to manually delete the cache memory file.

To do that, from the top tool bar in Internet Explorer click:
  1. Tools
  2. Internet Options
  3. and in the "Temporary Internet Files" section of the dialogue box click "Delete Files".

Should I use a second browser?

Yes. It never hurts to have a second free browser like FireFox on your computer too — even if you use it just for testing purposes for new web pages. Download Firefox from mozilla.com.
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