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I want to clear only JavaScript files from my web browsers (Firefox and Chrome). I am doing JavaScript debugging, and it's annoying that my JS just won't get updated whenever I change my JS files. The only thing I can do now is to clear my cookies, but doing that erases all of my browsing history.

How can I clear/refresh the JavaScript files that have been loaded into my browsers without clearing out other files?

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10 Answers 10

up vote 33 down vote accepted

I do this myself for development. I use Ctrl+F5. Its like a force refresh. This refreshes the page including re-downloading any referenced JS files or CSS files even if they were cached.

It will NOT clear anything else such as your browsing history.

But please note that although I know this works in Firefox, and probably IE, I am not sure if Ctrl+F5 works the same way in Chrome.

Also, iegik says:

On some browsers you can use `Ctrl+Shift+R to do the same task.

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Great! I change the accepted answer to yours because yours is a simpler solution – Graviton Sep 5 '09 at 3:18
I appreciate that... But please note that although I know this works in Firefox, and probably IE, I am not sure if CTRL-F5 works the same way in Chrome. – 7wp Sep 5 '09 at 3:27
Same with Chrome 21 beta on Win7 - refreshing the page with ctrl-f5 doesn't re-request the JS file (I'm using Charles to double verify). – Artem Russakovskii Jul 13 '12 at 3:24
actually chrome treats first ctrl+f5 as normal refresh by design, subsequent ctrl+f5 (more then one) in short time will force reload of all sources – Zeela Sep 7 '12 at 12:06
For Chrome, F12 and rightclick the reload button.… – Cees Timmerman Mar 24 '15 at 8:52

With Chrome:

Starting with Chrome 15, open the Developer Tools, click on the cogwheel at bottom left of the screen, and select the checkbox Disable cache.

Disable cache in Chrome 15 and up

This way, you will be sure that resources are always reloaded from the server, and you don't have to manually clear the cache, which might also remove cached data for unrelated sites.

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Thanks for the tip - I just checked and that option is in Chrome 14 also. – keybits Sep 9 '11 at 18:00
Genius! That's a great find. – Randomblue Sep 30 '11 at 21:00
Brilliant, I was looking for this. – Artem Russakovskii Jul 13 '12 at 3:25
... and just don't forget to uncheck the option after you are done with it. – Halil Özgür Nov 30 '12 at 11:43
On a second take, it looks like these options are only active when the devtools is visible: (from – Halil Özgür Nov 30 '12 at 11:55

You might want to try clearing just your cache, and not your entire browsing, history, cookies, passwords, saved form data, and whatnot (the default).

In Firefox 3.5, go to

Tools » Clear Recent History...

Then make sure only "Cache" is selected before selecting "Clear Now."

In Chrome (don't know what particular version you're using, as I use the dev builds), go to

Wrench Icon (Tools) » Options » Personal Stuff tab » Clear browsing data...

Again, make sure only "Empty the cache" is checked.

Alternatively, you can try opening up a new Private session in Firefox or Incognito window in Chrome; neither should cache any files (including your .JS files) you automatically download and process when browsing.

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Incognito is probably the way to go for Chrome. – mdoar Aug 26 '10 at 23:04

I disagree with @7wp. Since some of your end users aren't familiar with the Ctrl+F5 function, and some aren't even aware of the differences between browsers and even the existance of other browsers (elders for example) you should force the browser to download a new copy of the JS/CSS files.

The best solution here is to add the timestamp at the end of the .js/.css filenames, or add the svn version which is a great idea too.

<script src="js/myfile.js?t=<?=time()?>" type="text/javascript"></script>
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I've been using a little trick one a site that I'm working on...for the same reasons as you. I make small changes and have js loaded by js and want to make sure that I'm always working with the current (non-cached) script.

try making the JS you are loading into a php file...simply put <?php ?> at the beginning and put on the ext of .php.

var fileref=document.createElement('script');


//the Date added to the file doesn't effect the results but helps IE be sure to refresh the data and not use cache

var d = new Date();

var t = d.getTime();

 fileref.setAttribute("src", filename+".php?date="+t);

 fileref.setAttribute("id", filename);

Because the name changes, IE thinks it a new file ;)

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Doesnt need to change the name to '.php'. If you put 'filename.js?t='+t the result is the same. You can do it with '.css' too. All ours production systems use this trick to certify that the clients uses the right content files. – Leonel Martins Sep 21 '09 at 13:17
As a note, we tend to use the SVN revision number instead of date/time. That way we get caching benefits, and refresh only when we actually commit. – Groo Jan 21 '11 at 13:50
Thanks so much! This trick totally slipped my mind. I've been battling this issue for days and this'll do it for me. I just put this at the end of the url: "?<?php echo time() ?>" – thrashr888 Mar 17 '11 at 16:34

In chrome you can just press Ctrl and click the refresh button. I discovered this by chance.

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This does a hard refresh of the entire page, I don't think this just refreshes Javascript only. – Ivo Flipse Aug 7 '11 at 13:56

I open the javascript file in a separate tab, shift-refresh, verify that I'm seeing the latest changes, then shift-refresh the actual page (actually, in my case, frame in a frameset, which seems to make matters worse). This works almost all the time.

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I've not used it myself, but the Firefox Add-on "Clear Cache Button" might be of use. I read through their documentation, so I'm not sure if it clears your browsing history too.

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Add some dynamic date function at the end of your javascript file will force the browser to load the updated js file. Meaning when including the .js file you could add .... xyz.js?

< ? php echo date('l jS \of F Y h:i:s A') ? > 

Of course this could be removed once your debugging is done and ready to go live.

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This is not Javascript. – Nathan Adams Dec 12 '12 at 17:45

Go to content settings in Chrome, disable JavaScript and save.

Then, enable JavaScript again.

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