I have been pressing Ctrl or Shift while clicking refresh for so long out of habit that I am not even sure it has any effect in modern browsers.

In the past it was used to do a 'hard refresh' - i.e. not reloading anything from the cache.

Does this still apply? If so, is the effect it has still the same?

  • You haven't been using CTRL? – random May 3 '11 at 14:26
  • hmm.. depends which version of which browser no? Updated my question anyway – Dve May 3 '11 at 14:30

It does still work and helps bypass the cache - here's a break down of the shortcuts for the common browsers:

Internet Explorer

  • Ctrl + F5
  • Ctrl + click refresh button

Google Chrome

  • Ctrl + F5
  • Ctrl + click refresh button


  • Version 4 or newer: Shift + click refresh button
  • Version 3 or older: + R


  • Ctrl + Shift + R
  • Ctrl + F5 / + F5
  • Shift + click refresh button


  • Ctrl + F5
  • Shift + F5
  • 1
    There's no Shift + R shortcut in the Opera, at least in the latest versions and I doubt about Shift + click refresh button either. – Malcolm May 3 '11 at 16:46
  • 1
    Thanks @Malcolm - I'm not an Opera user so I couldn't confirm for sure. Please feel free to edit my answer if you know what the shortcut is on Opera. – Gaff May 4 '11 at 1:58
  • @Malcolm: Both Ctrl + F5 and Shift + F5 work for Opera since version 11.62 (see changelog, under Network for details). – Amos M. Carpenter Feb 13 '14 at 3:11
  • @aaamos I left that comment long before the release of the version you mentioned. – Malcolm Feb 13 '14 at 18:51

Under Firefox 4, a normal refresh will generally reload basic content such as HTML as well as CSS and JavaScript. If you force a full refresh, the browser will reload all content, including images and all other objects, from the server.

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