How do you force reload (not from cache) in Firefox 4.0?

I have seen a lot of supposed theories on the internet, including:

Ctrl + F5

Ctrl + Shift + R

But, in reality, these do not actually work. So how do you really do it?

The only way I seem to be able to do it, is to manually clear the cache each time. This is hardly a solution in a development environment.

7 Answers 7


I'm on Firefox 8 and Ctrl + F5 definitely is the shortcut to a full page reload.

  • This also works for IE and I'm fairly certain Chrome as well. It's a reload bypassing the cache. Oct 2, 2012 at 19:09
  • 3
    What if the page that is cached is a redirection page? Ctrl + F5 only works on the current page, but with redirection you won't be on the page you want to reload uncached.
    – coolcat007
    Apr 21, 2017 at 4:54

In FireBug, on a Net tab open a menu (small triangle in the tab) and select Disable Browser Cache.


Go to the url address: about:config. This should load the Firefox config settings in the window for editing. You may see a warning message stating, "This might void your warranty!" that will require you to click through to load the settings. Then find the browser.cache.check_doc_frequency key and change it to 1.

For reference, valid values for browser.cache.check_doc_frequency are:

  • 0 – Check for a new version of a page once per session (a session starts when the first application window opens and ends when the last application window closes).

  • 1 - Check for a new version every time a page is loaded. ← This one

  • 2 – Never check for a new version – always load the page from cache. (offline mode?)

  • 3- Check for a new version when the page is out of date. (Default)

Obviously this will affect your entire browsing experience, but it's this or CTRL + F5 a few times.

  • 1
    This is incredibly helpful when you're testing a web server's redirect directives, to see if the page is actually redirecting properly now.
    – bgStack15
    Dec 16, 2016 at 20:19

I've found that it can take up to 3 settings to make this work when dealing with inter-dependent Javascript files. The following works in FireFox 39 (and probably earlier versions as well):

  1. Open Firefox Developer Tools
  2. Click in the gear tab (right hand side, 4th from the right)
  3. Find the Advance Settings section (3rd column), and click on "Disable Cache (when toolbox is open)"
  4. Open a new tab and type about:config into the URL
  5. Search for "browser.cache.check_doc_frequency", and change its value to 1
  6. Search for "network.http.use-cache" and change its value to "false" by clicking on the line. Keep in mind for complex pages, this could significantly increase your time for page refresh.

Special thanks to the following for getting me on the right track:

Of course, if this is for more than just debugging and you want explicit control over the pages in production, you should do it in the page headers: http://www.mobify.com/blog/beginners-guide-to-http-cache-headers/

  • step 3 is the same as step 6 rendering steps 4,5 and 6 pointless? Helpful list though, thanks
    – twobob
    May 3, 2017 at 2:24

As far as I know, at least in 3.x series, 2nd or 3rd refresh in a row forces Firefox to retrieve full page content again. I can agree that it seems like it is not always working.


You can also clear the entire cache if you want to. Just go to Options ► Advanced ► Network ► Cached Web Content ► Clear Now. Then click the usual refresh button or hit F5, and the page will be fully updated!


In the latest Firefox developer edition, I found that this Setting caused the browser to always grab fresh from the server upon reload.

  1. Toggle the Tools menu (Tools->Web Developer->Toggle Tools).
  2. Click inside of the developer window.
  3. Press F1 to view settings.
  4. Under Advance Settings, check "Disable HTTP Cache (when toolbox is open)".

The Setting

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