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?

12 Answers 12


I do this myself for development. I use Ctrl+F5. It's like a force refresh. This refreshes the page including re-downloading any referenced JavaScript 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 Internet Explorer, 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.

  • Great! I change the accepted answer to yours because yours is a simpler solution
    – Graviton
    Sep 5, 2009 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, 2009 at 3:27
  • 2
    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). Jul 13, 2012 at 3:24
  • 1
    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, 2012 at 12:06
  • 1
    For Chrome, F12 and rightclick the reload button. superuser.com/questions/220179/… Mar 24, 2015 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.


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>

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.

  • Incognito is probably the way to go for Chrome.
    – mdoar
    Aug 26, 2010 at 23:04

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.

  • Works as a last resort!
    – Doin
    Dec 30, 2019 at 10:17

I've been using a little trick on a site that I'm working on...for the same reasons as you. I make small changes and have JavaScript code loaded by JavaScript code and want to make sure that I'm always working with the current (non-cached) script.

Try making the JavaScript code 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');
fileref.setAttribute("type", "text/javascript");

// The Date added to the file doesn't effect the results but
// helps Internet Explorer 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, Internet Explorer thinks it is a new file ;)

  • 2
    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. Sep 21, 2009 at 13:17
  • 1
    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.
    – vgru
    Jan 21, 2011 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, 2011 at 16:34

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

  • This does a hard refresh of the entire page, I don't think this just refreshes Javascript only.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 7, 2011 at 13:56

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.


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

Then, enable JavaScript again.


If you are working with JavaScript and worried about reloading the page to reflect JavaScript changes. Try to use the Chrome debugger, where you can make changes to your loaded JavaScript file(s) at run time and without using any reload can test new functions or changes you want to test.

  • Welcome to Super User! Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question.
    – DavidPostill
    Dec 20, 2016 at 13:42

In the latest Chrome it is available:

Enter image description here

  • Some elaboration wouldn't be amiss. Dec 8, 2018 at 20:34

Add some dynamic date function at the end of your JavaScript file. It will force the browser to load the updated JavaScript 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.

  • This is not Javascript. Dec 12, 2012 at 17:45

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