Cache clearing

Posted on 2011-10-26
Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I use both Firefox and IE, but usually Firefox.  Back in the day (a LONG time ago), we were always told to do shift+refresh to ensure that you get a new page.  I've always stuck with that since using Firefox as my main browser for years.  I had always been curious about how good that was at clearing everything out and I found out today that it was not so good.  I was just instructed on how to change the favicon for our websites.  Now that we have done that, we notice that the cache had to be explicitly cleared by going to history and deleting all the history which includes the cache.

My question is...

Is there a shortcut method for clearing the cache, and will it work for both Firefox and IE?
Question by:rtod2
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    by:Peter Kwan
    For FF, you may go to:


    and delete everything inside this directory. Please close your browser before you can delete.

    For IE, you may go to:

    %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\

    and delete everything all subfolders except desktop.ini and index.dat inside that folder.
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    Ctl-F5 will force the current page to be reloaded from the server... but it may not cause the pages or file that are loaded By that page to be refetched from the server.   A frequent and annoying problem affecting CSS and javascript files.

    Author Comment

    Dave, Thank you.  That's the kind of stuff I was looking for.

    Does Ctl+F5 force the current page to be reloaded from the server on both Firefox and IE?
    What does Shift+Reload actually do?
    Is there any way to force the pages or files that are loaded by that page to be re-fetched from the server?
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Hello rtod2 .
    You could disable cache of your browsers but you cannot eliminate the "middle man" meaning a proxy is probably involved.
    When i create something localy and want to preview it a ctrl+f5 is enough.
    When you want to preview something on the web usually a proxy is involved and you need its cache also cleared.
    hope that helps
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    I use Ctl+F5 in all browsers.  You can load the javascript and CSS files directly and force a Ctl+F5 then and you will see the updated files when you go back to the main page.  Of course all that works Only if the server is not caching the files too.  That can occasionally happen.  AOL's server system caches files and it can take a while to get an update thru their distribution network.
    LVL 50

    Accepted Solution

     "we notice that the cache had to be explicitly cleared by going to history "
    I suspect that does much more than you need. In IE click Tools|Internet Options|General tab|Browsing History section|Settings.  That window offers four options for what is cached each time you visit a website.
    I do not use Firefox so cannot tell you how to set that up.

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