Safari Troubleshooting: Don't Surrender, Re-render

Use The Re-render Menu to Refresh a Web Page

Safari Debug - Force Repaint
The Force Repaint command in the Debug menu. Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

Safari has a number of troubleshooting techniques to keep you humming along. One of these is the ability to re-render a web page. Re-rendering forces Safari to redraw the currently loaded web page, using the existing page that was already downloaded. This is different than the more common Refresh command, which downloads a fresh copy of the page.

Re-render is best used when a page you are viewing begins to show strange artifacts, such as misplaced text or images, text size changes, or other viewing abnormalities. You may not see these types of changes unless you’re scrolling through the web page, or using a function embedded in the web page, such as a video.​

Most of the time, you use the refresh or reload command (the circular arrow in the URL bar) to refresh a page. This reloads the entire web page, a process that can be time-consuming, especially if the page is graphics heavy. The refreshed page may also have different content than the page you originally downloaded. This is especially true of news sites and other web pages that are dynamically updated.

To refresh the current page without changing its contents, use Safari's Repaint command. The Repaint command forces Safari to re-render the current web page using the data that was already downloaded. As a result, repainting is almost instantaneous. There is no download to perform, and you retain the same content.

How To Re-render a Web Page in Safari

  1. The Safari Debug menu must be enabled. If you don’t see the Debug menu in the menu bar, please follow the instructions at Enable Safari's Debug Menu.
  2. Select ‘Debug, Force Repaint’ from the Safari menu.
  3. You can also invoke the ‘Force Repaint’ command by using the keyboard shortcut ‘Shift Command R’ (simultaneously press the shift, command, and letter ‘R’ keys).

The currently viewed web page will be re-rendered using the WebKit rendering engine built into Safari.