Learn About Web Browser Caches

Learn Why Your Page Won't Display as You Wrote It

Facebook web page
Facebook web page. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

One of the most frustrating things to happen when creating a web page is when you can’t seem to get it to load on your website. You find a typo, fix it and re-upload, then when you view the page it’s still there. Or you make a major change to the site and you can’t seem to see it when you upload.

Web Caches and Browser Caches Affect How Your Page is Displayed

The most common reason for this is that the page is in your web browser cache. The browser cache is a tool in all web browsers to help pages load more quickly. The first time you load a web page, it is loaded straight from the web server.

Then, the browser saves a copy of the page and all the images in a file on your machine. The next time you go to that page, your browser opens the page from your hard drive rather than the server. The browser typically checks the server once per session. What this means is that the first time you view your web page during a session it will be saved on your computer. So, if you then find a typo and fix it the upload may not display correctly.

How to Force Pages to Bypass the Web Cache

In order to force your browser to load a web page from the server rather than the cache, you should hold down the shift key while you click on the "Refresh" or "Reload" button. This tells the browser to ignore the cache and download the page from the server directly.