Friday, October 1, 2010

Bypass the cache in any browser

Any browser you use stores data from the pages you visit in a temporary folder as cache. This is so that it can load a page quickly if you browse back to it. The amount of data that it stores in the cache is dependent on the setting you choose and on most browsers, you can even disable the feature to save any data.

While it is always very easy to delete all the temporary files from the cache, you may choose to reload any particular page without using the cache. For example, when you happen to be testing the browser page load times, or when a newly updated website is not displaying correctly. Of course, you can delete the temp files, but you may not feel like doing so. You may have your reasons, or you may be too lazy or in a hurry to go into the menus and deleting the stuff.

There are a lot of times I find this very useful. So I thought of making a little guide to show how a cache can be bypassed in various modern browsers.

Note: Everywhere in this guide, you can press the F5 button instead of hitting the refresh button, and vice versa, except where noted. Also, this is a guide for Windows only, as I am not sure about Mac. But I feel that you can substitute the Command key for Ctrl on Windows.

Internet Explorer:
Press the Ctrl key while refreshing the page. This is for IE7 and above. IE6 is very old, and I don't support it. When Microsoft tells you to update, you should do it. Well, fine. It's the same in IE6 also.

Mozilla Firefox (and other browsers built on the same platform):
This one works for Firefox, any version, Netscape Navigator (which has been discontinued now, but old versions are still available for use), SeaMonkey, Flock (the old version, that was based on Firefox) and other not-so-famous browsers that may be out there. 
Just hold Shift when refreshing the page, either via the hotkey or the reload button at the top.

Google Chrome (and other browsers built on the Chromium project, including Chromium itself):
This holds true for Chromium, Google Chrome, the new Flock and maybe others too. If you don't know the difference between Chrome and Chromium and are curious, see this article.
To ignore the cache here, hold the Shift key when reloading the page.

To ignore the cache on Opera, hold down Shift and click the reload button on the browser. Alternatively, you can press Shift + R to get the same effect.

Press Shift when clicking the reload button on Safari. This is for Safari 4 and newer. If you're using version 3 or older, it's the Ctrl key.

This one is a not-so-famous browser. That's because it's the one that is included with the KDE interface for Linux. This one is special, because it doesn't seem to have a cache at all. Because everytime you reload a page, it just ignores the cache.

So that's how you can bypass the cache in browsers. Use it wisely!

For a showdown between the new Internet Explorer 9 beta and Chrome 6 beta, head over to here. Want some useful time-saving keyboard shortcuts for web browsers? See this article.