Basically, your browser caches web pages (or files and remembers them on your computer). So, if something changes on a website, you might not know – because when you type the web address into your browser bar, it returns the last page it remembers for that address. (Didja get that?)
The browser doesn’t always go back to the site’s server and look for a new, updated page. (The hows and whys of when it does and does not do this are soooo not important here – and highly technical in a way that I have chosen decidedly not to be!)
However, if you engage the hard refresh – by holding the shift key down while you click on the refresh button – the page reloads anew. This is particularly helpful when you’re building or updating a website. (Which I find myself doing a LOT of these days with my uber-team.)
What a handy tool to have at the ready when you have an automatic reaction to something.
- When you see potato chips and then eat the whole bag – because your browser remembers that that’s what you did the last time.
- Or when you see that someone that’s just no good for you and you run to them as fast as you possibly can – because your browser remembers that that’s what you did the last time.
- Or when you have a lot of work to do and instead you clean your house or eat or watch a movie or play solitaire or go out to dinner or surf the web – because your browser remembers that that’s what you did the last time.
- Or when you’re trying to write a new post, paint a new picture, solve the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico and you just keep coming up with the same crap or stagnation or theme or brilliance – because your browser remembers that that’s what you did last time.
Ahhh…to be able to hit shift+refresh and clear the slate, load something new and see an entirely updated screen.
Image credit: CeeKay