September 24, 2021

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How To Force Firefox To Always Hard-Refresh?

2 min read

Question:

Firefox sometimes show outdated pages. For example, when I restore previous session, Firefox shows me old/outdated Google Webmaster Tools Reports. On doing a hard refresh manually, I can see the latest reports but is there a way to make Firefox always hard refresh?

Answer:

Open Firefox and in the address bar type, “about:config”, without quotes.

If a warning message shows up, click on:

“I’ll be careful, I promise”

At top left corner, below tabs, you will see a search bar. Type the following in it without quotes, “browser.cache.check_doc_frequency”.

You will see an entry whose value is probably 3. Double click on it and change its value to “1.”

Why the need for hard-refresh?

For website developers, it makes sense to set Firefox to always hard-refresh. This is because when testing websites, programmers and developers need to see the updated content and not any cached version. If you are testing webpages in a local machine or on your online hosting server, you often need to hard-refresh pages by pressing CTRL + F5 keys; a much better solution is to force Firefox to always hard-refresh.

I personally have suffered this pain from time to time because the changes I made in coding didn’t appear in the browser, which made me waste a lot of time. I was looking at the code for issues when the real problem was Firefox showing me the older/cache of the page. The above solution forces Firefox to always fetch data from the server instead of showing outdated content.

Why is there no add-on that can add this functionality?

Unfortunately, there seems to be no add-on for Firefox that we can use to make this change. I tried to find one but there is no add-on available. Another solution for this issue is to assign CTRL+F5 to a key in your PC mouse; this is easy to do if you have something like an all-action multi-button gaming mouse.

Gamers use multi-button mouse to enhance their gaming experience; programmers can use them to enhance their productivity. Such a mouse also supports macros. This feature can save a lot of our time in doing programming work. It is a great equipment to have for professional programmers. You can put CTRL+F5 in a macro and then assign it one of the buttons of your mouse. This way you can easily refresh a page and it will always be a hard-refresh.

UPDATE: I managed to find a new add-on that adds a Hard-Refresh option in browser’s right-click menu. I have not tested it myself, yet. I have included a link to this add-on below along with some additional useful pages:

1. Hard Refresh
2. Forcing complete page refresh
3. Hard reload or refresh – how to?
4. Bypass your cache

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