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Refresh

Refresh is a command that reloads the contents of a window or Web page with the most current data. For example, a window may list files stored within a folder, but may not track their location in real-time. If the files have been moved or deleted since the window was first opened, the folder contents displayed will be inaccurate. By refreshing the window, a current list of files is displayed.

Web browsers include a Refresh command, which reloads the contents of a Web page. This is especially useful for dynamic Web pages, which contain content that changes often. For example, a page may include a stock quote, which is updated every few seconds. By refreshing the page, a user can see the latest quote and track how much the stock continues to drop since he bought it. Web developers may also use the Refresh command to view recently published changes to Web pages.

Since refreshing a window reloads it with new information, the terms "refresh" and "reload" are often used synonymously. In fact, some Web browsers, such as Firefox and Safari use the term "Reload" instead of "Refresh." In Windows, the shortcut key for the Refresh command is typically "F5," while on the Mac, the shortcut is often "Command-R."

The term "Refresh" may also refer to the redrawing process of a computer monitor. This process usually happens many times per second and is called the "refresh rate."

Updated: March 19, 2008

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