Firefox Caching: Get latest page every time

Internet Explorer has a fantastic Web Cache option in Tools > Internet Options > Browsing History > Settings > called “Check for newer versions of Stored Pages:’. This option lets you override Internet Explorers smart caching option.

This is useful when you’re visiting websites that frequently have changing, dynamic data, but their meta tags or HTTP Content headers don’t tell your browser to get a new copy of the page every time. All you have to do is switch the setting to “Every time I visit the webpage“.

Low and behold, Firefox actually has an equivalent setting that allows the browser to check for newer versions of the page each and every time. It’s called browser.cache.check_doc_frequency and it can be found in the about:config menu of Firefox. Who knows why it’s not in any of the GUI options of settings for Firefox. They must be crazy.

To access it, simply enter this into your URL location box in Firefox:

about:config

Then find the browser.cache.check_doc_frequency and change it to 1. This will force Firefox to check for a newer version of the page you’re viewing, regardless of the servers instructions, or Firefox’s default settings.

This is useful because by default Firefox is set at 3 which means that it will always used an old, cached version of the web page, unless the server specifically indicates a newer one is available. You never know if you’re getting the right stuff.

For reference, valid values for browser.cache.check_doc_frequency are:

0 – Check for a new version of a page once per session (a session starts when the first application window opens and ends when the last application window closes).

1 - Check for a new version every time a page is loaded.

2 – Never check for a new version – always load the page from cache.

3- Check for a new version when the page is out of date. (Default)