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Mac users who have switched from the Windows platform may be used to pressing the F5 function key to refresh a web browser, website or web page. The F5 key is used in most Windows web browsers to refresh or reload, so when Windows users switch to Mac, they may be wondering what button is on the Mac, as hitting F5 on the Mac either usually adjusts the keyboard backlight or does nothing at all.
We’ll cover the F5 key equivalent on the Mac for most of the web browsers you come across so if you’re a recent Windows switcher you should find this guide particularly useful.
Command + R is usually the Refresh shortcut on Mac web browsers
The keystroke for reloading or refreshing a web page in most web browsers for Mac is Command + R, and that is true of most Mac web browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Epic, Brave, and others.
We will dive into specific web browsers to discuss them individually and also some specifically tricks for each to reload without cache, if needed.
F5 Refresh Equivalent in Safari for Mac
Safari is the default web browser on a Mac, so it’s probably what you’ll use by default unless you change the default browser, so this is probably the most important thing to discuss first. To refresh or reload a webpage in the Safari web browser on a Mac, press a simple keyboard shortcut:
- Command + R reloads a web page in Safari on Mac
Command + R in Safari for Mac reloads a webpage, making it essentially the same as hitting F5 on Windows when viewing a webpage.
Using Command + R to Refresh in Safari works the same in the standard Safari version which comes preinstalled on all Macs along with Safari Technology Preview and also the Developer version. It’s a simple shortcut; Command + R is the Safari equivalent of F5 in a Windows browser.
Note that if you want to refresh a web page in Safari without loading the cache, you can use Command + Option + R or hold the Shift key and then click the Refresh button button, or you can clear the Safari cache. Reloading websites without cache is usually only for advanced users and developers.
F5 Refresh Equivalent in Chrome for Mac
Reloading a web page in Chrome on the Mac uses the same keyboard shortcut as Safari on the Mac, cmd + r. This includes Chrome, Chrome Canary and other Chrome developer versions.
- Command + R reloads a web page in Chrome on Mac
Indeed, Chrome on the Mac also uses Command + R to refresh a webpage or website, which is the exact same reload shortcut that Safari uses. Obviously, this makes it easy to remember as you only need to remember one keyboard shortcut to reload.epic
You can also add the Shift key to that same keyboard command to force refresh a webpage without loading the cache in Chrome, but it’s mostly used by developers and most users don’t need to.
Refresh web pages in Chrome-derived browsers; Epic, Brave, etc. – Command + R
A handful of other browsers use Chrome as a base, including Epic, which has a handy geolocation proxy tool, Brave, and others. All of these Chrome spin-off browsers also use Command + R to refresh the browser.
F5 equivalent in Firefox for Mac
Are you a Firefox user on the Mac? Great, the Firefox refresh keyboard shortcut is the same as the other browsers!
- Command + R refreshes a website in Firefox on Mac OS
You may notice a recurring theme here… just as F5 is the default refresh browser and web page option on Windows computers, Command + R is the default refresh option on Mac web browsers.
F5 equivalent in Opera for Mac
If you are using Opera (which has an excellent free bundled VPN and is therefore a worthwhile browser to add to some user collections for that reason alone) then you will be relieved to know that Opera also uses the same shortcut as other Mac browsers for refreshing web pages:
- Command + R refreshes a web page in Opera for Mac
As you’ve probably noticed by now, the Command + R keyboard shortcut for reloading a web page on the Mac, basically regardless of the web browser itself, is so ubiquitous and widely accepted that there is no variation of it. Just as F5 refreshes web pages on Windows, so Command + R refreshes web pages on the Mac, making Command + R the F5 equivalent.
How about refresh in other apps?
Many other apps also have refresh features, but not all of them have keyboard shortcuts associated with their functionality. For example, you can also refresh the Mac App Store with Command + R, but if you want to refresh the Finder file system you should try something else as there is no instant refresh option.
This is just one of the many useful things to learn and remember for Windows switchers to the Mac platform. Another helpful tricks can learn what the HOME and END is buttons are, which page Up and Page Down are the print screen button equivalent, which is the ALT key (if not labeled, it depends on the Mac’s keyboard and region), and mimicking the DEL forward delete function. All of this is possible (and a lot more) on the Mac, but since most Mac keyboards are a bit more minimalistic and simpler, it may require minimal tweaking to get to know the new keystrokes and shortcuts to perform tasks that are routine in the world of Windows PCs.
If you know of any other handy freshening up tricks, Keyboard shortcuts, buttons, or any other options that may be helpful to Mac users (especially those switching from Windows), share them with us in the comments below!
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