What Does the Refresh Button Do?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 31, 2020 4:42:01 AM ET
refresh-button
Toshiro Shimada/Moment/Getty Images

The refresh button tells the Internet browser to reload the current website. It requests the entire page again from scratch. While refresh buttons were often necessary in the past, modern websites typically update information without requiring a manual refresh.

Advertisement

In the early days of the World Wide Web, websites were static documents, which users had to manually reload to retrieve new information. Websites could later be set to reload at predetermined intervals. Thanks to advanced JavaScript programming, however, modern websites update information when necessary. These automatic updates are helpful on social media sites and for people following sporting events online.