[Full Guide] How to Refresh on a Mac/MacBook

Clare Phang
Last updated: Dec 20, 2023

This post is about how to refresh pages/apps/screens on a Mac/MacBook. Mac Refresh shortcut will be introduced too. Keep reading!

For Windows users who turn to Mac, you may be confused about the refresh key on a Mac. Is the Windows F5 key equal to the Mac F5 refresh key?

The answer is: The Mac F5 key is not the refresh key as the Windows. The right Mac refresh keyboard shortcut is Command + R.

To learn more about how to refresh on a Mac/MacBook, keep reading for details.

How to Refresh on a MacBook

How to Refresh on Mac/MacBook

To clarify this guide, we divide it into 3 parts - refresh a page in different browsers, refresh apps, and refresh screens. Go directly to the part that you need.

Mac Refresh Shortcut

For most Mac apps, the refresh keyboard shortcut is Command + R.

Mac Refresh Key

The most common Mac refresh shortcuts are:

  • Command + R
  • Command + Shift+ R
  • Command + Option + R

Check the guide below to use the right Mac refresh shortcut under different situations.

How to Refresh a Page on Mac

There are mainly 2 ways to refresh a page of different browsers on a Mac: press the Mac refresh shortcut and click the reload icon on the page. Here we will introduce how to refresh browsers on a Mac:

  • How to Reload Safari on Mac:

    a: Click the reload icon at the top right.

    b: Press the Safari refresh shortcut on Mac: Command + Option +R /Command + R.

  • How to Refresh Google/Firefox on Mac:

    a: Click the reload icon at the top left.

    b: Press the Google/Firefox refresh shortcut on Mac: Command + Shift + R (Force Reload This Page)/Command + R (Reload This Page).

For Google, you can see three options to reload: Go to the View menu>Click DevelopDeveloper Tools> Right-click the reload icon at the top left.

Google Developer Tools

There are 3 reload ways:

  • Normal Reload: Command + R
  • Hard Reload: Command + Shift + R
  • Empty Cache and Hard Reload
Google Reload Ways

How to Refresh Apps on Mac

Here we'll introduce some often-used apps that you may want to refresh.

  • How to Refresh Mail on Mac to keep the mail updated.

Here is how:

  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. Click the Mailbox menu.
  3. Click Get New Mail/Synchronize.
    Refresh Mail
Shortcut for Get New Mail: Command + Shift + N.
  • How to Refresh Finder

As Apple Official writes, Finder is the home base for your Mac. Sometimes, the Finder may get stuck, lag, or not work. Just refresh it.

Here is how:

  1. Press Command + Option + Esc to bring the force quit window.
  2. Select Finder.
  3. Click Relaunch.
Refresh Finder
  • How to Refresh App Store

When you download apps or make a purchase in the App Store, you may want to get the most up-to-date information. And refresh can help. Here is how:

  1. Open App Store.
  2. Click the Store menu.
  3. Reload Page.
Refresh App Store
App Store refresh shortcut: Command + R.
  • How to Refresh Message

The Message is an often-used app. And you may want to check messages on Mac as on your iPhone. To receive/load the instant message, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Click the Messages menu>Settings.
  3. Click iMessage>Check Enable Messages in iCloudSync Now.
Refresh Messages
You'd better delete unused messages before you sync and refresh them.

How to Refresh Screen on Mac

To refresh your screen, you can change the refresh rate. Each time you change the refresh rate, the screen will refresh accordingly.

Here is how to change the refresh rate on a monitor:

  1. Go to System SettingsDisplay.
  2. Change the refresh rate (variable 40-60 Hertz).
Change Refresh Rate
Change back to the previous refresh rate if you feel it is more suitable since the screen refresh is already made.

Bonus: Optimize Your Mac Performance with BuhoCleaner

With time, your Mac may become laggy. And this may be one main reason that you want to refresh your Mac/MacBook.

BuhoCleaner is a user-friendly and effective Mac cleaner and Mac performance monitor yet performance optimizer.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
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The main Mac performance optimization features of BuhoCleaner:

  • Flash Clean (Browser Cache, User Cache Files, etc. are included).
  • App Uninstall (completely uninstall without leftovers).
  • Duplicate photos, videos, file cleaning.
  • Startup items management.
  • Disk space analyzer.


After finishing this post, are you clear about how to refresh a Mac/MacBook? Try the Mac refresh shortcut now!


  1. What is the difference between Hard Refresh and Empty Cache?

    An explanation from Wiki says that hard refresh will force your browser to re-download a web page’s complete, update-to-date content. It is similar to cache refresh and uncached reload. Empty cache means deleting all the cache.

  2. Why is the Mac F5 refresh key not working?

    It is because the F5 on Mac is not the refresh key. The F5 refresh key is just for Windows. But there if you are looking for the key to work as the F5 refresh key on Mac, it's Command + R.

Clare Phang has been captivated by the world of Apple products since the launch of the iconic iPhone in 2007. With a wealth of experience, Clare is your go-to source for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all things Apple.