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Posted 11 Jul 2011

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jQuery AJAX Cache Problems on IE

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25 Jul 2011CPOL2 min read
Handling different default AJAX caching definitions between browsers.

Internet Explorer (IE) has this huge need to be different. In my opinion, this have no explanation other than the need to screw some development time :) Here I'll talk about another simple example: AJAX cache.

No other browser, by default, caches AJAX requests... but IE does. So, when you make a second AJAX call with the exact same parameters, IE thinks it's smarter than others and returns the result it has in cache from the first request, and there's no way to make it refresh that cache, not F5, not Ctrl+F5, not even asking politely... nothing!

What we have to do is tell, right on the request, that we don't want the result to be cached. So on a jQuery AJAX request, we would do:

cache: false,
url: 'http://myurl',
data: {}

This will work for this particular request. If you want to expand the scope of this setting to all AJAX requests, you can set it on the global AJAX configuration:

$.ajaxSetup({ cache: false });

From now on, I'll be making this cache setting a "must" on every AJAX call.

Be aware of this...

The theory behind this is that IE uses cache for requests with the exact same signature. So if you change something on the request the cache won't be used.

In web there's no maginc, and this thing here is no exception. When a $.ajax have the cache set to false what it does is append a dummy parameter to the query string.
The name of the parameter is a single _ (underscore) and the value is a timestamp.
This way they are quite sure there's no parameter name collision and that the querystring is always unique.

This usually isn't a problem unless you actually already use a parameter _ on your application querystring or if you perform some kind of URL parameters validation uppon request and find an unexpected parameter sitting at the end :)


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Switzerland Switzerland
Senior IT Consultant working in Switzerland as Senior Software Engineer.

Find more at on my blog.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralAlexCode Pin
Nour El Ghamry7-Apr-15 3:40
MemberNour El Ghamry7-Apr-15 3:40 
GeneralTrue, POSTs don't have cache problems, mostly because they d... Pin
AlexCode15-Aug-11 9:28
professionalAlexCode15-Aug-11 9:28 
Generalyou request the url via http GET method. if you use the POST... Pin
toebens15-Aug-11 1:57
Membertoebens15-Aug-11 1:57 
Generalin my case, ie uses cache also for request with parameter. i... Pin
mmaurox26-Jul-11 22:50
Membermmaurox26-Jul-11 22:50 
QuestionCode sample ? Pin
Sorin Pienaru21-Jul-11 22:01
MemberSorin Pienaru21-Jul-11 22:01 
I tried to reproduce the cache issue on IE but on my environment nothing got cached. My test was pretty straight forward: the server returns the current time.
I used IE 9 (both in IE 8 mode and IE9).
Can you please provide the code you used ?
AnswerRe: Code sample ? Pin
AlexCode21-Jul-11 22:46
professionalAlexCode21-Jul-11 22:46 
GeneralRe: Code sample ? Pin
Sorin Pienaru25-Jul-11 17:42
MemberSorin Pienaru25-Jul-11 17:42 
GeneralRe: Code sample ? Pin
AlexCode25-Jul-11 17:57
professionalAlexCode25-Jul-11 17:57 

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