Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

1) In a computer display, to refresh is to redraw the image information from memory . Computer or television displays have to be refreshed because they don't have the capacity to hold a stable image. Electron guns in the cathode ray tube ( CRT ) constantly sweep across the screen, redrawing the display. The RAMDAC (random access memory digital-to-analog converter) in the graphics card determines a refresh rate : how many times per second the information will be drawn and the image repainted. At adequate refresh rate levels, a display appears stable, but if a refresh rate is too low a display will flicker and can cause eye strain and headaches.

2) With a Web browser , to refresh (or reload) is to download browser content (such as a Web page or other file) that is already displayed. Refreshing browser content ensures that the most currently updated information will be displayed.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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