The Vary HTTP response header determines how to match future request headers to decide whether a cached response can be used rather than requesting a fresh one from the origin server. It is used by the server to indicate which headers it used when selecting a representation of a resource in a content negotiation algorithm.
The Vary header should be set on a 304Not Modified response exactly like it would have been set on an equivalent 200OK response.
Each request for a URL is supposed to be treated as a unique and uncacheable request. A better way to indicate this is to use Cache-Control: private, which is clearer to read and also signals that the object shouldn't be stored ever.
A comma-separated list of header names to take into account when deciding whether or not a cached response can be used.
When using the Vary: User-Agent header, caching servers should consider the user agent when deciding whether to serve the page from cache. For example, if you are serving different content to mobile users, it can help you to avoid that a cache may mistakenly serve a desktop version of your site to your mobile users. It can help Google and other search engines to discover the mobile version of a page, and might also tell them that no Cloaking is intended.
Thanks! Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription.
If you haven’t previously confirmed a subscription to a Mozilla-related newsletter you may have to do so. Please check your inbox or your spam filter for an email from us.
Why does MDN look different?
MDN is changing to focus just on documenting web technologies. All the same great content is still here; we’re just changing some visual elements and navigation, to help you more quickly find the web technology docs you’re looking for.
But don’t worry, MDN and Mozilla are still together! In fact, we're updating MDN’s look to reflect Mozilla's new logo and colors.