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Vary

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 304 Not Modified response exactly like it would have been set on an equivalent 200 OK response.

Header type Response header
Forbidden header name no

Syntax

Vary: *
Vary: <header-name>, <header-name>, ...

Directives

*
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.
<header-name>
A comma-separated list of header names to take into account when deciding whether or not a cached response can be used.

Examples

Dynamic serving

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.

Vary: User-Agent

Specifications

Specification Title
RFC 7231, section 7.1.4: Vary Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari Servo
Basic Support(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Edge Mobile Firefox for Android IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic Support(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)(Yes)

Compatibility notes

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: fscholz, teoli
 Last updated by: fscholz,