A common assumption in theories of working memory is that a maintenance process – broadly referred to as rehearsal – is involved in keeping novel information available. This review evaluates the effectiveness of three forms of rehearsal: articulatory rehearsal, attention-based refreshing, and elaborative rehearsal. Evidence for the effectiveness of these strategies is surprisingly weak. Experimental manipulations of articulatory rehearsal have yielded working memory benefits in children, but not in adults; experimentally induced refreshing prioritizes the refreshed information, but yields little benefit compared to a baseline without induced refreshing; and elaborative rehearsal improves episodic long-term memory but has little effect on working memory. Thus, although adults spontaneously use some of these strategies, rehearsal might not play a causal role in keeping information in working memory.