How to clear your browser cache

29 January 2021 . minute read

Our short instruction explains why it is important to clear cache and shows how to do it in most popular browsers on laptops and mobile devices.

From time to time, you can run into unclear issues with your website and hear your IT manager or developer say “clear your browser cache.” Not every user knows how to do it, what cache actually is for or why it may create serious problems with a website.

What is browser cache anyway?

To display a website, your browser (Chrome, Firefox or Safari) downloads multiple files and stores them temporarily on your computer. Such cache files are documents that comprise a website and include JavaScript scripts, HTML files, images, CSS and media files. As a result, when you open the same website for the second time, your browser doesn’t have to download these files again. This browser mechanism speeds up the page load time, so a user doesn’t have to wait for long to get the web page displayed and saves the load time in case of a slow internet connection.

With cache data stored on your computer or mobile device, your browser only conducts a check to see if any changes have occurred to the content of a given website and downloads only new files that have not been stored on the computer from a previous visit.

Why clear cache if it is so useful?

Cache data storing takes away a lot of disk space on a computer, but most importantly, with time it starts causing problems with the website content because instead of downloading the updated version of a website, your browser collects data from the cache. It means that even after your website goes through an update, you won’t be able to see it because of cache. As a result, you may see an old website version or experience a problem when a website cannot load fully or an issue with formatting.

The more often your website gets updated, the more often you need to clear cache to see the correct version. As a user, you may experience serious problems if website updates concern files that relate to a website’s operations. A website may seem to contain bugs and have problems with usability.

Once you clear the cache, your browser downloads the latest version of a website and all website documents again.

How to clear cache in your browser?

Clearing cache is very easy regardless of what browser or platform you are using. To remove such data, you should use the menu of your browser.

To clear cache on your desktop:

. Google Chrome

  • Go to the browser menu and select More tools.
  • Click Clear browsing data.
  • Click the checkboxes for Cached images and files.
  • Select the amount of data you want to delete (e.g., beginning of time).
  • Click Clear browsing data.

Additionally, you can install a Google extension to clear cache in the browser by clicking the icon in the toolbar.

. Firefox

  • Click the menu and choose Options.
  • Select Advanced options.
  • Select Network tab and in Cached Web Content click Clear Now.

. Safari

  • Select Safari in the top menu and click Preferences.
  • Select Advanced tab and enable Show Develop menu.
  • Go to Develop and select Empty caches.

In case, only one web page or website does not display correctly or load, you can also remove data as follows:

  • Select Safari in the top menu and click Preferences.
  • Click the Privacy icon and then the Details button.
  • Do a search of the domain name of the website you want to clear cache for.
  • Once you see the search result, click the domain name and click Remove.
  • Click Done to close the window.

. Internet Explorer

  • Select Tools and click Safety.
  • Click Delete browsing history.
  • Uncheck Preserve Favorites website data and check Temporary Internet files and Cookies.
  • Click Delete.

To clear cache on a mobile device:

. Google Chrome for Android and iOS:

  • Go to the browser toolbar and tap Settings.
  • Tap Privacy.
  • Select Clear browsing history.
  • Select the amount of data you want to delete (e.g., beginning of time).
  • Select Clear the cache and Clear cookies and site data.
  • Tap Clear data.

. Safari:

  • Go to Settings and tap Safari.
  • Tap Clear History and Website Data.
  • Select Clear History and Website Data.

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