Browser cache is designed to optimise your online experience by storing or saving assets to your computer hard drive. This could include images, HTML and CSS. However, over time, your cache of data can become rather large – meaning you must clear the cache to free up some space on your hard drive.
How Do I Clear My Browser Cache?
Various methods are used to clear browser cache, depending on your browser of choice and the type of software you are using. But don’t worry – this handy guide will talk you through every step of the process – whether you’re using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Internet Explorer.
Why Do You Need To Clear Your Browser Cache?
The main reason why you need to clear your browser cache is that it is taking up too much space on your computer hard drive. As a result, the performance of your computer decreases. For example, websites may take much longer to load.
It also ensures that your personal information is kept safe and enables your applications to run more smoothly on your computer.
Additionally, having certain data already stored within your cache could mean that you load up old content whenever you return to a website, even if it has since been updated.
For the reasons detailed above, you should also ensure that you regularly clear the cache stored on your phone’s internal hard drive too.
How to Force Refresh a Single Page?
To ensure you are seeing the most recent version of a website, you have to ‘force’ refresh the page. This is a quick and easy way of clearing cache and is often the first point of advice given to those who complain about broken websites or slow loading times. Thankfully, this step could not be any easier.
To force refresh a single page, you must simply press the control and F5 button on your keyboard at the same time. This should then automatically reload the page while simultaneously clearing caches that were stopping your computer from running slowly in the first place.
How to Clear Browser Cache for Google Chrome?
If you are using Chrome as your browser, you can clear the cache with these easy steps.
- Click on the three dots in the top right corner of your screen
- Scroll down the dropdown menu, and select ‘More Tools’
- Select ‘Clear Browsing Data’; you will then be asked to choose a time range of data to clear
- Next, select the ‘Cookies and other site data’ tab, which will allow you to ensure cached images and files are also deleted or cleared.
How to Clear Cache for Mozilla Firefox?
If Mozilla Firefox is your browser of choice, you can clear the cache by following these steps:
- Head over to your settings on your browser, and select the ‘Privacy & Security’ tab
- Once in the security settings, click on ‘Cookie and Site Data’
- Press the button that says ‘Clear Data’, ensuring that you first remove the checkmark before ‘Cookies and site data‘. This will ensure that the right content is removed
When using Firefox, you can also alter your settings to automatically clear caches when you close your browser.
How to Clear Cache for Safari?
For users of Safari, clearing cache is achieved in the following way:
- Head over to the settings on your browser before clicking on the ‘Safari’ option
- Select ‘Clear history & website data’
- If you want to keep your history but remove cookies, select ‘Remove all website data but not clear history’
In the settings tab, you’ll also have the option to block all cookies moving forward.
How to Clear Cache for Opera?
If you’re using Opera, these are the steps for clearing cache:
- Press Alt and P at the same time to open up your Opera settings
- Select the ‘Privacy & Security’ tab
- Select ‘Clear Browsing Data’; this will give you the chance to select a time frame for the data you want to delete. If you want to get rid of everything, select ‘The beginning of time’
- From the menu, select ‘Cookies and other site data’ and ‘Cached images and files’ to ensure that these are the only things you remove.
How to Clear Cache for Internet Explorer?
If Internet Explorer is your browser, you can clear the cache with the following steps:
- Head over to the settings menu, which should be situated in the upper-right hand corner of your browser.
- From the drop-down menu, select ‘Internet Option’. This will then open up a separate box on your computer, where you should select ‘General Settings’.
- Click on the table titled ‘Browsing History’, and then ‘Delete’.
- You will then be prompted to select which data you’d like to remove. Select the following options: Temporary Internet Files and Website Files, Cookies and Website Data, History and Download History.
You might be interested in: Difference Between L1, L2, and L3 Cache
You don’t have to spend hours googling ‘how do I clear my browser cache’ whenever your computer starts running a little slower. Most browsers follow a simple process when it comes to helping you to clear cookies and cache – follow the steps listed in this guide for the browser you’re using.
1. Are cookies and cache the same thing?
As mentioned above, a cache is used to store page resources and data such as images and HTML on your computer or laptop hard drive. While similar in terms of downloading and storing data, cookies are used to keep track of your browsing history and preferences. For example, they will remember the sites you use most frequently.
2. Does clearing cache delete browsing history?
While you can clear both your browsing history and your cache at the same time, you don’t have to. To achieve this, you should ensure that you only select ‘Clear browser cache’ instead of ‘Clear all data in your browser’s online settings.
3. How do I clear my browser cache on my iPhone?
Clearing the browser cache on your iPhone (or any other mobile device) is not much different than learning how to clear cookies on the computer. You simply need to access your phone’s Internet and data storage settings and go from there.