When using your favorite web browser, files and webpages that you access are often stored (cached) to make pages load quicker when accessed again in the future. This is a standard feature in all web browsers. However, sometimes when you re-visit a site, any changes that have been made aren’t seen. This is because since the web browser is accessing a previously cached version of the website, rather than the most up-to-date version. This can also cause errors to occur because you are viewing an “out of date” version of the file. Additionally, after enough time this can end up eating up the data storage space on your device.
Clearing out a web browser’s cache does not damage any information stored in a browser, such as bookmarks or your homepage. Instead, it simply makes the web browser think that you have not visited a webpage before. The next time you access a webpage after clearing your cache, the web browser will load and display the most recent version of the website, since it won’t have any previous versions stored. Think of it as a little spring-cleaning for your favorite browser on your desktop or mobile device.
But how do you clear your cache? Good question. Listed below are the steps to perform this for your favorite desktop or mobile browser.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Internet Explorer 11 or above:
- At the top of the page, click the Gear menu, under Browsing History click Delete.
- Click the box for Temporary Internet files > confirm with Yes
- Click the box for Cookies files > confirm with Yes
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Mozilla Firefox:
- At the top of the page, click the 3 line menu, then select History from the list.
- Click Clear Recent History, then in the Time Range drop-down menu, select Everything.
- Click the arrow symbol next to Details to open a list of options.
- Check the boxes for Cookies and Cache.
- Click Clear Now.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Google Chrome.
- At the top-right of the page, click the three dot menu, then click History.
- Click the Clear browsing data button, then select the amount of time (e.g. today, last week, end of time) from the drop-down field.
- Select the Cached images and files checkbox, then click the Clear browsing data button.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Safari.
- At the top of the page, click the Safari > Preferences > Advanced. Select the Show Develop menu in menu bar checkbox (if not already selected).
- From the browser menu, click Develop > Empty Caches.
- At the top of the page, click the Safari again > Reset Safari >then Reset.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Internet Explorer 8 or above:
- At the top right of the page, click the three dot menu, then click settings.
- Under Clear Browsing Data, click Choose What to Clear
- Check the boxed for Cookies and Cached Data
- Click Clear.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Safari on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:
- At the home screen, tap Settings.
- Tap Safari.
- Tap the button for Clear History and Website Data.
- Tap Clear History and Data again to confirm.
Chrome for Android
To clear the web browser’s cache when using the default browser on an Android device:
- Touch Chrome menu > Settings.
- Touch (Advanced) Privacy.
- Touch Clear browsing data.
*Due to varied Android platforms this may vary. See your device guide for instructions
Once you clear your web browser’s cache, it is a good idea to completey close out and restart your browser for this to take effect.