How to clear your browser cache

In this article, we take you through basic steps to clearing your browser cache, allowing you to remove any issues that may occur on websites that have recently updated. We want to ensure that clearing cache will not remove saved usernames, passwords or browsing data.

Written by

Jack Robertshaw

January 2021

Browser Cache: What is it, what does it do and how to clear it

In today’s post, we are looking at browser cache. What does it do? Why it is used on web browsers like Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome? We will also talk about the issues it causes us as a web agency and why you should clear your browser cache a bit more often.

What is browser cache and what does it do exactly?

The mechanics of cache is to reduce loading times when visiting websites. Each time you visit a website, data is stored within your browser which contains everything from images to links and text.

When you visit a website, your browser already has an idea of what to expect on the page. Where the text will be, what the image should display and so on. Because of knowing what to expect, your browser is already planning what to display on screen which as a result, reduces the loading time.

Why should you empty your browser cache a bit more often?

Everyone wants to load websites at a fast rate, which might be what encourages people to not clear their cache as often as they should. Cache, whilst it is there to help us, can also create problems. Websites are ever-changing, updating and evolving to create the best experience for the user.

This could mean that images, layouts and text could change. As your browser has already saved the website layout from a past visit, if anything has updated from that time to now, you may find that when you visit the website again, you won’t see the most up to date version. This can create problems for users not being able to use the website correctly. When clearing cache, it allows the browser to update it’s data with any changes the website may have made since the user’s last visit.

How to empty your cache without losing your saved passwords

Below we take you through basic steps to clearing your browser cache, allowing you to remove any issues that may occur on websites that have recently updated. We want to ensure that clearing cache will not remove saved usernames, passwords or browsing data.

Select your browser to jump to the section you need:

 


 

How to clear your cache in Google Chrome

Quick Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + r.

Open Google Chrome and click the 3 dots at the top right of your browser. Find ‘more tools’ and hover over this section. Several options will be presented. To clear the cache, select ‘Clear browsing data’.

You will then be presented with the option of what you would like to clear. For cache, ensure that only ‘Cached images and files’ are selected. You are also able to change the time range that you would like to erase. We advise choosing the last 7 days for clearing cache. If 7 days does not solve the issue, try 4 weeks. If you’re still having problems, try ‘all time’. Once you are happy with your selection, click ‘clear data’. Your cache has now been cleared.

 


 

How to clear your cache in Firefox

Quick Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + r.

Open up Firefox and click the 3 lined icon at the top right of your screen. This should bring up a popup window with several selections to choose from. Select ‘Options’.

Once you have clicked ‘options’ you will be taken to another browser window that will present you with 5 different header selections. Choose the ‘Privacy & Security’ header. This will allow you to change the privacy and security settings when browsing on Firefox.

Scroll down to the ‘cookies and site data’ section and click the ‘clear cache’ button. A window will popup asking which you would like to remove. In this case, we only want to remove the cached web content. Firefox only allows you to remove cache from all time unlike Chrome and Edge that gives you time intervals to choose from. Once you have selected this tick box, click ‘clear’. Your cache has now been cleared.

 


 

How to clear your cache in Edge (IE)

Quick Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + r.

On Microsoft Edge, at the top right of your screen click on the 3 dots icon. This should bring out a popup box which you need to then select ‘settings’.

This will then take to the settings page. From here, select the ‘Privacy, search and services’ tab which is the 2nd heading on the left. This will allow you to control various privacy settings including your browsing data, tracking prevention and of course, cache.

Scroll down to the ‘clear browsing data’ section and click ‘choose what to clear’. From here you will be able to pick and choose what you would like to be removed from your browsing data. To remove only cache, select ‘cached images and files’, select your time range and finally click ‘clear now’. Your cache has now been cleared.

 


 

How to clear your cache in Safari

In Safari, we first have to make one of the top tabs visible to access the cache section. First open up the Safari browser, at the top left of the screen select ‘Safari’ and then ‘preferences’.

You will then be presented with a popup window. Select the ‘advanced’ cog at the top of this window. At the bottom of the advanced selection, please ensure that the tick box which states ‘show develop menu in menu bar’ is ticked.

At the top of the browser, a new tab should appear called ‘develop’. Exit out of your popup window and click on the ‘develop’ tab. Scroll down to ‘empty caches’ and select. From this point, your cache has now been cleared. Simply refresh your browser and you are ready to go.

PS: Next time you will need to clear your cache, just use the keyboard shortcut: Alt + Cmd + e.

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