You may have heard the term “cache” before as it relates to web browsers, but might not have an understanding of just what cache is. If this describes you, no worries–you’re not alone!
First, we should explain what a browser’s cache is not. It is not your web browsing history or the cookies websites place on your computer. Though, cache, like cookies and browsing histories servers to make your web browsing faster.
So what is cache? It’s a collection of files a website stores on your computer. A website is actually just a collection of thousands of files, including text documents and images. When we go to a website for the first time, our computer’s browser needs to pull every single one of these files from the website’s servers. This often slows down the loading time of a site the first time you visit it.
The reason the site loads faster the subsequent times you return to it is because the site has cached–or stored–some of its files locally on your computer. This means your web browser can quickly access these local files from your computer instead of having to download them again, which means the site loads faster.
Why Should I Delete My Cache?
The main reason you want to delete your browser’s cache is if you’re having certain issues with a website. Perhaps images are displaying right–or you’re having problems logging in.
This can many times be due to an old or corrupted cached file on your computer.
Alternately, if a website is displaying old content–it could be content that is actually cached on your computer, when the website’s server actually has a newer file, such as an image, that should be displayed.
If these or similar problems are occurring on a website you frequent, your first step should always be to clear your browser’s cache. 99% of the time this will fix the problem immediately.
Also, clearing your browser’s cache could help you reclaim space on your hard drive. I know of some people who haven’t cleared their browser’s cache in years and it was literally taking up gigabytes of space.
So how do you clear your cache? It’s a bit different depending on the browser you use. Find the steps below for the four most popular browsers.
How To Clear Cache In Microsoft Edge
- In the Edge browser, click on the 3-lined Hub button in the top right corner.
- Now click on the clock-shaped History button.
- Next, click on Clear History.
- Click on Show More.
- Select the Cached Data and Files checkbox.
- Click the Clear button.
How To Clear Cache In Google Chrome
- In Chrome, at the top right corner, click the More (three vertical dots) button.
- Click More tools, then click Clear browsing data.
- At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
- Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
- Click Clear data.
How To Clear Cache In Mozilla Firefox
- In Firefox, at the top right corner click the Menu (three horizontal bars) button.
- Click the Privacy & Security panel.
- In the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data.
- Check the box next to Cached Web Content.
- Click the Clear button.
How To Clear Cache In Apple’s Safari
- In Safari, select Safari>Preferences from the menu bar.
- Click on the Privacy tab.
- Click the Manage Website Data button.
- In the window that appears you have two options: click Remove All to remove all the cache from Safari. Or, select just the website or websites whose cache you want to clear and then click the Remove button.
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