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This page is offers information about the web browser cache and presents instructions for clearing the cache on your own device(s).

 

  • About browser caching

    What is browser caching?

    Your browser cache is where little bits of websites are stored, or remembered, by your web browser to make those websites load more quickly next time you visit. This may involve keeping a copy of images or website code on your computer, so the web browser doesn't have to go and get them every time you visit.

    This process is partly determined by the website and partly by your web browser. Only things that are deemed "static" should cache, so for example the Google logo (which rarely changes) will store itself in your browser cache because you don't want your web search slowed down every time because you have to wait for the logo to load for each search you do.

    The browser cache for individual websites may be set by the website and can keep the images/code for only a few days or for over a year, depending on how often the site owner thinks the content will change.

    Another example would be the BBC New website - this may cache the background code that designs the page along with the BBC logo, but the individual news stories will not cache for more than an hour or so, because they want you to always load the latest version of the page which may be updated regularly.

    The more general term "caching" may also include cookies, which are used to remember aspects of you and your visits such as site preferences or who you are in relation to having logged into a site.

    Benefits of browser caching

    Web pages load more quickly.

    Login status is remembered: If you login to one page of Amazon and then look at another product page, Amazon remembers you are logged in and allows you to continue browsing/shopping. 

    Pitfalls of browser caching

    If a web page changes, your browser may still remember an older version.

    If a web page produces an error, which is then fixed, your browser may still remember the error rather than loading the corrected page.

    If you are on a shared computer the browser may remember you as being logged into websites or services. This may mean that someone could open up the web browser and still be logged into your email or Amazon account (This is not an issue if you do not share the same login as another person, so will only affect your personal devices where you simply allow another person to continue using them without logging in separately).

    Having a large browser cache, accumulated over months or years, can actually slow down your device and browsing experience.

    Reasons for clearing the cache

    You may need to clear your browser cache to resolve issues that you encounter with websites or services, such as:

    • Pages not refreshing
    • Services not loading properly
    • Logins not working or refusing access

    You may want to clear your browser cache, history and cookies to simply clear out redundant information, improve security on your device and to speed up your web browsing experience.

  • Clearing your browser cache, cookies and history (desktop)

  • Google Chrome

    1. 1. On your computer, open Chrome.
    2. 2. At the top right, click More (3-dots menu button).
    3. 3. Click More tools > Clear browsing data.
    4. 4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
    5. 5. Tick the boxes next to Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files.
    6. 6. Click Clear data.
    7. 7. Close this Settings tab.
  • Microsoft Edge

    To clear browsing data on your computer, make sure sync is turned off (select your profile image or icon at the top right of the browser window and choose to Log out). If you do not log out of Edge, then anything you delete will be deleted on all devices where you are logged in.

    Here's how to clear your browsing data in Microsoft Edge:

    1. 1. Open Microsoft Edge.

    2. 2. Select Settings and more (3-dots menu) > Settings (cog wheel) > Privacy, search, and services.

    3. 3. Under Clear browsing data, select Choose what to clear.

    4. 4. Choose a time range from the Time range drop-down menu (this ranges from the Last hour up to All time.

    5. 5. Choose the types of data you want to clear. There are a few options here and the list does scroll, so make sure you uncheck anything you want to keep. We would suggest that you start by deleting Browsing history and Cached images and files for now and see if that resolves any browsing issues you are having.

    6. 6. Select Clear now.

    If this does not resolve any browser issues you are having, you can repeat the steps and delete Cookies and other site data too.

    You can log back into Edge now.

  • Mozilla Firefox

    1. 1. Open Firefox.
    2. 2. Click the Menu button (3-bars button) and select Preferences.
    3. 3. Select the Privacy & Security panel.
    4. 4. In the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data.
    5. 5. You can uncheck the tick in front of Cookies and Site Data if you only want to clear the cache. Leave this ticked if you want to clear everything.
    6. 6. With one or more of the options selected - click on the Clear button.
    7. 7. Close the settings/preferences window and all of your changes will be saved.
  • Apple Safari

    In order to clear the browser cache in Safari, on a Mac, we first need to enable the Develop menu. When Safari is open, if you can see a menu item (at the top of the screen) called Develop, then you can jump staright to Number 5 in the instructions below.

    1. Open Safari.

    2. Click on the Safari drop-down menu and click on Preferences:

    safari_1,

    3. Click on the Advanced tab and tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar option:

    safari_2,  

    4. Close the Preferences window.

    5. Select the Develop drop-down menu and clcik on Empty Cache:

    safari_3,  

    6. You may want to also clear your browser history. Select the History drop-down from the top menu and then Clear History:

    safari_4,  

    Content in this section provided by: Clear the Web Browser Cache - Safari | Office of Information Technology (colorado.edu)

  • Internet Explorer

    1. 1. Open Internet Explorer.
    2. 2. Click on the cog-symbol in the upper right corner of the browser and open the menu Extras.
    3. 3. Select the item Internet options.
    4. 4. In the tab General you can find a section Browser history. When you click on the button Delete nothing is deleted yet, but a new Window opens with a list of items you can get rid of.
    5. 5. You can usually remove all checks except for Temporary Internet files and website files and History.
    6. 6. Click on the Button Delete to empty the browser cache and clear your browsing history. In comparsion to other browsers there is no option to select the time period. You'll delete all of the cached data.
  • Clearing your browser cache, cookies and history (mobile/tablet)

  • Android: Google Chrome

    1. 1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app.
    2. 2. At the top right, tap More (3-dots menu button).
    3. 3. Tap History > Clear browsing data.
    4. 4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
    5. 5. Tick the boxes next to Cookies and site data and Cached images and files.
    6. 6. Tap Clear data.
  • Android: Mozilla Firefox

    1. 1. Open the Firefox app.
    2. 2. Tap on the 3-dots menu (top right). If you can't see it, try swiping "up" on the page you're in; this usually reveals it along with the address bar.
    3. 3. Tap on Settings.
    4. 4. Tap the Clear private data item.
    5. 5. Choose what types of data to clear. There are lots of options here, but you should normally select at least Cache, Browsing history and Offline website data.
    6. 6. Tap Clear Data, at the bottom of the screen to delete the selected items.
    7. 7. Close the Settings.

    If this does not resolve any issues you are having with websites, you can repeat the steps and clear everything.

  • iOS: Google Chrome

    1. 1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Chrome app.
    2. 2. At the top-right, tap More (3-dots menu button).
    3. 3. Tap History > Clear browsing data.
    4. 4. Make sure that there’s a tick mark next to Cookies, Site data and Cached images and files.
    5. 5. Tap Clear browsing data.
  • iOS: Safari

    1. 1. From the home screen, go to Settings
    2. 2. Select Safari.
    3. 3. Toward the bottom of Safari's settings screen, tap the button for Clear History and Website Data.
    4. 4. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.
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