How to clear your browser cache?

Browser cache is the technology that downloads and stores website components for faster web processing and viewing in the future. It makes things run smoothly, reduces bandwidth use, and allows websites to load quickly. Even though its purpose is swifter web performance, browser cache can become corrupt and do more harm than good. Luckily, taking care of your browser hygiene is very easy. In this guide, we will discuss the importance of clearing your browser cache and how to do it.

What is browser cache?

Browser cache refers to a folder that stores recently downloaded web pages locally on your device. These files can contain any elements of websites – HTML documents, JavaScript code, graphic images, logos, and various other multimedia components. Each time you revisit a website, your browser first checks the information on the cache and downloads new files. Therefore, browser cache helps save time and resources. Your browser won’t have to re-download data from the server each time. Cache is especially useful if you have a slow or limited internet connection.

Why do you need to clear your browser cache?

Clearing your browser cache means that you remove all files currently stored in the cache folder. The next time you visit a particular website, your browser will download the information anew. Although caching ensures a swift browsing experience, you might want to clear it for several reasons:

  1. Maximizing performance. You can build up a sizable cache during browsing. Your browser cache can contain gigabytes of data, which occupy space in your low hard drive. Hence, the overflow capacity can affect the speed and performance of your browser as you go online. As a result, emptying the cache frees up some space and may speed things up again.
  2. Maintaining privacy. Your browser cache can store the credentials that you fill when logging in to various websites. It’s advisable to clear your cache regularly and minimize the chances of having your data stolen or used in other nefarious ways.
  3. Fixing errors. Sometimes, the cache can load up old data and fail to react to the latest changes on websites. As a result, your browser might display websites incorrectly by opening an older version. An empty browser cache forces your browser to retrieve new elements automatically instead of recycling the old ones. Also, clearing your browser cache can potentially help in the event of 404, 502, or other similar error messages.
  4. Accessing geo-restricted content with a VPN. Cookies and the information stored on your browser cache can help websites learn your actual location even when connected to a VPN. However, an empty cache means that websites no longer recognize your previous IP address and cannot pinpoint your location. Hence, by clearing the cache, you can enjoy different geo-restricted content without any inconveniences.

How to clear your browser cache in Chrome?

Desktop

  1. Launch your Chrome browser and click on the three horizontal dots at the top right corner.
  2. Hover your mouse over “More tools” and click on “Clear browsing data.”
  3. Choose a time range. To delete everything, pick the option “All time.”

  1. Check the “Cached images and files” box and tap on “Clear data.”

Android & iOS

  1. Open your Chrome app. Android users should click on the three horizontal dots at the top right corner. iOS users should find the three horizontal dots at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Select “History” and tap on “Clear browsing data.”
  3. Choose a time range. To delete everything, pick the option “All time.”
  4. Mark the “Cached images and files” box and tap on “Clear data.”

How to clear your browser cache in Firefox?

Desktop

  1. Launch your Firefox browser and click on the three stripes at the top right corner.
  2. Tap on “Preferences” and select the “Privacy & Security” panel.
  3. Locate the “Cookies and Site Data” section and select “Clear Data.”

  1. Check the “Cached Web Content” box and tap on “Clear.”

Android & iOS

  1. Open your Firefox app and click on the three stripes at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap on “Settings“ and in the “Privacy“ section, select “Data management.”
  3. Toggle the switch to select “cache”, and tap on “Clear Private Data.”

How to clear your browser cache in Safari?

Desktop

  1. Launch your Safari browser and click on its drop-down menu.
  2. Locate and click “Preferences“.
  3. Click the “Advanced” tab.
  4. Mark the box next to the “Show Develop menu in menu bar.” Close the “Preferences” window.

  1. Select the “Develop” drop-down menu. Click “Empty Caches.”

iOS

  1. Go to “Settings” and find “Safari.”
  2. Tap “Clear History and Website Data.”
  3. In the pop-up message, click “Clear History and Data” to confirm.
  4. Note that this removal will delete all cookies, browsing history, and other data.

After you clear your browser cache, you may notice that websites take longer to fully load. That’s because your browser needs to download the content again. Due to this reason, clearing your browser cache should be a regular, but not a daily procedure. Additionally, you should consider protecting all your online transactions and communications. A VPN is a necessity for securing your connection to the internet. If performance is your top priority, a VPN might also be the solution. For instance, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can limit your internet speed. With a VPN, you will connect to a remote server, and that will possibly make your connection faster.


Anton P.

Anton P.


Tags: browser