Browser Cache: What Is It & How to Clear It?

Clear-Cache-Browser-Banner

Almost every piece of advice regarding how to fix a certain problem with your browser, at one point or another will ask you to clear your cache, history or data. All of these pertain to your browser cache.

What is the Browser Cache?

If you’re completely unaware of what the browser cache is, then to put it simply, the browser cache is a temporary storage space on your computer that contains display files from websites you’ve visited. The stored files range from HTML files, JavaScript, images, other media and CSS style sheets.

The purpose of this storage space is so that whenever you reload a website that you’ve been to once already, instead of the site attempting to load every facet from scratch using your internet connection, the browser almost instantaneously loads the files that are saved in cache straight from your computer’s hard drive. Significantly reducing the loading times of the websites you visit.

How Does Clearing Your Browser Cache Help?

So what if you’re trying to resolve a bug or an issue with your browser and you’re asked to clear your browser cache? You’ve probably asked yourself, how exactly clearing your browser cache will help solve the problem you’re having.
Whatever purpose you use your browser for, over time your browser cache will grow in size as it downloads and continuously stores more data the cache will fill up.

Usually, cached websites might cause problems if the browser fails to download an updated copy of it. Whenever a website undergoes an update but the cached version is stuck on the old version, browsing that site might start to display some problems. So, whenever you open a website and you notice that only half the website has loaded or generally looks off, in these cases your browser cache might be the center-cause of most of your problems. Which is why the go-to solution for most browser-based issues is to clear the cache from the get-go.

Although, you may set the size limit of your browser cache, when it grows in size and fills up, just like most storage functions, clearing some space usually helps fix some problems and gets things back up to their usual functioning speed.

How to Clear Your Browser Cache?

In order to have your browser re-download the data that might be displaying incorrectly in its current state, based on which internet browser you’re using, there are several ways to go about if you want to clear up the space that’s clogging and occupying the browser cache and I’ll highlight the three major browsers.

Google Chrome (Version 70.0)

Just as before, you need to click on the Customize and control Google Chrome button, marked by the three dots on the top right side of the browser, underneath the Close button. On the menu that pops up, click on the Settings button.

chrome-settings-button

You’ll be taken to the Settings tab, on this page you need to scroll all the way to the bottom and click on Advanced. From the resulting dropdown menu, in the Privacy and security tab at the very bottom, you’ll find Clear browsing data, click on it.

clear-browsing-data-chrome

 

From the menu that pops up, Cached images and files is the one you need to check before pressing Clear data.

Chrome-clear-data

 

This might help solve the problems your browser might be showing. On top of that, you may tweak the Time range to select how much data you want your Google Chrome to erase. You may also check the other available options in the Advanced tab on the Clear browsing data window if you think there are any other specific data that might be causing you problems.

Mozilla Firefox (Version 63.0)

The process is fairly similar to the previous two. First, you need to click the Open menu button at the top right corner, indicated by the three horizontal lines.
Then from the resulting dropdown menu, you need to click on the Options button.

Settings-Mozilla-Firefox
Click on Privacy & Security on the left side of the screen marked by the padlock icon. Then, scroll down to the Cookies and Site Data section and click on the Clear Data… button.

Firefox-Clear-Button
Then on the window that pops up, make sure Cached Web Content is checked then press Clear.

Popup-Window-Cache-Clear

This should potentially help fix the problems your Firefox browser might be experiencing.

Microsoft Edge (Version 40.1)

In order to clear the browser cache on Microsoft Edge, first click on settings and more, signified by the three dots on the top right corner, right below the Close button. Then you click on Settings at the very bottom of the list.

Settings-Tab-Edge-Microsoft
Afterward, scroll down until you see Clear browsing data and click on Choose what to clear.

Edge-Microsoft-Choose-to-Clear
From that list that follows, Cached data files is the one that occupies the majority of your browser cache storage space.
So in order to clear up any browser problems that you might be having, you need to tick the box next to Cached data and files and then press on Clear.

Edge-Cache-Clear-Button

You may also select any of the other options as well if it seems necessary.

Alternative Shortcut:

Regardless if you’re using Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, if you’re using Windows and going through the previously mentioned steps seems difficult, you can use a keyboard shortcut to bring up the window that includes the Browser Cache clear button.
Pressing [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Delete], will bring up the window through which you may clear your cache.
This shortcut works on all three aforementioned browsers.

Post Cleanup:

Now that you’ve cleaned up your Browser Cache whenever you open a new page, your browser will perform a fresh download of its files and reorganize its cache. So if the nature of your problem was based on your browser cache, then clearing it up, will most likely fix the problem.

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Garbis Vizoian
Garbis Vizoian
If Garbis is not in front of his computer screen, writing articles and exploring the world of WordPress and tech at 10Web, he must be painting Warhammer, playing video games or screaming his lungs out in his metal band.

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