What is Browser Data and the Importance of Clearing Your Browser Cache
As technology continues to evolve, so too does our reliance on our computers and mobile devices. But how often do you clean them? I don’t mean dusting or cleaning off fingerprints; I’m talking about making sure your device is quick and efficient.
When using your favorite web browser, files and webpages that you access are often stored (cached), to make pages load quicker when accessed again in the future. This is a standard feature in all web browsers. Sometimes changes to a website won’t be seen automatically, since the web browser is
accessing a previously cached version of the website, and not the most up-to-date version, also sometimes errors can occur because you are viewing an "out of date" version of the file. Additionally after enough time this can end up eating your disk space.
Clearing out a web browser’s cache does not damage any information stored in a browser, such as bookmarks or your homepage. Instead, it simply makes the web browser think that you have not visited a webpage before. The next time you access a webpage after clearing your cache, the web browser will load and display the most recent version of the website, since it won’t have any previous versions stored. Think of it as a little spring-cleaning for your favorite browser on your desktop or mobile device.
But how do you clear your cache? Good question. Listed below are the steps to perform this for your favorite desktop or mobile browser.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Internet Explorer 8 or above:
- At the top of the page, click the Safety menu, then select Delete Browsing History from the list.
- Uncheck all boxes.
- Check the box for Temporary Internet files.
- Click Delete.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Mozilla Firefox:
- At the top of the page, click the Tools menu, then select History from the list.
- From the Time range to clear dropdown menu, select Everything.
- Click the arrow symbol next to Details to open a list of options.
- Uncheck the boxes for Browsing & Download History, Cookies, and Active Logins.
- Ensure that the box for Cache is checked.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Google Chrome.
- At the top-right of the page, click the Chrome menu icon , then click History.
- Click the Clear browsing data button, then select the amount of time (e.g. today, last week, end of time) from the drop-down field.
- Select the Cached images and files checkboxes, then click the Clear browsing data button.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Safari.
- At the top of the page, click the Safari > Preferences > Advanced. Select the Show Develop menu in menu bar checkbox (if not already selected).
- From the browser menu, click Develop > Empty Caches.
To clear the web browser’s cache when using Safari on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:
- At the home screen, tap Settings.
- Tap Safari.
- Tap the button for Clear Cache.
- Tap Clear Cache again to confirm.
Chrome for Android
To clear the web browser’s cache when using the default browser on an Android device:
- Touch Chrome menu > Settings.
- Touch (Advanced) Privacy.
- Touch Clear browsing data.
Once you clear your web browser’s cache, it is a good idea to complete close out and restart your browser for this to take effect.