Web browsers often store some piece of web data temporarily to help improve users’ browsing experiences.
Browsers typically store static web content—website data that doesn’t change from visit to visit—in the computer’s hard drive and serve it to visitors when they revisit instead of loading it from the server.
Cached web data helps speed up the website, making browsing more seamless.
However, some cached data could get outdated with time and require clearing the cache to make the browser store the updated data. This article guides you on clearing the cache in different browsers.
So, let’s get to it.
Importance and Pitfalls of Clearing Browser Cache
Clearing your browser’s cache comes with some huge benefits and some pitfalls.
Let’s quickly examine them, starting with the former :
- Browser caching saves web data on your local hard drive, making browsing faster than retrieving them from the remote server.
- It reduces bandwidth consumption which helps decrease network congestion.
- Caching helps reduce remote server workload.
- Caching web content lets users obtain the cached copy when the server breaks down.
Now, here are some of the things we don’t like about browser caching :
- It only serves visitors the saved version in the cache, making visitors see the outdated version when the cached data fails to update correctly.
- The outdated scripts, styles, or files could lead to bugs, page display issues, or incorrect page loading.
- Browser caching could store sensitive data and private images in the local hard drive exposing them to criminals that can read cached files.
- Caching saves data on your hard drive, eating up your storage space.
Clearing Cache for Different Browsers
If you wish to clear cache for any major browsers, take the steps here to get it done.
To clear browser cache on Firefox, open the app and click the hamburger menu at the top right.
Open the Library side menu, then select History > Clear Recent History.
Select cache under the History section, the time range you, and other items you wish to clear, if any. Then, click the OK button to get it done.
Internet Explorer 11 is the app’s major version update, and according to Microsoft, the desktop application will go out of support for certain OSs from June 2020.
The company recommends Internet Explorer users to switch to Microsoft Edge.
Before making the switch, if you wish to clear its cache anytime, follow these steps to get it done—the steps work for versions 9, 10, and 11.
Open the application and click the Tools icon at the top right corner.
In the Tools menu, choose Safety, then click Delete browsing history.
Uncheck the Preserve Favorites website data option while leaving the Temporary Internet files and websites and Cookies and website data options checked.
Now, click the Delete button to apply the changes.
To clear the Microsoft Edge cache, open the app and click the ellipsis icon (…) at the top right corner to reveal a pull-down menu, then choose Settings.
Select Privacy & security at the left sidebar menu in the Settings, then click Choose to clear.
Check the Cached data and files box and other items you wish to clear, like browsing history, cookies, passwords, and others.
Then, click the Clear button to apply the changes.
To clear cached data for Opera browser, open the browser and press CTRL + SHIFT + DEL keys on your keyboard to open the Clear browsing data settings.
Check the items you wish to clear, select the time range, then click the Clear data button to remove the items from your browser cache and memory.
To remove cached data and files on the Chrome browser, launch the app, click the vertical ellipsis icon (⁝) at the top right corner to open the drop-down menu, then select More Tools > Clear browsing data.
You could also open the Clear browsing data settings by pressing the CTRL + SHIFT + DEL keys on your keyboard.
Just like in the Opera browser, check the items you wish to remove from your Chrome cache and memory on the pop-up and select the time range from the drop-down.
Now click the Clear data button to clear the items from your browser.
On the Safari browser, go to Develop > Empty Caches to clear the cache.
But if you couldn’t see the Develop menu in the menu bar, then take this navigation path to enable it for your device Safari > Preferences > Advanced > Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
Now, What Next?
After clearing your browser cache, also ensure to purge your computer’s local DNS cache, and here’s how.
Windows Operating System
If you’re a Windows user, then follow these steps to clear your local DNS cache:
- On your keyboard, press the Window key and R together to open the Run window.
- Select cmd from the drop-down and click OK to open the DOS command window.
- Type this command ipconfig /flushdns at the command prompt.
- Use the Enter key to run the command.
Windows will notify you after a successful purge, as shown below.
You can clear the local DNS cache on your macOS computers via the Terminal app. To open the app, click on Applications > Utilities > Terminal app.
Run these commands on the Terminal to flush the cache, of course depending on your Mac version.
For OS X Yosemite v10.10.4 or later:
- sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
For OS X Yosemite v10.10 through v10.10.3:
- sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache
For OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, and Lion:
- sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
For macOS X Snow Leopard:
- sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
When prompted, enter your admin password (that’s the password you use to log in to your computer) and hit the Return key to execute the command.
Wrapping It Up
Web browser cache helps users enjoy fluid browsing experiences.
Sometimes, the cache data gets outdated and requires purging. Thankfully, this article makes clearing cache on all major browsers intuitive and straightforward.
Follow the outlined steps to get started, and contact our support if you need assistance.