How do I clear my web browser's cache?

A browser is a program used to access the internet. You will likely be familiar with one or more of the big four; Microsoft Edge (formerly Internet Explorer), Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari which is available on Macintosh devices.

In order to speed up your experience when accessing the internet, every browser has a built in mechanism which temporarily stores certain information on your hard drive. This is done each time you visit a new page. The information is then called upon every subsequent visit which makes it load faster and helps to save bandwidth.

Sometimes the cached content of a particular site is superseded by more recent updates but the browser may still try to load in the outdated information. This can lead to visual conflicts and functionality problems with the website in question. This is a common problem for web developers trying to show their clients updates to an existing website.

Flushing the cached information from the browser program is a quick and easy way to resolve these conflicts. What follows is instructions on how to do this for all the major browsers.

Skip to instructions for Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari desktop, Safari iOS, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Android browsers

Google Chrome

Via keyboard short cut 

  1. Press Ctrl (or Cmd on Mac) + Shift + Backspace.
  2. Select the 'Cached images and files' checkbox. Uncheck 'Browsing history' and 'Cookies and other data', as it is preferable to keep this info intact.
  3. Press the 'Clear data' button in the bottom right.

Via the browser menu

  1. Select the Chrome menu from the browser toolbar. This is the three dots icon which sits on on the right hand side of the toolbar.
  2. Select More Tools.
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. Follow steps 2 and 3 from the 'keyboard short cut' list above.

Microsoft Edge

Via keyboard short cut 

  1. Press the keys Ctrl + Shift + Del.
  2. A new Window opens. Select the option "Temporary services and files".
  3. Confirm by selecting the "Delete" button.

Via the browser menu

  1. Select the "Hub" symbol in the main menu.
  2. Browse to "History".
  3. Select "Delete the whole History".
  4. Check the option "Temporary services and files".
  5. Confirm by selecting the "Delete" button.

Safari - Mac and Windows desktop

  1. On both the Mac and Windows you need to find the Reset Safari option. On Mac go to the Safari context menu. On Windows select the menu which is a cog icon situated on the right hand side of the toolbar.
  2. Uncheck all boxes except for the one labelled 'Remove all website data'.
  3. Select the Reset button.

Safari - iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad

  1. Select settings from the home page.
  2. Scroll down until you see Safari and select.
  3. Select Advanced which is the last option on the screen.
  4. Select the first option Website Data.
  5. Select Remove All Website Data which is the last option on the screen.

Internet Explorer 9, 10, 11

  1. Select the settings menu which is a cog icon situated on the right hand side of the toolbar.
  2. Select Safety.
  3. Select Delete browsing history...
  4. There are multiple check boxes but make sure that the only one selected is Temporary Internet Files.
  5. Select the Delete button.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. On the PC version, open the Firefox menu bar from the top left corner. Select Preferences...
  2. On the Mac version select Firefox from the context menu and select Preferences...
  3. Select the Advanced panel.
  4. Select the Network tab.
  5. Under the heading Cached Web Content, select Clear Now.

Android phone browser

  1. Open the browser.
  2. Select the Menu button.
  3. Select More Options.
  4. Select Settings
  5. Select Clear Cache. You'll be shown a verification menu. depending on the version of your device select Okay or Clear Cache.

Author Nick Tabram. First published Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:18:00 +0000

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