What Does “Clearing the Cache” Mean?
Your browser has a folder in which it stores certain items from websites as you visit them. This way, when you go back those items don’t need to be loaded from the website again. This makes web browsing much faster.
Photos, text styles and even entire pages are saved or cached. Some browsers refer to that as “Cache”, while others as “Browsing Data” or “Temporary Internet Files”.
Clearing your browser cache just means emptying that folder from those files, so the next time you display a webpage, everything will be downloaded anew. It is one of the first diagnostic steps we use, and we may ask a client to do that. Luckily, it is a simple thing to do.
TIP: Keyboard shortcut
If you are using Chrome, Edge, or Firefox you can quickly clear cache by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Delete (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + Delete (Windows) simultaneously. A window will open and contain the appropriate options.
Step by step instructions for all major browsers:
- Click the Tools menu (three dotted lines in the upper-right corner).
- Select History. In some versions, there will be a History option on the popup. Select History there again.
- Select Clear Browsing Data from the left-hand side. Set the Time Range to All Time. Check Cookies and other data and Cached images and files and click Clear Data.
- If on a Windows computer, close and re-open Chrome to save your changes. If on an Apple computer, go to the Chrome menu on the top menu bar and select Quit Google Chrome for the changes to take effect.
- Click on the Tools bar and selectOptions (on a Mac, go to Firefox > Preferences).
- On the menu to the left, select Privacy & Security.
- Under the Cookies and Site Data option, click the “Clear Data…” button.
- Select the two options and click Clear.
- If on a Windows computer, close and re-open Firefox to save your changes. If on a Mac, go to the Firefox menu on the top menu bar and select Quit Firefox for the changes to take effect.
- Select Safari > Preferences on the top menu bar.
- Click the Privacy tab.
- Click Manage Website Data…
- Click Remove All.
- Click Remove Now.
- Go to the Safari menu on the top menu bar.
- Select Quit Safari to close Safari and save your changes.
- Click the Tools menu (three dotted lines in the upper-right corner), and open the Settings menu.
- Click Privacy, search, and services on the left-side menu.
- Under the section Clear browsing data, then click Choose what to clear.
- Select Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files.
- Click Clear Now.
- Close Microsoft Edge completely for your changes to take effect.
Safari for iOS
- Go to the Settings app on your device.
- Scroll down to the Safari menu.
- Scroll down and select Clear History and Website Data.
- A pop-up will come up verifying that you want to clear the History and Data. Select Clear History and Data.
- The button for Clear History and Website Data will turn grey when the cache and cookies have been successfully cleared.
Chrome for iOS
- Open Google Chrome on your iOS device.
- Click on the menu toolbar in the bottom right corner.
- Select Settings.
- Select Privacy.
- Select Cookies, Site Data, and Cached Images and Files. At the top, set the Time Range set to All Time.
- Click Clear Browsing Data at the bottom of the screen.
- Then confirm by clicking Clear Browsing Data again.
Chrome for Android
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app .
- At the top right, tap More .
- Tap History Clear browsing data.
- At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
- Next to “Cookies and site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
- Tap Clear data.
Firefox for Android
- First, open the bottom right menu on Firefox and press Settings.
- Next, scroll down to the Privacy and security section, and press Delete browsing data.
- You can select exactly which data you want to delete, like history, cache, or cookies, and press OK to delete.