Tag Archives: temporary files

How to Clear Your Browser Cache & Why

Are you having problems seeing the latest up-to-date information on some websites? If so, it may be because you haven’t cleaned your cache lately—or ever.

What is a cache and why does it need to be cleaned?

Your cache is basically a storage unit for your Web Browser. It houses a bunch of files that accumulate on your hard drive every time you visit certain websites.  Why? It’s all about making your browser load faster.  Webpages have a lot of stuff – text and images sure, but also media like video feeds and audio players. The cache basically stores some of that data for you, on your computer. When you go back to a site, the browser accesses the cache and can pull up images and form data quickly from your computer, instead of having to re-download it from the Web.

It’s a good thing, but that doesn’t mean it needs to accumulate data forever.  Not only does this take up space, but – yeah – it can be a place where personal data gets stashed, not to mention the fact that the cache basically makes a profile of the websites you visit.

Additionally, if you don’t clean it out or refresh your browser, you might be seeing an older version of the page. In these cases, refreshing the page won’t help because the browser just looks right back into the cache to reload those cached images.  Normally this doesn’t matter, but sometimes the page displays dynamic data: shipping and form updates, as well as some life feeds can be interrupted by the cache.

How do I clean out my cache?

As with pretty much everything else, each browser has its own procedure for cleaning the cache. Fortunately, while some of them can be tricky to find, most of them are fairly quick and easy to do.

In fact, there’s a shortcut key. In any browser you can push CTRL + R to refresh the page. To go further though, you can do a refresh that forces the browser to ignore the cache.

shortcut_CTRL_F5If you’re goal isn’t to simply ignore the cache but to clear it out, follow the instructions below for your browser. You can also use these steps to access the data management and privacy settings of a given browser, letting you have more control over what gets logged and when. Continue reading