Do You Really Understand Browser Cache? Let’s Find Out

Last Updated: November 20, 2021

Geoffrey

Geoffrey

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If you find your internet browser slows down, clearing your browser cache is among the most popular ways to troubleshoot the problem.

This article will explain what exactly a browser cache is, why is it important, and share how to clear browser cache on different web browsers.

Let’s find out whether you know everything about a browser cache.

What Is a Browser Cache?

A browser cache is a storage location on your computer memory that contains files such as images, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript of a webpage. 

By having those files on your local computer, browsers will lower down the requests to the server. Hence, increasing loading speed when you visit the same website in the future.

Why Clearing Browser Cache Is Important

The cached data can save up your time loading a webpage. On the other hand, the stored files eat up space on your computer. If you don’t clear it for months or years, it will slow down your browser. 

In addition, the website’s files stored on your local computer won’t update automatically. So, your browser might not load the website’s newest version if you don’t clear the cache.

Another good reason to clear the browsing cache is security. Remember to remove the cached data and cookies when you surf the internet on public computers.

It prevents other computer users from tracking your browsing history or seeing personal data that you have filled in. 

Note that clearing cached data doesn’t mean that you will lose your browsing history. Thus, don’t hesitate to clear your browser cache every once in a while to enhance your browser performance.  

How to Clear Browser Cache

All browsers let you clear piled-up cache in a blink of an eye, however, the process slightly differs. To help you out, we have listed the steps to clear your browser cache using the five most popular browsers. 

Google Chrome

There are two ways to clear your cache on Google Chrome. The simplest one is to go to your history page, and click on the Clear browsing data option. 

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The next thing you will see is a text box like in the picture below – tick on the browsing data that you want to clear and set the time range. 

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The other way to access the clear browsing data option is to go to Settings and choose Privacy and Security. 

Firefox

The first way to clear your browser cache on Firefox is by going to the menu button at the upper right corner, and clicking History before proceeding to the clear recent history option. 

The other way to erase it is by choosing Settings on the menu button. 

Choose the Privacy & Security section, scroll down to Cookies and Site Data

Click on the Clear data button to choose which browsing data you want to erase. 

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Opera

Open the drop-down menu on your Opera by clicking on the button located in the right corner. 

Scroll down to the bottom until you find the Privacy & Security section. 

Click on the Clear button that is in line with the Browsing data option.

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You can also click on the Go to full browser settings option at the bottom. 

Choose Advanced, then Privacy & Security. Look for the Clear browsing data option. Then, erase your cached data after the pop-up is shown. 

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Microsoft Edge

Like the other browsers, you can clear the browser cache by going to the History or Settings page. Both of the options can be found on the menu button in the right corner.

If you choose to clear the cache via the History page, click on the three dots on the drop-down. Then, select Clear browsing data

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If you prefer going to the Settings, choose the Privacy, search, and services section. After that, scroll down a bit to find the Clear browsing data section.

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Safari

The first method to clear the browser cache on Safari is by deleting the browsing history. To do this, go to the Safari tab on your toolbar, then click on the Clear History on the drop-down menu.

You can customize the time range of browsing data that you wish to clear. 

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Another way to clear your cache on Safari is by clicking on the Preference tab on the toolbar, then choose the Advanced tab. You’ll see the box as shown below.

Tick on the checkbox under the Show Develop menu in menu bar

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After that, you’ll see the Develop tab on the toolbar. Choose Empty Caches on the drop-down menu. 

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Conclusion

A browser cache can help you load a webpage faster, especially when you have a slow internet connection. However, when it’s piled up, it can make your browser’s performance worse instead. 

In addition to the steps explained above, you can also clear the browser cache using shortcut keys. 

If you are a Windows user, click Ctrl + Shift + Del on whatever browser you are using. It will show you the clear browser cache’s pop-up. 

You can also bypass your browser cache instead of clearing it. Bypassing cache means forcing the browser to revert the download process of a webpage.

It can resolve failed loading problems of your browser without having to clear the cache.  

If you are a Windows user, use one of the following shortcut keys to bypass your browser cache: 

  • Ctrl + F5 
  • Shift + F5
  • Ctrl + reload button
  • Shift + reload button

If you use macOS, use the combination of Command + R or Shift + reload button to bypass cache. 

Regularly check your browser’s cache and clear it to have a great browsing experience on your computer.

Written by Geoffrey