How to Clear a Browser Cache

Here’s another one of those “basic tech tips that are worth repeating” type posts …

Ghacks regulars know how to clear the cache of their web browser. I get support emails occasionally from new readers who do not know how to do that, or who, when asked to clear the cache, do not know how to do it. Telling customers how to clear the cache was a regular thing back when I worked in tech support, and it was not always easy to guide those users through the process.

Before we start with explanations on how to clear a browser cache, we are going to look at the cache briefly. What is it? Why is it there in first place? The cache is a temporary storage on your computer. It is usually located on a hard drive but can be moved freely around, for instance to removable drives or even to the RAM. Page elements are stored in the cache whenever you visit a website. This is done to speed up the loading times on your next visit, or if you navigate to another page on the website.

A basic example. Say you view ten pages on Ghacks. Instead of having to download the static Ghacks logo ten times you only download it once from the server. The logo is loaded from cache when you open the other nine pages of the website. This saves bandwidth and connections to the server which speeds up the display of the website in the web browser.

The cache can be the source of problems as well. This is for instance the case if I change the Ghacks logo after it has been stored in your cache. Your browser may display the old logo even though a new one has been uploaded to the site. While it is usually not a problem for logos and such, it could very well be problematic if you get a “site maintenance” information which does not go away, even if your friends are telling you that they can access the site again.

That’s why it is important to know how to clear the browser cache. Unfortunately, it is a different procedure with every Internet browser. This guide covers the five popular browsers Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari.

How To Clear A Browser Cache

Internet Explorer 8, 9 and newer

  • Click Tools > Safety > Delete Browsing History
  • Or, press Ctrl-Shift-Del
  • Or, click Tools > Internet Options > Delete
  • Or, open Start Menu, click Control Panel, select Internet Options > Delete

delete browsing history

Make sure Temporary Internet Files is selected. A click on Delete clears the browser cache in Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox 3.5, 4 and newer

  • Click Tools > Options > Advanced > Network > Clear Now
  • Or click Firefox > History > Clear Recent History
  • Or, press Ctrl-Shift-Del

clear recent history

Make sure Cache is selected in the options. It may also be switch the time range to everything to make sure that everything that is currently stored in the cache gets deleted.

Opera

  • Click Menu > Settings > Clear Private Data

clear private data

Make sure Delete Entire Cache is selected in the options before you click on the Delete button.

Google Chrome

  • Click Wrench > Tools > Clear Browsing Data
  • Or, press Ctrl-Shift-Del
  • Or, load chrome://settings/advanced and click on Clear browsing data

clear browsing data

Make sure empty the cache is selected before you click on the clear browsing data button.

Safari

  • Click Safari > Empty Cache

safari empty cache

Clearing the browser cache manually, Cache Locations

You can also clear the browser cache manually. It is usually not necessary but handy to know anyway.

Internet Explorer

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
  • Windows 7, Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

Mozilla Firefox

  • Windows XP: C:\Document and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\code.default\Cache
  • Windows 7, Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\ Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\code.default\Cache
  • Linux: /.mozilla/firefox/.default/Cache/
  • Mac: ~/Users/username/Library/Caches/Firefox/
    Profiles/code.default/Cache

Google Chrome

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\
  • Windows 7, Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache
  • Linux: ~/.cache/google-chrome
  • Mac: ~/Library/Caches/Google/Chrome

Opera

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Opera\Opera
  • Windows Vista, 7: c:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Opera\Opera\application_cache\
  • Mac: Check Menu > Help > About Opera.
  • Linux: Check Menu > Help > About Opera.

Safari

  • Windows XP: c:\Document and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\Safari
  • Windows Vista, 7: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\Safari
  • Mac: ~/Library/Caches/Safari/

© Martin Brinkmann for gHacks Technology News | Latest Tech News, Software And Tutorials, 2011. | Permalink | Add to del.icio.us, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
Post tags: , , , , , ,

Link to Original Content

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.