Clearing cache in a browser is an essential step in keeping things updated, helping the applications run better, clearing up some disk space and preventing user’s personal information to get into somebody’s hand. Let’s learn how to clear cache in different browsers. The quickest method to clear the cache in any browser is by hitting the combination of keys on the keyboard as Ctrl+Shift+Del on Windows OS. You can use the command+shift+delete key combination on macOS. This combination may or may not work depending on the type of web browser and operating system. However, there is also set of easy steps on different browsers for clearing the cache.
The presence of cache has its benefits, but not clearing the cache for a more extended period can lead to some issues like low disk space, possible private data theft, etc.
What Browser Cache Do?
The work of browser cache is to save the elements of the web page that you visited recently or the one that you keep on visiting again and again, like the homepage of a popular website.
The cache of your browser does not save the whole page as it is, but it stores static elements like images, logos, etc. It also stores passwords, credit card information, Autofill data, personal information entered before, browsing history, etc.
Cache do this so that the next time you visit that web page, it could deliver the results in much lesser time, as it is using the cache copy of the web page and not retrieving the page from the server. It saves a lot of time and also a turnaround trip to the server.
Well, now the question here is that if the cache is helping us in getting results faster, then why is it even needed to clear them up? Let’s find out the answer.
Importance of clearing the cache
For updated web pages
As the cache is showing you the copy of the web page that it might have saved a long time ago. In short, there could be a possibility that you may not see the latest page of that particular website.
Sometimes, this also leads to corrupted browser cache, which might cause 404 and 502 errors.
Freeing disk space
All the elements that a browser cache saves need some storage area. Disk storage is the area where all the cached data gets stored. Now if you don’t clear up your cache on a regular basis, then it will keep collecting the cache copies of various web pages and will lead to low disk memory.
So, to free up some memory, you need to clear cache from your system.
For protecting personal Information
For some websites, the browser cache also saves the private information like mobile numbers, login credentials, credit card information, address, etc. It could be harmful if you use a public computer in an office or any public premise.
Chances are higher for others to get access to this computer and possibly they can get the information quickly and misuse it. So, for protecting the leak of personal information, clearing up browser cache is important.
For enhancing the system performance
Due to the lot of information that is present in the browser cache, it slows down the system and applications. Because it acquires memory and RAM, this leads to slow down the system performance.
By slowing down the system means, it reduces the speed of data processing and data fetching kind of processes. Also in most of the cases, browser cache contains the data which the user is not going to sue in future.
So it is of no sense to store all this crap and compromise with the performance of the system. It’s better to clean up the cache and enhance the performance of the system.
How to Clear Cache in Desktop browsers?
Clearing cache is not a big task, just a few clicks here and there and you are sorted. But yes, it could be different for different web browsers. Here we are defining the cache clearing method for the most popular US web browsers.
Starting with the most popular one, Google Chrome, which is as on date used by 47.7% of the total earth’s population.
How to clear cache in Google Chrome?
- Open the browser
- Click on the Menu button in the top right corner (three vertical dots) of the browser and choose More Tools followed by clear browsing data
- Click on the Clear the following items from and select the period you want to delete the cache data from
- Now click the checkbox in front of different items per your wish
- Hit on the clear data, and it’s done
How to clear cache in Internet Explorer 8.0 and above?
- Open the browser
- Click on the setting button at the upper right corner
- Click on the safety button
- Click on browsing history
- Now selects different items which you want to delete
- Hit delete button
- Wait for the confirmation message
- After you receive the message, restart the browser
How to clear cache in Safari?
- Open the browser
- If you don’t want to delete the history, then you are required to enable the develop menu to clear the cache only
- To enable the develop menu, click on the Safari menu at the left top corner
- Now click preferences
- Go to the advanced tab
- Select the checkbox show Develop menu in the menu bar
- Now go back to the menu bar and click on develop
- Click empty cache from the drop-down menu that opens
- Restart the safari browser
How to clear cache in Firefox?
- Open the browser
- Head to the menu and click History menu and select Clear Recent History
- Here you will see time range to clear and details
- Choose time range per your requirement
- Expand Details Tab. Select whatever you want to clear
- Hit clear now
How to clear cache in mobile browsers?
Safari on iPhone or any other Apple device
- Open Settings app on your Apple device
- Find Safari and open it
- Now look for Clear History and Website Data and click it
- You have to reconfirm it
- Now close and open the browser once again to see the change
Google Chrome on iOS
Apple device does not handle any other web browser the same as it handles Safari.
- Launch Google Chrome app. Click menu at the top right most corner (three vertical dots)
- Click Settings from the menu
- Tap Privacy option
- Now tap Clear Browsing Data
- Choose what data type you want to clear
- Click Clear Browsing Data
- Close and open the browser once
There are different models of smartphone or device when it comes to Android. Some of them run on stock Android and some works on the customized version of Android. That’s why the steps to clear cache might differ depending on the model of your Android mobile or any other device.
I am trying to list down common steps which will work on most Android devices.
- Go to Settings and look for Application manager and tap it
- Now scroll and tap your choice browser
- Tap Clear Cache option
- Now close all browser window completely and reopen them once again
Google Chrome on Android
- Open Chrome menu from the top right corner (three vertical dots) and tap Settings
- Tap Privacy under the Advanced menu
- Now look for Clear Browsing Data and open it
- Choose desired Time Range and also what you want to clear
- Now tap Clear data
- Close and reopen the browser
Clearing up the cache doesn’t damage any of the data stored in the browser like bookmarks, home pages, downloads, etc. Cache clearing makes your browser feel that you have never visited a particular web page before and so it fetches the latest copy of the web page from the server. It is recommended to clear once in a while for keeping things updated and secured.