Welcome to the Byte Blog where we share our thoughts on design, technology, and occasionally, cats.
What is the Cache and Why Does it Need to be Cleared?
Browsers have a temporary folder where they store certain data, such as images, icons, or even entire pages. Whenever you revisit or refresh a page, the browser grabs these saved files and the page loads much faster. In most cases this is a good thing for us, but sometimes we don’t always want to reload these old same files. Clearing the cache manually is necessary to see any recent changes to the page or when new functionality has been added (like when you’ve made an update to the site and want to see it live).
How to Clear the Cache in Multiple Browsers
In the upper-right corner of Chrome, there are three dots signifying a menu. Click this, and find the option “More Tools”. This will open a submenu containing the option “Clear Browsing Data”.
When this option is selected, the browser will open a settings tab, and you should see this menu:
This dropdown allows you to select how far you want to clear your cache. Make sure that “cached images and files” is selected, and push the “clear browsing data” button.
While working on updating content, installing a clear cache shortcut is a good time (and sanity) saver. The extension for Chrome we use can be found here, but any should work.
To clear the cache in Safari select “History” from the top menu. Find the “Clear History…” option and select it. From here, this menu will pop up:
Push the “Clear History” button. Easy.
In the right-hand corner of the window, there is a menu icon that looks like three vertical lines stacked on top of each other. In order to clear the cache in Firefox, select the “Preferences” option.
This will open a preferences page, and on the left side there will be a menu with more options. Click on “Advanced” and select the “Network” tab. There will be a header that says “Cached Web Content”, under this will say how much space is currently being used in the cache. Click the “clear now” button next to this line.
Firefox has an add-on “Empty Cache Button” that clears the cache in one simple click, and can be found here.
Once downloaded, a small button will appear in the series of icons on the upper right hand side of the browser. By clicking this button, the cache will automatically refresh.
Internet Explorer 11 and Edge
In the upper right hand corner, there is a menu button signified by three dots in a row. In this menu, select “Settings”. This will open a second right-hand menu, look for “Clear browsing data” and click the “Choose what to clear” button.
This will bring you the “Clear browsing data” menu, make sure that the “Browsing history”, “Cookies and saved website data”, and “Cached data and files” options are selected and then push the “Clear” button.