Clearing Web Browser Cache and Cookies

What are Cookies?

A web cookie is a small file that your web browser downloads from a website. This cookie contains information that the website uses to customize your visit. Cookies are able to track your online behaviors as you navigate through a site, such as which pages you visit, when you enter a site, when you leave a site, username and password info, etc. Most of the time, cookies are used to record your website viewing preferences and are useful for staying logged in to websites, saving shopping carts, etc.

What is a Cache? 

Your web cache shares similarities with cookies, but functions differently. Cookies save your user preferences and behaviors, and cache saves information about the web pages themselves. Both cache and cookies store data on your device, but while cookies expire eventually, you must manually clear your cache.

A cache stores copies of all data that passes through it, like HTML pages and images, and helps display a web page. When you first visit a website, it might take time to load all of the online content, like images or videos. However, once it’s saved to the cache, your subsequent visits will load faster.

Why do cache and cookies need to be cleared?

Sometimes a browser cache will display an outdated page. Sometimes you can simply refresh your browser and it will show you the most recent page. However, problems will begin to occur when your browser doesn't refresh to the most recent webpage. In that case, it's time to clear your cache and cookies. 

Directions for Clearing Cache and Cookies

Here are step-by-step instructions for several popular web browsers. 


Clearing Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome (Windows 10/11 & MacOS)

  1. Access the settings from a dropdown menu by clicking on the three vertical dots icon in the top-right corner of the screen, hovering over More Tools, and then selecting Clear Browsing Data.

  2. Click the arrow in the box next to Time Range to expand the menu and then select the desired time range.

  3. Next, check the boxes next to Cookies And Other Site Data and Cached Images And Files. You can also clear your browsing history here, too.

  4. Click the button labeled Clear data.

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Safari (MacOS)

  1. Click the Safari menu, then Clear History...

  2. In the Clear field choose All History

  3. Click Clear History.

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Microsoft Edge

  1. Click the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of browser window and select Settings

  2. From the left sidebar, select Privacy, Search, and Services.

  3. On the right pane, in the Clear Browsing Data section, click Choose What to Clear.

  4. A Clear Browsing Data box will open. 

  5. First, click the Time Range drop-down menu and choose the time period for which you want to clear the cache. Then, enable the Cached Images and Files option. 

  6. Lastly, at the bottom of the box, click Clear Now.


Article ID: 56647
Wed 6/27/18 2:00 PM
Mon 2/12/24 2:33 PM