Clearing Web Browser Cache and Cookies

What are cache and cookies?

Cache consists of files (HTML, images, multimedia, etc.) from a webpage that are stored locally on your computer to allow your browser to display that webpage more quickly the next time you visit it. It is much faster to load and display a website using cached data for components that do not change (such as headers or themes) than to connect to the remote server and retrieve the full webpage. 

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.

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

  1. Access the settings from a dropdown menu by clicking on the three-horizontal-lined button in the upper right corner of Chrome

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the settings and click on the blue "Show advanced settings" link

  3. Under the Privacy category, click on the button labeled "Clear browsing data"

  4. In the "Obliterate the following items from" dropdown menu, select "the beginning of time"

  5. Select the checkboxes labeled:

    • Cookies and other site and plug-in data

    • Cached images and files

  6. Click the button labeled "Clear browsing data"

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Firefox

  1. Access preferences from a dropdown menu by clicking on the three-horizontal-lined button in the upper right corner of Firefox

  2. Select the Privacy tab and click on the blue "clear your recent history" link

  3. In the "Time range to clear" dropdown menu, select "Everything"

  4. Expand the Details by clicking on the carrot button

  5. Under Details, select the checkboxes labeled:

    • Cookies

    • Cache

  6. Click the button labeled "Clear Now"

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Safari

  1. To clear the cache and cookies in Safari version 8.0.4, click on the Safari dropdown menu located at the upper left corner of the screen

  2. From the dropdown menu, select "Clear History and Website Data"

  3. In the new menu, click on the dropdown menu labeled "Clear" and select "all history"

  4. Click the button labeled "Clear History"

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Internet Explorer

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of Internet Explorer

  2. From the dropdown menu, click on "Safety" then "Delete Browsing History"

  3. Uncheck "Preserve Favorites website data" checkbox

  4. Select the checkboxes labeled:

    • Temporary Internet files and website files

    • Cookies and website data

  5. Click the button labeled "Delete"

Details

Article ID: 56647
Created
Wed 6/27/18 2:00 PM
Modified
Wed 6/27/18 2:03 PM