What is the Browser Cache?

The browser cache is a temporary storage location on your computer for files downloaded by your browser to display websites. Files that are cached locally include any documents that make up a website, such as html files, CSS style sheets, JavaScript scripts, as well as graphic images and other multimedia content.

When you revisit a website, the browser checks which content was updated in the meantime and only downloads updated files or what is not already stored in the cache. This reduces bandwidth usage on both the user and server side and allows the page to load faster. Hence, the cache is especially useful when you have a slow or limited Internet connection.

Sometimes, cached versions of a website can cause issues, for example when the browser does not download a fresh copy, even though the site was updated since last caching it. Another evidence for a cache issue is when a website only loads partially or looks like it’s badly formatted.

How to Clear the Browser Cache

Google Chrome

  • Click the three dots at the top right of the window, then click “Settings”.
  • In the search box type “Clear browsing data”. Click on the “Clear browsing data” option that appears.
  • Select the time range that you want to clear. If you’re not sure, select “All time”.
  • Make sure “Cached images and files” is checked.
  • Click “Clear data”.

Safari

  • Click “Safari” on the top menu bar, then click “Preferences…”
  • Click on the “Privacy” tab.
  • Click “Remove All Website Data”.
  • Click “Remove Now”.

Mozilla Firefox

  • Click the three lines at the top right of the window, then click “Options”.
  • Click on “Privacy & Security” on the right
  • Scroll down to “Cookies and Site Data”.
  • Click on “Clear Data…”
  • Make sure “Cached Web Content” is checked.
  • Click “Clear”.
  • Click “Clear Now”.

Microsoft Edge

  • Click the three dots in the top right of the window, then click “Settings”.
  • Underneath “Clear browsing data” click “Choose what to clear”.
  • Make sure “Cached data and files” is checked.
  • Click “Clear”.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  • Click the cog symbol at the top right of the window, then click “Internet options”.
  • On the “General” tab under “Browsing history”, click “Delete…”.
  • Make sure “Temporary Internet files and website files” is checked.
  • Click “Delete”.
  • Click “OK”.