Quick Tips: How to clear your cache

Written by Candice Underwood on 23rd November 2016

(Last updated 13th September 2017)

First thing’s first though, what do we mean by cache? It sounds technical, what is it?

“A cache (pronounced CASH) is a place to store something temporarily in a computing environment.”(Search Storage)

And what does it do?

When you visit a website your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Google Chrome) fetches all the assets (page content etc.) needed to display the page via the internet. A browser cache saves these assets (such as images) temporarily so when you revisit the page your browser doesn’t need to re-fetch them. This helps to speed up load times and makes browsing the web quicker.

A good example of this is a website logo, it’s likely to be at the top of every page on that site, so instead of downloading it for each new page you visit, the browser’s cache will enable it to be downloaded once and stored to display each time a new page is viewed.

Does everyone need to worry about their browser cache?

The short answer is no. The average person browsing the web does not need to worry about clearing their browser cache. It is usually only if you are editing a website’s content that you would want to check the updates, and so may need to clear the browser cache in order to view the changes immediately.

Why do we need to clear it sometimes?

Browsers aren’t perfect and can get confused. If a page has been updated, a browser may not know that it is now displaying out of date content.

For example, a website’s logo has been cached, but since then the logo has been updated with a new version. The browser doesn’t necessarily know that anything has changed, so by clearing the cache, you are forcing the browser to look at the newly updated page.

I’ve detailed step-by-step instructions on how to clear the cache in some of the most common browsers.

Desktop Browsers

Now onto Mobile Browsers

Chrome for Android

  1. Open the Chrome app

  2. Tap More More and then Settings

  3. Under "Advanced," tap Privacy and then Clear browsing data

  4. At the top, tap the dropdown under "Clear data from the."

  5. Choose a time period, such as past hour or past day. To delete everything, select beginning of time

  6. Select the types of information you want to remove

  7. Tap Clear data

Firefox for Android

  1. Open Firefox

  2. Go to Settings

  3. Select Privacy

  4. Select ‘Clear private data’ heading and then tap Clear now

  5. Select ‘Cache’ and ‘Offline website data’

  6. Press button ‘Clear data’

Default Android Internet App

  1. Open the browser

  2. Click the generic options button on device (e.g. on Samsung S3 Mini it is the bottom left button)

  3. Select Settings

  4. Tap on Privacy and security

  5. Tap the option to Clear cache

  6. Tap to OK warning dialog

Safari for iOS

  1. Launch the iOS Settings app

  2. Tap Safari

  3. Tap Clear History and Website Data

Chrome for iOS

  1. Launch the Chrome app

  2. Tap the Menu icon, which is shown as 3 lines, then tap Settings

  3. Tap Privacy

  4. Tap Clear Cache and Clear Cookies, Site Data

IE for Windows

  1. Open Internet Explorer

  2. Tap the More button

  3. Tap Setting

  4. Tap Delete history

  5. Tap Delete to confirm

I hope the instructions I’ve covered have helped, and you’ve managed to clear your cache successfully. If not, there are a number of more complex things which could be affecting your view, but we’ll have to touch on those at a later date.

by Candice Underwood