Clear Your Browser's Cache and Cookies

Overview

The page explains how to clear the cache and cookies in your web browser, with step-by-step instructions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer.

Information

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. 

Instructions for Clearing Cache and Cookies

Here are step-by-step instructions for several popular web browsers. These links jump to the corresponding sections of this page below:

 

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome

Accessing settings

To clear the cache and cookies in Chrome version 41.0, open the "Clear Browsing Data" menu by one of three methods:

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut

  • ⌘-Shift-Delete on Macs or Ctrl+Shift+Delete on Windows.

Method 2: Navigate Manually

  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"

Method 3: Specify URL

  • Copy and paste the following into the address bar:

chrome://settings/clearBrowserData

 

Clearing browsing data

After opening the "Clearing Browsing Data" window from the steps above:

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

  2. Select the checkboxes labeled:

    • Cookies and other site and plug-in data

    • Cached images and files

  3. Click the button labeled "Clear browsing data"

 

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Firefox

Accessing settings

To clear the cache and cookies in Firefox version 36.0.4, open the "Clear Recent History" menu by one of two methods:

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut

  • ⌘-Shift-Delete on Macs or Ctrl+Shift+Delete on Windows

Method 2: Navigate Manually

  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

 

Clearing recent history

After opening the "Clear Recent History" windows from the steps above:

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

  2. Expand the Details by clicking on the carrot button

  3. Under Details, select the checkboxes labeled:

    • Cookies

    • Cache

  4. 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 Opera

Accessing settings

To clear the cache and cookies in Opera version 28.0, open the "Clear browsing Data" menu by one of two methods:

Method 1: Specify URL

  • Copy and pasting the following into the address bar:

opera://settings/clearBrowserData

Method 2: Navigate Manually

  • Mac:

    • From the Opera dropdown menu, select "Clear private data"

  • Windows:

  1. Open Settings by pressing the keyboard shortcut Alt + P and then select "Privacy & security"

  2. Under Privacy, click the button labeled "Clear browsing data"

 

Clearing browsing data

After opening the "Clear browsing data" window from the steps above:

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

  2. Select the checkboxes labeled:

    • Delete cookies and other site data

    • Empty the cache

  3. Click the button labeled "Clear Browsing Data"

 

Clearing Cache and Cookies in Internet Explorer

Accessing settings

To clear the cache and cookies in Internet Explorer version 11.0.9600, open the "Delete Browsing History" menu by one of two methods:

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut

  • Ctrl+Shift+Delete

Method 2: Navigate Manually

  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"

 

Deleting browsing history

After opening the "Delete Browsing History" window from the steps above:

  1. Uncheck "Preserve Favorites website data" checkbox

  2. Select the checkboxes labeled:

    • Temporary Internet files and website files

    • Cookies and website data

  3. Click the button labeled "Delete"

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Details

Article ID: 33067
Created
Mon 7/10/17 12:33 PM
Modified
Tue 3/3/20 9:39 AM