Clearing Browser Cache

What is a cache?

The browser cache is used for temporarily storing assets from a webpage to your local computer, so that when you revisit that page in the future the assets are already downloaded – speeding up page loads. This feature was a big-time saver when internet speeds were not as quick as they are today, as you needed to download images and sounds less frequently when browsing through a website, due to them already being located on your computer.

Why would you want to clear your cache?

Due to the website being cached on your computer, if the contents of the website changes sometimes your computer may not be aware that the changes were in fact legitimate and instead it may load the cached content instead. If you are a web developer who constantly changes content on a page throughout development this can become a real hassle, as you may continue to see stale content over time – in this context it would be recommended to disable caching altogether.

If you’ve recently made changes to your website but changes are infrequent, then a one-time clearing of your local cache may help to view the website correctly and you can follow any of the guides below for future information.


Chrome: Clear Browsing Data

In this browser, you clear the browsing data via a setting ‘Clear browsing data’ in ‘Settings’.

Navigate to:
‘Menu’ – ‘More Tools’ – ‘Clear browsing data …’

Alternatively copy-paste the link below into your address bar and hit enter:

chrome://settings/clearBrowserData

For best results, choose ‘since the beginning of time’.


Firefox: Clear Recent History

In this browser the cache is cleared from ­the preferences menu. Navigate to the preferences by clicking the 3 bars at the top right hand side, then click ‘Preferences’.
From here then choose ‘Privacy’ – ‘History’ – ‘Clear your recent history’.

Before hitting ‘Clear Now’ use the arrow to expand the options and de-select everything but ‘Cache’. Change the time frame to ‘Everything’ and then hit ‘Clear Now’.


Safari: Manage Website Data or Clear Cache

There are 2 methods to clear the cache on a device running Safari (Mac only for this example).

Selectively clear per website

Open the Safari preferences from the Mac menu bar or by hitting ‘Command + ,’. From there navigate to the ‘Privacy’ tab and find the field ‘Manage Website Data …’.

From this listing you can either remove singular entries on a domain by domain basis or choose to remove the information from all sites stored.

Clear Cache (better for frequent access)

If you need to clear the cache often, then I would recommend choosing this option instead. Once again open the Safari preferences but navigate instead to ‘Advanced’.
On this tab check the box ‘Show develop menu in menu bar’ and close the preferences.

From then on whenever you wish to clear the cache, simply choose ‘Empty Caches’ from the ‘Develop’ menubar listing whenever you need to or better yet – choose ‘Disable Caches’.

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