How to clear your browser cache and cookies

(Pocket-lint) – If you’re having a problem with your browser, clearing your cache can be a quick and easy way to fix it, with some minor downsides.

You can clear your cache on all browsers, whether it’s a desktop computer, Mac or laptop, or even your phone. This logic applies to Chrome, Edge, Firefox and more.

In the following guide we explain how to clear your cache and remove cookies to solve any problems you may have.

What happens if you clear your cache and cookies?

When you visit a website, your browser automatically saves certain information. This can be useful if you visit a website regularly, as this caching can help the website load faster and give you a better user experience. Images, videos and certain parts of a website can be cached to improve loading speed.

At the same time, cookies store your specific user information, which can be useful if you are using a site that allows you to log into an account. Cookies are also used to show you relevant advertising and to customize your experience on the website you are on and across the web.

Clearing your cache and cookies will delete that information and may have repercussions. Websites you’ve visited previously may now load more slowly, and you’ll have to re-enter credentials even on websites that previously remembered you.

Force your browser to update

If you’re having trouble with a particular page you’re browsing, there’s a much simpler alternative to trying to clear your cache first.

This essentially forces a hard refresh of the page you are viewing. You already know that you can reload the page you are currently on by clicking the “Reload” button in the browser bar. However, this probably won’t solve your problem. So what you need is a hard update. This will fully refresh the page you are on, including clearing the cache for that particular page.

This doesn’t apply to the entire site, so it only helps with one page and not the entire site if there’s a major problem, but in most cases it works perfectly

For that there are different possibilities:

  • On Windows – if you are using a Windows machine, press CTRL and click the Reload button or press CTRL+F5 at the same time. If that doesn’t work, press CTRL+SHIFT+R.
  • On a Mac – if you’re using Safari on a Mac, click SHIFT and the Reload button, or press CMD+SHIFT+R on other browsers

How to clear your Chrome cache

If you use Chrome, it’s really easy to clear your browser cache in seconds. The quickest way to do this is to press CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE at the same time. This will take you straight to the settings you need to clear your cache and cookies.

Otherwise, you can access the cache settings from the Chrome menu:

  1. Click the three dots menu icon at the top right of the screen
  2. Look for the “More Tools” option.
  3. Open it and click on “Clear browsing data”
  4. Then you’ll have access to the tools you need to clear the cache
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Through these settings you can delete different things in a certain time range. By default, it’s 24 hours, but you can also choose to delete the last seven days or four weeks of browsing history, or all time. You can also delete just your browsing history, or just the cookies, or just cached images and files, or all of the above.

If you need to clean more aggressively, click the Advanced tab to clear other things like autofill form data, website settings, and more.

It’s worth noting that if you use your account to sync data across multiple browsers and computers, this process will also delete them. So you must first sign out of your account in Chrome before doing this.

How to clear your Firefox cache

Clearing your cache in Firefox is pretty similar to Chrome. The option to clear your cache is in the browser settings.

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To access these settings:

  1. First click on the burger menu in the browser and then on settings
  2. Look for “Privacy & Security” in the menu on the left.
  3. Then look for the “Cookies and site data” section.
  4. Click on “Clear Data” and then choose what you want to clear
  5. Click on “Delete”

You can also set Firefox to automatically clear your cache every time you close it. The settings for this can be found under “Privacy & Security” and then under “History”. Select that and you have no history saved.

How to clear your Microsoft Edge cache

Clearing your cache in Edge is a little different as it’s somewhat hidden behind other settings. To find it:

  1. Click the three dots menu button in the top right corner
  2. Click on “History”
  3. Then click on the three dots menu in the new history window
  4. Then click on “Clear browsing data”
  5. You then have the option of deleting various things
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Like Chrome, this browser gives you the ability to select different timeframes, including last hour, last 24 hours, last seven days, last four weeks, and all time.

You can then clear your cache, cookies, browsing history, passwords, and more. Choose what you want to delete, then click Delete Now.

Writing by Adrian Willings.

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