If someone keeps telling you to clear your cache, you shouldn’t ignore it. It is an important diagnostic when you are having issues with a website. If you don’t know how to clear cache, that’s okay! We’ll tell you the steps for how to clear cache for all major browsers – including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Opera – in this article.
Each time you visit a website, your web browser saves certain site data on your computer’s hard drive in your browser cache. Typically, this is a good thing. Browser cache helps speed up your browsing experience by getting rid of the need to download the same static resources each time you browse around a web page. For instance, it’s unlikely that a website’s logo will change. So it makes sense to store that website data in your browser cache rather than having your browser download it every time you visit a new page on the site.
However, after a while, your cache can cause issues with your browsing experience. That means it’s time to clear your browser cache. Just like you might need to delete cookies every once in a while, you also might need to delete your browser cache!
Why You Need to Clear Your Browser Cache
You will never know that your browser cache is happening. It is something that occurs behind the scenes and typically won’t affect your browsing experience. There are exceptions, however. For instance, maybe you make a change to your site, but you can’t see the update because your web browser is still showing you the cached version. Or, perhaps the cache has been corrupted and is interrupting the proper functioning of a web page.
So, anytime you encounter a problem on your website or another site, the first step is to clear your browser cache. It doesn’t always solve the problem, but it is a great first diagnostic step to take to rule out the browser cache issue before tackling more complicated causes.
How to Force Refresh a Single Page
But before you clear your browser cache, you can try this easy trick first called a “force refresh.” Usually when you refresh a page, your browser will serve you the cached version of the page, rather than downloading all the data again. However, you can bypass the cache and force a refresh by using a few keyboard shortcuts:
- Windows and Linux browsers: CTRL + F5
- Apple Safari: SHIFT + Reload toolbar button
- Chrome and Firefox for Mac: CMD + SHIFT + R
However, this strategy only bypasses the cache for the single web page that you are on. It does not touch the rest of your browser cache. If you are only having problems with a single web page, this is a great option. However, if you are having problems across an entire website, you will need to clear your entire browser cache.
How to Clear Cache for Google Chrome
To clear cache for Google Chrome, start by clicking the Three Dots icon in the top right of your browser window. Then, find the More Tools option and click Clear browsing data…. from the dropdown menu.
Or, you can use this hotkey combination: CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. THis will open up a new tab with a popup window called Clear Browsing Data. Make sure that only the “Cached images and files” box is checked. If you don’t, you might clear your browsing history, saved passwords, cookies, and more.
You also have the option of changing the timeframe if you like, though typically the default option of four weeks works well. Then, click Clear browsing data to clear your cache. Now, your Chrome browsing cache is empty!
How to Clear Cache for Mozilla Firefox
To clear the browsing cache for Mozilla Firefox, start by clicking the hamburger icon (the three lines) in the top right and selecting History. Then, in the menu that appears, click Clear Recent History.
You can also find this menu by using this shortcut: CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. A popup will open, and in the Time range to clear drop down menu, choose Everything. Then, check only the Cache box to avoid clearing other important browsing data. Finally, click Clear Now to clear your cache.
How to Clear Cache for Safari
There are two ways to clear your browser cache for Safari. If you are alright with clearing your entire browsing history, including cookies and web pages, then you can do the easy step of going to Safari, and Clear History. However, this will clear your entire browsing history!
If you want to empty only your browser cache on Safari, you need to go to Preferences, then Advanced, and then check the Show Develop Menu in the Menu Bar box. Then, go to Develop and Empty Caches to clear your browser cache.
How to Clear Cache for Internet Explorer
In order to clear your browser cache for Internet Explorer, start by clicking the Gear icon in the top right to see the Tools menu. Next, find Safety and click Delete Browsing History… from the submenu.
You can also find this menu by using the shortcut: CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. This will open a popup menu, from which you can select the “Temporary Internet files and website files” box to avoid clearing any important information. Then, select the Delete button at the bottom.
How to Clear Cache for Microsoft Edge
Here’s how to clear cache for Microsoft Edge: first, click the Three Dots icon in the top right of your browser window. Scroll down, and click “Choose what to clear.” Only select the Cached data and files box to make sure you don’t delete any important information.
You can also find this menu by using the “CTRL + SHIFT + DEL” shortcut. Then, select the Clear button at the bottom.
How to Clear Cache for Opera
To clear cache for Opera, click the Opera icon in the top left, then find the More Tools option. Select “Clear browsing data” from the submenu. Usually, you can set “Obliterate the following items from” equal to at least the last four weeks to fix the problem. Then, check only the “Cached images and files” box, then click the “Clear browsing data” button.
Now, you should know how to delete cache for all the major web browsers!
- How do I clear cache for Chrome?
- What is browser cache?
- How do I force refresh a page?
- Why do I need to clear my browser cache?
- How do I clear cache for Safari?