How To Clear Browser Cache

Even before page layout changes, you may see the old page layout contents because of the cache. Learn how to clear up browser cache.

How To Clear Browser Cache

If you are a developer or a designer: Cached pages can load old content, which will not show your updates properly. Even before some page layout changes, you will see the old page layout contents see know how to clear up your browser cache.

In most browsers, you can clear the cache from the Privacy or History area in the Settings or Options menu, depending on the browser. Ctrl+Shift+Delworks with most browsers as well.

How To Clear Browser Cache
How To Clear Browser Cache

While that hotkey combo works in most non-mobile browsers, the exact steps involved in clearing your browser’s cache depend entirely on what web browser you’re using. Below are some browser and device-specific instructions and links to more comprehensive tutorials if you need them.

What Exactly Is Browser Cache?

Your browser’s cache, pronounced like cash, is a collection of web pages, including the text, images, and most other media contained on them, that is stored on your hard drive or phone storage. Having a local copy of a web page makes for very quick loading on your next visit because your computer or device doesn’t have to download all of that same information from the internet again. Cached data in the browser sounds excellent, so why do you have to clear it?

Why Do You Have to Clear Browser Cache?

If you are a developer or a designer: Cached pages can load old contents, which will not show your content correctly. You will see the old page layout contents before some changes.

You certainly don’t have to, not as a regular part of computer or smartphone maintenance, anyway. However, a few good reasons to clear cache come to mind. Clearing your store forces your browser to retrieve the newest copy available from the website, which should happen automatically but sometimes does not.

You might also want to clear the cache if you’re experiencing issues with 404 or 502 errors. Among others, sometimes indicating that your browser’s cache have corruption.

Another reason to delete browser cache data is to free up space on your hard drive. Over time, the cache can grow to a really large size, so clearing it out can recover some previously used space. Regardless of why you want to do it, clearing your cache is accessible in all the popular browsers today.

How To Clear Browser Cache

Chrome: Clear Browsing Data

In Google Chrome, clearing the browser cache is done via the Clear browsing data area in Settings. From there, check Cached images and files (as well as anything else you want to remove) and then tap or click the CLEAR BROWSING DATA button.

Assuming you’re using a keyboard, the quickest way to Clear browsing data is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Without a keyboard, tap or click the Menu button (the icon with three stacked lines), followed by More tools, and finally, Clear browsing data…

See How to Clear the Cache in Chrome [] for more details.

Tip: Choose the beginning of time from the Clear the following items from the option at the top of the Clear browsing data window to ensure you get everything.

In Chrome’s mobile browser, go to Settings and then Privacy. From there, choose Clear Browsing Data. In this menu, check Cached Images and Files and press the Clear Browsing Data button once and again for confirmation.

Internet Explorer: Delete Browsing History & Clear Browser Cache

In Microsoft Internet Explorer, the browser that comes pre-installed on most Windows computers, clearing the cache is done from the Delete Browsing History area. From here, check Temporary Internet and website files and then click or tap Delete.

Like other popular browsers, the fastest way to the Delete Browsing History settings is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Another option is via the Tools button (the gear icon), followed by Safety and then Delete browsing history…

See How to Clear the Cache in Internet Explorer for a complete set of instructions. Tip: Internet Explorer often refers to the browser cache as temporary internet files, but they’re the same.

Firefox: Clear All History

In Mozilla’s Firefox browser, you clear the cache from the Clear Recent History area in the browser’s Options. Once there, check Cache and then tap or click Clear Now.

The Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut is probably the fastest way to open this tool. It’s also available from Firefox’s Menu button (the three-lined “hamburger” button) via Options, then Privacy & Security, and finally, the clear your recent history link from the History area. See How to Clear the Cache in Firefox for a complete tutorial.

Tip: Don’t forget to choose Everything from the Time range to clear: the set of options, assuming that’s the time frame you want to clear the cache over.

If you’re using Firefox’s mobile app, tap the menu from the bottom right and then choose Settings from that menu. Find the PRIVACY section and tap Clear Private Data. Make sure Cache is selected, and then tap Clear Private Data. Confirm with an OK. Firefox Focus is another mobile browser from Firefox that you can clear the cache from using the ERASE button on the top right of the app.

Safari: Empty Caches

In Apple’s Safari browser, clearing the cache is done via the Develop menu. Just tap or click Develop and then Empty Caches. With a keyboard, clearing the cache in Safari is super easy with the Option-Command-E shortcut.

See How to Clear the Cache in Safari [] if you need more help. Tip: If you don’t see Develop on your Safari menu bar, enable it via Preferences, then Advanced, followed by selecting the Show Develop menu in the menu bar option. Clearing the browser cache from mobile Safari, like the one on your iPad or iPhone, is accomplished in a different app. From your device, open the Settings app and then find the Safari section.

In there, scroll toward the bottom and tap Clear History and Website Data. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

Opera: Clear Browsing Data

In Opera, clearing the cache is done via Settings’ Clear browsing data section. Once open, check Cached images and files and click or tap Clear browsing data. The fastest way to bring up the Clear browsing data window is via the Ctrl+Shift+Delkeyboard shortcut.

Without a keyboard, click or tap the main menu button (the Opera logo from the upper-left-hand side of the browser), then SettingsPrivacy & Security, and finally the Clear browsing data… button. Check the Cached images and files option and then press Clear browsing data.

See How to Clear the Cache in Opera [] for detailed instructions. Tip: Be sure to choose the beginning of time option at the top, so you’re sure to erase everything!

You can clear the cache from the mobile Opera browser too. Tap the Opera icon from the bottom menu and then navigate to Settings > Clear… to choose what to delete: saved passwords, browsing history, cookies, and data, or all of it.

Edge: Clear Browsing Data

In Microsoft’s Edge browser, included in their newer versions of Windows, clearing the cache is done via the Clear browsing data menu. Once open, check Cached data and files and tap or click Clear. The fastest way to the Clear browsing data menu is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Another option is via the More button (that little icon with three horizontal dots), followed by Settings and the Choose what to clear button under the Clear browsing data heading.

See How to Clear the Cache in Microsoft Edge [] for more extensive help. Tip: Tap or click Show more in the Clear browsing data menu for additional items you can erase while clearing cached files and images.

To delete cache files from the Edge mobile browser, go into the menu using the right button and choose Settings. Go to Privacy > Clear browsing data and choose what you want to remove. You can pick cache, passwords, form data, cookies, and more.

Vivaldi: Clear Browsing Data

The Vivaldi browser is based on the Google Chrome browser, so clearing its cache is similar.

Like on Chrome, you clear the cache in Vivaldi via the Clear browsing data area. From there, check Cached images and files, and choose the beginning of time from the top menu. If that’s what you want to do), and then tap or click Clear browsing data. To get there, tap or click the Vivaldi button (the V logo icon), followed by Tools and Clear Private Data…

Also, like on Chrome and most browsers, the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut brings up this menu.

More About Clearing Caches in Web Browsers

How To Clear Browser Cache
How To Clear Browser Cache

Most browsers have at least basic cache management settings where. At a minimum, you can choose how much space you’d like the browser to use for cached website data. Some browsers even let you choose to automatically clear cache. As well as other data that might contain private information, you close the browser window every single time.

Check out the links to the more detailed information I provided in most browser-specific sections above. If you’re interested in learning how to do more advanced things with your browser’s caching system.

In most browsers, you can overwrite a web page’s stored cache without deleting all the cache collected by the browser. Essentially, this will only erase and replenish the cache for that specific page. This is usually done by holding the Shift key while refreshing.