While browsing the web, you suddenly find it challenging to log into a certain website. Or the website may not be loading properly. In this instance, someone will tell you to clear out the cache. Do you know what the cache is? Why is it important to clear it? How do you clear it? Well, we are going to answer all of these questions in this article.

What is a cache?

A browser or web cache is a temporary storage area for assets are store to make it faster to load a webpage. During the first time you visit a website, your browser will connect with the server hosting the site. It will also request the server to send some of the assets of the website so your browser can display the website. It will continue to send requests until the whole website is displayed properly.

The whole process requires bandwidth and may take time to finish. This depends on the size and number of assets of the website. To make sure the website will load faster when you visit again, some of the web assets are stored or cached. When you visit the website another time, it loads locally instead of downloading the assets again. The length of time these assets are stored is determined by the website. Some of them may expire after a few days while others will remain for a year.

Importance of Clearing the Cache

While the cache makes it faster for a webpage to load when you visit it again, there are instances when you would have to clear it. These instances include situations when the website experiences loading issues. You may also have to clear the cache when the website does not load the latest version or an updated version of the assets. For instance, if the logo of the website is already cached and there were changes in the logo, your browser will not show these changes until the cached assets expire.

There may also be instances when cached files do not match the updated files on the website. Due to this, the website will not be displayed properly. While there may be instances when the website itself has some issues, more often than not, you would have to clear the cache so the website will load properly.

Procedure in Clearing the Cache

Clearing the cache will depend on the browser you are using. Some browsers have a “Clear Browser Cache” option while others have a “Delete Internet History” option. The following are the procedures in clearing the cache of different browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  1. Press [CTRL] [Shift] and [Del] simultaneously.
  2. On the new window, you will have the option to choose the time range of the cache data you want to delete. You also have to delete all cache data.
  3. Check the box “Cached Images and Files”
  4. Click on the “Clear Data” button.
  • Microsoft Edge
  1. Press [CTRL] [Shift] and [Del] simultaneously.
  2. On the new window, select “temporary services and files.”
  3. Click on the “Delete” button.
  • Internet Explorer 11
  1. Press [CTRL] [Shift] and [Del] simultaneously.
  2. Remove all the checkmarks except for “Temporary Internet files and website files.”
  3. Click on the “Delete” button.
  • Mozilla Firefox
  1. Press [CTRL] [Shift] and [Del] simultaneously.
  2. Select the time range you want to delete. If you want to delete all files, you can select “All.”
  3. Click on the “Details” option and select the different types of data you want to delete. But, if you only want to delete the cache, put a checkmark on “Cache” and leave the others unchecked.
  4. Click on the “Clear Now” button.
  • Opera
  1. Press [CTRL] [Shift] and [Del] simultaneously.
  2. Select the “Since Installation” option to remove all the cached files
  3. Put a checkmark on “Images and Files in Cache.”
  4. Click on the “Delete Browser Data” button.

After you clear the cache, reload the website so you will see its updated version or deal with any loading issues you experienced.

The main benefit of caching is it will make websites load faster. But if you encounter loading or logging issues with these websites, you should clear the cache first, especially if you are the only one encountering these issues.