“Clear your cache.”
“Clear your browsing history.”
“Delete your browser cookies.”

How many times have you heard at least one of these lines whenever you encounter difficulties in browsing the internet? Have you ever wondered why people automatically advice you to clear your cache every time you find yourself having internet issues? Most importantly, do you regularly do it?

Clearing browser cache may seem like a regular task that you don’t really pay attention to, but in reality, it is a beneficial practice that can significantly improve your browsing experience. To further understand the importance of clearing your cache, you need to have an idea of what goes on in the background every time you browse the internet.

Internet Browsing In A Nutshell

Think about it this way – Every time you go to a certain website, some essential data from that website get stored on your browser. So the next time you visit the same website, the loading time would be quicker as you already have a “copy” of some components that no longer needs to be fetched from the internet again. However, imagine how many web pages you visit in a day. The more websites you go to, the more cache and browsing history are stored on your browser. Then it will only be a matter of time before you start to experience loading issues and other browsing problems.

Cache Defined

It is also good to be familiar with how caching works in order to know how exactly it affects your browsing experience.

A browser or web cache is a temporary storage area that collects assets and temporary data to load a webpage faster. When you first visit a website, your browser will connect to the server that is hosting the site and request for the assets to be loaded up on your browser. This exchange will continue on until the website is completely displayed on your screen.

As this process requires bandwidth and load time, some assets will automatically be stored or cached on your browser. This helps lessen the resources needed to load up the website once you visit it again. It also reduces the waiting time required to completely download the assets from it. The expiration of these assets varies from one website to another. Some may expire after a few days while others may remain cached in your browser for a year!

Why Clearing Cache is A Good Practice

Though browser caching can make webpages load faster when you visit them again, you can’t ignore the benefits that clearing stored cache can provide.

  • Loading Issues – There may be instances when you would encounter different types of loading issues. Since clearing your cache is like refreshing the data stored on your browser, doing so may be able to resolve the loading issues that you’re dealing with.
  • To update the assets – It’s normal for websites to get maintained and updated. In order to ensure that you’re seeing the latest version of a website, regularly clearing your cache could help. Unless the assets expire or the cache is cleared, your browser may continue to display an old version of the page, avoiding you from getting access to the updated version.
  • Security issues – It is highly recommended to clear cache after using a public or another person’s computer to browse the internet. This is a way to prevent others from being able to have access to your private information (such as passwords and browsing history) that might have been stored in cache.
  • Slow internet – Though it is often connection problems that cause sluggish internet browsing, clearing cache has also been a go-to troubleshooting step in resolving slow internet.

Steps in Clearing Cache

The procedure on how to clear cache depends on the browser you’re using. Some browsers have a “Clear Browser Cache” option while others have a “Delete Internet History” option. Here’s a step-by-steps guide on how to do it on each browser:

  • 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 clearing your cache, close all browser windows, reload the websites you need to visit and experience a faster and safer internet browsing.