How to clear your browser cache

Do you clear your browser cache regularly? If not, you should. Your browser cache is responsible for storing the data of previously viewed websites. While the purpose behind the cache is for quicker loading times of the sites you frequent, it can work against you over time.

Not only can it slow down your browser, but it makes your private info more vulnerable to breaches. For whichever browser you use, here’s how to clear your cache.

Why you might want to clear your cache

Clearing your cache might not be completely necessary, nor need to be done often. However, clearing your browser’s cache can prove fruitful for several reasons. First off, purging the stored data in your cache forces your browser to seek and retrieve the most recent webpage elements instead of recycling the same old components, whether they’re up to date with the developer’s standards or not.

Furthermore, resetting your cache will potentially help in the event of 404, 502, and other errors that may result from a corrupt cache. You can also clear any private data you have stored in the form of login IDs, passwords, and additional sensitive info you’d prefer not to save on your machine. It’s also a simple trick you can employ to shed any unnecessary data, which could slow down your browser.

Clear the cache in Google Chrome

Step 1: Launch Google Chrome and click the Chrome menu icon represented by three horizontal bars in the upper-right corner of the browser window, and click Settings near the bottom of the resulting drop-down menu.

Step 2: Then, click the link for Privacy and Security in the left sidebar. You’ll then want to look for the Clear Browsing Data option. Click it, and make sure the box for Cached Images and Files is checked. You can uncheck the other boxes for Browsing History, Download History, Cookies and Other Site Data, Passwords, Autofill Form Data, and so on … unless you also want to delete these at the same time for privacy reasons.

Step 3: When ready, select Clear Data to begin the process. If it’s been a while since you cleaned Chrome out, this step could take a long time, so schedule accordingly.

If you want to improve Chrome’s functionality now that the cache is cleared, here are our favorite Chrome extensions.

Clear the cache in Mozilla Firefox

Step 1: Open settings — Open Mozilla Firefox, click the button with three bars in the upper-right corner of the browser window, and select Options from the resulting drop-down menu.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Click the Privacy and Security tab located on the right side of the navigation bar and head to the Cookies and Site Data section underneath. Click the button Clear Data. You’ll want to make sure that the option for Cached Web Content is checked, and then press Clear. You can also check the box next to Delete Cookies and Site Data When Firefox Is Closed to do so automatically when you close the browser.

Clear the cache in Internet Explorer

Step 1: Open settings — Launch Internet Explorer, then click the gear-shaped Tools icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window and select Internet Options from the resulting drop-down menu. Doing so should bring up the General options tab, but if not, click the leftmost tab in the options window to access it.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Click the gray Delete… button within the Browsing history section near the bottom of the pop-up window. Check the box  Temporary Internet Files and Files — along with any other browser data you wish to clear — and click the gray Delete button in the bottom-right corner.

Clear the Cache in Safari

Step 1: Open settings — Launch Safari, click Safari in the upper-left corner of the main menu bar, and select the Preferences option near the top of the drop-down menu. Then click the Advanced tab located in the top navigation bar and check the box directly on the bottom that says Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar. Doing so will add a new menu to Safari by default.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Click the Develop menu near the middle of the upper MacOS menu bar and select the Empty Caches option.

Clear the cache in Opera

Step 1: Open settings — Launch Opera, click the Menu button in the upper-left corner of the browser window, and select the Settings option from the drop-down menu.

Next, click Advanced in the bar to the left-hand side of the screen. You’ll then want to click on the Privacy & security panel located on the left side of the resulting window and click the gray Clear Browsing Data… button near the top of the Privacy section.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Check the box Cached Images and Files, along with any other browser data you wish to clear. Then, select the time frame you want to erase — to completely clear the cache, choose The Beginning of Time — from the drop-down menu. Afterward, click the gray Clear Browsing Data button in the bottom-right corner.

Clear the cache in the new Microsoft Edge

Step 1: Launch your new Microsoft Edge browser (support for the Edge Legacy version of the browser ended on March 9, 2021, and we do not recommend using it). When it loads, choose the menu, which is three horizontal lines in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window. Click on Settings close to the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears.

Step 2: Select Privacy and Services from the left-hand side of your screen. From there, you will see the Clear browsing data option. Click the blue Choose button to finalize your selection.