In this guide, we’ll learn how to clear cache, history, and cookies from various desktop and mobile browsers. In addition, we will shortly overview what browser cache is and how it works.
What Is Browser Cache?
Browser cache refers to a temporary storage aimed at making websites load quicker. It works by saving static files in the local computer memory. This reduces the amount of request sent to the web server that holds the actual files and instead loads them from the local storage. Hence, by caching elements such as HTML, CSS, JS, and images, the browser dramatically reduces load time and resource usage.
What Is Cached Data?
Cache is a term used to describe a temporary storage. Thus, cached data is the collection of items saved within the cache storage location. Whenever a browser is requested for a specific file, it first checks if the resource is available locally. If not found, the browser sends a request to the corresponding web server and saves it as cached data depending on the file type.
What Does Clearing Cache Do?
Clearing browser cache removes all the data kept within the temporary storage. As a result, once you first access a website after clearing all the cache, it will take additional time to load. This occurs because no resources can be retrieved locally and all of them will have to be delivered by the corresponding web server.
Why Clear Cache?
The files gathered within the browser cache can take up quite a big amount of disk space over time. This may result in your browser working slower than usual and utilizing additional resources. Furthermore, outdated resources within the cache may cause you to see incorrect content. For example, you may have difficulty viewing new changes and updates made on a website. Thus, clearing the browser cache from time to time may help prevent such outcomes.
How to Clear Browser Cache on Desktop Platforms
Clearing cache is a relatively easy task on most desktop browsers. Let’s see how it can be done on the most popular ones.
- Access the side menu and navigate to History › History section.
- Select the Clear Browsing Data option.
- Choose the time range. Select All Time to remove everything.
- Pick what elements to clear – cache, cookies, history.
- Press the Clear Data button.
- Windows users can go to the clearing tab by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete.
- Mac OS users can use the shortcut by pressing Command+Shift+Delete.
- Open up the side menu and go to Library › History › Clear Recent History section.
- Select the time range. To clear out everything, go with the All Time option.
- Choose which elements to clear – cache, cookies, history among a few other.
- Click the Clear Now button.
- Windows users can use Ctrl+Shift+Delete to quick-access the clearing tab.
- Mac OS can do the same by pressing Command+Shift+Delete.
- Navigate to the History tab in the upper menu and select Clear History.
- Choose the timeframe. To clear everything, go with the all history option.
- Safari removes history, cache, cookies without the ability to choose only one.
- Click the Clear History button.
- Windows users can open the tab quicker by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete.
- Mac OS can perform the same action by pressing Command+Shift+Delete.
- Click the History icon located at the bottom of the left-side menu.
- Hit the Clear Browsing Data button.
- Choose the time rage. To delete everything, pick the beginning of time.
- Select which elements to remove – cached images and files, cookies.
- Click the Clear Browsing Data button.
- Windows users may click Ctrl+Shift+Delete on the keyboard for a shortcut.
- Mac OS can use the same shortcut by pressing Command+Shift+Delete.
- Navigate to the side menu on the upper-right side and go to Settings.
- Click Choose what to clear under the Clear browsing data section.
- Select the items you wish to delete from the drop-down list.
- Click the Clear button and wait for the process to finish.
- You also get an option do this automatically each time the browser is closed.
- You can click Ctrl+Shift+Delete on the keyboard for a shortcut.
How to Clear Browser Cache on Mobile Platforms
Mobile browsers utilize caching the same way as desktop browsers do. Therefore, let’s see how to clear cache on the most popular mobile device browsers.
Google Chrome (Android)
- Access the side menu and go to the History tab.
- Click on the Clear Browsing Data button.
- Pick the timeframe. To get delete everything, choose the All Time option.
- Select the elements you wish to clear – history, cookies, cache.
- Click on the Clear Data button.
Mozilla Firefox (Android)
- Go to the side menu and open up the History section.
- Click on the Clear Browsing History button at the bottom.
- Confirm the pop-up message by pressing OK.
Opera Mini (Android)
- Click the Opera icon at the bottom of the browser.
- Choose the wrench icon, which will take you to the Settings.
- Select the Clear Browsing Data option.
- Pick the elements that you wish to clear – history, cookies, cache.
- Confirm by pressing OK.
- Navigate to the Settings of your iOS device.
- Find the section for Safari and open it.
- Scroll down until you find the Clear History and Website Data section.
- Confirm the pop-up screen to remove everything.
Google Chrome (iOS)
- Access the side menu on the upper-right side and go to History.
- Click the button that says Clear Browsing Data.
- Select which elements to delete – history, cookies, cache.
- Confirm by pressing Clear Browsing Data again.
Mozilla Firefox (iOS)
- Open the side menu at the bottom-right side and go to Settings.
- Scroll down until you find the Clear Private Data section.
- Select the elements you wish to remove – cache, cookies, history.
- Click the red button that says Clear Private Data to confirm.
- Once you see the pop-up, click OK.
In this tutorial, we’ve learned how to clear cache on various browsers using mobile and desktop platforms. We’ve also overviewed what browser cache is and how it functions.
Keep in mind that in some cases, incorrect website content may not be the fault of browser cache. Many website creation tools, such as WordPress, have its own caching mechanisms that work from the server-side. In such a case, clearing WordPress cache would be required.