What is Browser Cache?

When you first visit a web page, your browser will make a copy of it (or elements of the page) and store it on your computer.  Browsers do this because this is quicker than downloading each element of the page over again each time you visit the page.  It is quicker to fetch a copy of something from your computer’s hard-drive than to download it over the internet.

Why Clear Browser Cache?

Overall, browser cache is a good thing as it helps load web pages faster, though in some cases you may want to wipe the browser cache stored on your computer so you can download a fresh copy of a web page.  An example of such a case would be if you changed an image on your page to a different image, but you were still seeing the old image when you view the page.  In this case you would try doing a “hard refresh” (see below for how) and if that does not work, you would clear your browser cache.

How to do a “Hard Refresh”

A hard refresh attempts to bypass the cached files your browser has stored on your computer.  This is how to do this on major browsers.

  • Google Chrome & Firefox: Hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and press the “F5” key.
  • Internet Explorer / Edge: Hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and press the “F5” key.
  • Safari (Mac): Hold down the “Shift” key while clicking on the reload button.

How to Clear the Cache

Google Chrome:

  • Make sure you do not have the website in question open before proceeding.
  • Hold down the “Ctrl” key and press the “H” key.
  • Click on “clear browsing data” at the left side of the screen.
  • Set “time range” to “all time”.
  • Tick the boxes for “cached images and files” and untick all other boxes.
  • Click on “clear data”

Firefox:

  • Make sure you do not have the website in question open before proceeding.
  • Click on the three lines in the top left corner.
  • Click on Library –> History –> Clear Recent History.
  • Set “Time range to clear” to “Everything”.
  • Only tick the “Cache”, “Site Preferences” and “Offline Website Data” boxes.
  • Click on “Clear Now”.

Edge:

  • Make sure you do not have the website in question open before proceeding.
  • Click on the three dots in the top right corner.
  • Click on settings.
  • Under “Clear browsing data”, click on “Choose what to clear”.
  • Tick the boxes next to “Cookies and saved website data” and “Cached data and files”.
  • Click on “clear”.

Safari (Mac)

  • Make sure you do not have the website in question open before proceeding.
  • Enable the “developer” menu by selecting Safari –> Preferences, clicking the Advanced icon, then putting a tick alongside Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar.
  • A new Develop menu option now appears to the left of the Window and Help menu options.
  • Select “Empty Caches” on the Develop menu.
  • Then click File –> New Window to start Safari with a clean cache.

Once done clearing cache, try loading your web page again.

 

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