Clearing the cache in a web browser is essential for addressing almost any problem with internet browsing. The cache is storage that allows a computer to store some data about your browsing history. This tool is useful for improving the page loading process and finding the web pages you closed. However, it can decrease the loading time of web pages and slow down the overall performance of your computer. In addition, it may work against you if you don’t want anyone to learn about your browsing history. Therefore, you need to know when and how to clear cache files to protect your computer and privacy.
Why You Need to Delete the Cache Files
When you visit any website, your browser stores some essential data. These may include the following:
- basic information, such as the name and location of the page you visited
- data used to ensure online apps’ operation
- downloaded files
Since a regular user visits hundreds of websites every day, the cache can store an immense body of data. It means that it uses much disk space on your computer, which may slow down its operation. The more information is saved in the cache, the slower your browsing process will become. So, clearing cache is helpful if you experience loading or formatting issues on sites.
Privacy is another factor that may induce you to clear cache files. If someone has access to your computer, they can easily find information about your browsing history. Anyone including your parents, friends, significant others, employers, and even the authorities can use the cache data against you.
For instance, you want to organize a surprise party for your significant other. You’ve been searching for catering services or a suitable restaurant and spent hours finding the perfect gift online. Your significant other can quickly learn about your plans if they check the cache files. The smartest move would be to make sure that your computer does not store cache data. However, if you didn’t think about using advanced cache settings, clearing your cache is also a good way of keeping your secret.
When It’s Time to Delete Cache Data
There is a list of situations and issues that justify using the cache clearing option on your computer. Check the following list to know when it’s time to clear the cache files:
- The browser doesn’t load the new version of the web page
- The website looks like it has been wrongly formatted or not loaded fully
- The online experience has been significantly slowed down
- You have concerns about someone having access to your device
How to Perform Cache Clearing
Deleting cache data is easier than you think, even if you possess only basic computer skills. If you use Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Google Chrome as browsers, you can clear cache in a minute using a keyboard shortcut. Open your preferred browser and find Ctrl + Shift + Delete keys on the keyboard. Press them simultaneously and follow the instructions that appear on the screen. Don’t forget to close and restart your browser after deleting the unnecessary data.
There is another way of clearing cache using the settings on your browser. For example, if you are a Chrome user, follow these steps:
- Locate a three-dot menu at the upper right of the page
- Select “More tools” and find the option “Clear browsing data”
- Decide what data you want to delete, such as the download history, cookies, passwords, etc.
- You can clear all cache files or delete those saved for the last hour, day, week, etc.
Other browsers offer similar options – you only need to find the settings page. Cache clearing settings can typically be found in sections titled “security” or “privacy.”
Things to Remember After You Deleted Data from the Cache
After you clear the cache, you may experience some problems. For instance, if you were signed in, you will need to sign in again to access your profile. Moreover, some sites can work slower because the browser will reload content. However, these issues are minor and should not discourage you from clearing the cache occasionally.