UmeWorks Blog

What is a Browser Cache? (And Why Should I Care?)

Posted on July 01, 2016 by UmeWorks in

Can’t see updates to your website? “Did you clear your browser cache?” Has your website designer asked you that?

Clients will ask me to make changes to their website, and when I let them know the changes have been completed, I often remind them to clear their browser cache to view the change.  Why? Because often they’ll say, “I don’t see the change,” if they don’t.

What is clearing your browser cache? And “How do I clear my cache?” is a question I often hear.

For those unfamiliar with what a browser cache, much less how to clear it, here’s a primer that might be helpful to you.

WHAT IS A BROWSER CACHE?

To help display web pages you’ve visited before quickly, your browser (such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) will store a copy of the page in your browser’s cache (pronounced /kæʃ/, like “cash” ). So when you enter that web site address (i.e., URL) again, your browser will serve up the version of the page you last visited.

Therefore, you may not see a recent change that was made on your web page. To be sure you are retrieving the most recent version of this web page after you’ve made updates, you can “clear your browser cache” so your browser goes out and displays the current version.

HOW DO YOU CLEAR YOUR BROWSER CACHE?

The instructions vary from browser to browser, so we’ve listed the steps for some of the commonly used ones. For those not listed, the steps are similar for other browser. Look for the similar menu items.

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GOOGLE CHROME version 47.0
1. Click on the settings icon in the top right corner of your browser window
2. Click on the “History” tab
3. Click on the “Clear browsing data” button
4. Select:
– timeframe you want to delete (you can use default of “the past week”
– check the boxes of your preferences (e.g., browsing history, download history, cookies, cached images and files, passwords, auto-fill form data)
5. Click “Clear browsing data”

MICROSOFT EDGE version 20
1. Click on the “More Actions” icon (3 dots horizontally) in the top right corner
2. Click “Settings”
3. About half way down the Settings pane, click “Choose what to clear” below “Clear browsing data”
4. Click boxes of items you want deleted (e.g., browsing history, cookies, cached data and files…)
5. Click “Clear” button

FIREFOX version 42.0
1. In the top menu (File, Edit , View….), click on “History”
2. Click “Clear All History”
3. Set time range to clear
4. Click items to clear (e.g., browsing & download history, cookies, cache, active logins, offsite website data, etc.)
5. Click “Clear Now” button.

SAFARI version 5.1.7
1. In top menu (File, Edit, View…), click on “History”
2. Click “Clear History”
3. Click “Clear” button.

iPhone 5
1. Go to Settings
2. Click on Safari
3. Swipe down to bottom of window and click “Clear History and Website Data”
4. Click “Clear History and Data”

Depending on how long its been since you last cleared the cache, it may take several seconds, or even minutes.

 

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