What Does That Mean? Clear Your Browser Cache

Clear Your Browser Cache

how to clear your browser cacheThe internet is a strange and wondrous place, but it is constantly changing. It’s hard to keep up. We are here to help by explaining “what does that mean?”

The most asked question we receive is why a website looks the same after we say we have made a change. The answer is simple…if you understand how to reload a page. And if you know what clearing your browser cache means. Many do not, so here’s a guide.

What is it?

All browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) have what is called a cache (pronounced: CASH). This is a repository of information from websites you visit. It is designed to improve the speed of your browsing experience. Holding the contents of a page in storage means the page will load faster when you return.

Why does it create problems?

The issue is when you want to see new information on the page loaded since your last visit. To illustrate, imagine you went to a media website. You click to a story and read it. When finished, you hit the BACK button on your browser. Under most circumstances, the page you see will be the same as when you visited it a few minutes earlier. But, what if some serious even occurred while you were reading the article? If the page was stored in your cache, you wouldn’t see the new information unless…

Reloading the page is usually enough.

…you reload the page. This is done by clicking the reload (or refresh) button on your browser. You can also click CTRL-F5 in Windows or COMMAND-R on a Mac. Most of the time, this will clear that page from your cache and give you any new information published since your last visit.

Additionally, after a period of time (typically, no more than 24 hours), the page will clear your cache automatically.

But, what if it doesn’t?

When that doesn’t happen — commonly when images or documents are replaced — greater measures must be taken. This is when you need to clear your browser cache. Fortunately, it is an easy process. But, it’s different for every browser. This website is an excellent resource for the step-by-step process of clearing your browser cache.

So, the next time you can’t see a page that you’ve been told was updated, try hitting reload or clearing your browser cache. It might save you (and us) an email exchange.