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How To Clear Web Browser's Cache, Cookies, and History

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About cache, cookies, and history

Each time you access a file through your web browser, the browser caches (i.e., stores) it. By doing this, the browser doesn't have to newly retrieve files (including any images) from the remote web site each time you click Back or Forward. You should periodically clear the cache to allow your browser to function more efficiently.

A cookie is a file created by a web browser, at the request of a web site, that is then stored on a computer. These files typically store user-specific information such as selections in a form, shopping cart contents, or authentication data. Browsers will normally clear cookies that reach a certain age, but clearing them manually may solve problems with web sites or your browser.

A browser's history is a log of sites that you visit. When you press a browser's Back button, you are moving back one entry in the history log. Browsers will normally clear the history at regular intervals, but you may want to clear it manually for privacy.

Android

  1. Start your browser.
  2. Tap Menu, and then tap More.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Under "Privacy settings", select Clear cache, Clear history, or Clear all cookie data as appropriate, and then tap OK to accept (or Cancel to cancel) the deletion. 

For Firefox\Internet Explorer\Chrome\Safari you can Press Ctrl (⌘ on Mac) + Shift + Delete as a shortcut or follow the directions below.

Chrome

  1. In the browser bar, enter: chrome://settings/clearBrowserData
    If a pop-up window opens, skip to step 3. If not, click "Show advanced settings...".          

  2. Click "Clear browsing data...

  3. A pop-up window will appear. Select the items you want to clear (e.g., Browsing history, Download history, Cookies and other site and plugin data).
  4. From the "Obliterate the following items from:" drop-down menu, you can choose the period of time for which you want to clear cached information. To clear your entire cache, select the beginning of time.
    clear browsing data

  5. Click Clear browsing data. 

Firefox

  1. Open the menu by clicking the three bars in the top right of the screen.
  2. Click the "Options" button.
  3. Click the "Privacy" button on the left side of the screen.
  4. Next click "clear your recent history".
    Firefox clear cache

  5. From the "Time range to clear:" drop-down menu, select the desired range; to clear your entire cache, select Everything.
  6. Click the down arrow next to "Details" to choose which elements of the history to clear, then click "Clear Now".
    clear cache firefox   

Internet Explorer 

  1. Select Tools -> Safety -> Delete browsing history...

    internet explorer clear cache
  2. Make sure to uncheck "Preserve Favorites website data" and check both "Temporary Internet files and website files" and "Cookies and website data" then click "Delete".
    internet explorer cache clear

Further Troubleshooting for Internet Explorer

The above procedure for clearing cache and cookies should work for the majority of websites, but certain website and applications require a more thorough procedure. If you are still having issues, try to steps below.

  1. Click on Tools and select Developer Tools or press F12.  
  2. In the Developer Tools window, click on "Network" or Ctrl + 4.
  3. Under Network click "Clear browser cache..." or Ctrl + R.

Mobile Safari for iOS

To clear cache and cookies:

  1. From the home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.  
  3. At the bottom of Safari's settings, tap "Clear History and Data". Confirm when prompted.

    ios clear cache

Opera

  1. From the Opera menu, select Settings, and then Delete Private Data.
  2. In the dialog box that opens, select the items you want to clear, and then click Delete. 

Safari

  1. From the Safari menu, select Reset Safari.
     
  2. From the menu, select the items you want to reset, and then Empty Cache. Then click Empty.
     
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