Clear Your Browser Cache in Common Browsers

If your website, or a website you're visiting doesn't look quite right, or if you've made changes to your website and they aren't showing up for you, clearing your cache is the first thing you could try - but not everyone knows how to do this, or what a browser cache is!

What is a Browser Cache?

Every time you visit a website, your web browser downloads data to display the webpage to you - most browsers will download files such as images, and store them on your computer so that the next time you visit that website, it doesn't need to download the images, in theory, speeding up the page load.

Most websites will have their static files cached on your browser for example images, cascading stylesheets (css) and Javascript (.js) files, however, depending on the website, they may have a configuration which instructs your browser to cache additional filetypes too.

The Hard Refresh

Before you clear your browser cache to attempt to resolve a website issue, we'd recommend you try a hard refresh (like a normal refresh, but your browser will attempt to retrieve all files again, rather than work from cache). This is page specific and will only pull resources (images, css etc) for that page, not the whole website.

  • Windows and Linux: Ctrl + F5
  • MacOS Safari: Hold Shift and click on the Reload button
  • MacOS Chrome and FireFox: CMD + SHIFT + R

This won't always work depending on the website, or specific issue you're facing, and if it doesn't, then it's time to look at fully clearing your browser cache.

Clear Google Chrome's Browser Cache

To clear your browser cache in Google Chrome, first you need to click on the 3 dots at the top right, then select More Tools, followed by Clear browsing data. Alternatively, press CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. The Clear Browsing Data box will now open.

Simply check the "Cached Images and Files" box and then click on the Clear Browsing Data button.

Your Google Chrome Cache will now be cleared.

Clear FireFox Web Browser Cache

The steps for clearing your FireFox Browser Cache is much the same as Google Chrome - it can be done in a few clicks.

Firstly we need to click on the 3 lines / burger icon in the top right followed by Library then on to History then Clear Recent History - to save time, you can instead press CTRL+SHIFT+DEL:

On the Clear All History box, check the "Cache" option, then click on Clear Now.

Your FireFox Cache will now be cleared.

Clear your Browser Cache in Safari

For Safari, there are a couple of extra clicks required because, as default, the option to clear just the cache (rather than all of your cookies, saved passwords, browsing history) is hidden.

Firstly, you need to enter the preferences menu then click on Advanced, then click on the Show Develop Menu option. Once done, click on Develop in your menu bar, followed by Empty Caches.

Your Safari Web Browser Cache will now be cleared.

Clear Internet Explorer's Browser Cache

Like the other main Windows based web browsers, Internet Explorer's cache options can be accessed by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + DEL, or if you prefer to click through the menus, in this case, it's the gear icon top right, followed by Safety, then Delete Browsing History.

Whichever method you choose, you'll then be presented with the "Delete Browsing History" options box:

Uncheck all of the boxes, apart from the Temporary Internet files and website files box and then click on the Delete button.

Your Internet Explorer Cache will now be cleared.

Clear the Browser Cache in Microsoft Edge Browser

Again, similar to the others, you can open up the cache clearing options quickly by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + DEL, or if you prefer, you can click on the 3 dots at the top right, followed by Settings, then Privacy & Security, and finally, click on the Choose What To Clear button. You will then see the options box for clearing the cache:

Ensure you uncheck all options apart from the Cached Data and Files option and then click on the Clear button.

Your Microsoft Edge Browser Cache will now be cleared.

Clear the Opera web browser cache

Let's finish up with Opera, once more you can use the CTRL+SHIFT+DEL shortcut to open up the options straight away. The alternative route is:

  • Click on the Opera Icon at the top left
  • Click on More Tools
  • Click on Clear Browsing Data

Once you've done that, change the dropdown box to at least 4 weeks, and ensure you've only checked the "Cached Images and Files" box, then click on the Clear Browsing Data button.

Your Opera Browser Cache is now cleared.

That rounds up our guide on how to clear the browser cache in the most popular web browsers. Whilst this will work most of the time, some webhosts cache files at the server-side too, if that's the case then you'll need to get in touch with your hosting company or webmaster and ask them to clear the server cache for you.

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