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How Do I Clear the Cache and Cookies in Chrome? Firefox? Safari? iPhone? Android? Internet Explorer? Google? etc.

Clearing cacheWhat is cache and why should I care? Your cache is used by your web browser, smartphone, and even gaming machine to decrease page loading time. By storing a copy of the page to load the next time you visit, your browser can skip the time associated with loading all the page’s objects and making database calls, something that happens every time the page is loaded. Typically the cache will clear on a page update – that is, when a page changes, your browser will reload the page’s objects and make new database calls to ensure you’re seeing the newest version of the page. However, sometimes caches get borked up and cause problems. That’s when you need to learn how to clear them. If clearing the cache doesn’t fix your problem, you may need to clear your cookies as well. We show you the quickest and easiest way to do that.

Use this menu to navigate around this page:

Why Clear Cache and Cookies? | How do I Clear My Cache? | What’s a Cookie? | How do I Clear My Cookies? | After Clearing Your Cache

Why Clear Your Cache and Cookies?

Another reason to clear your cache regularly is to free up disk space. This is especially the case if you are loading lots of media (video, audio) as that type of content takes up much more space then simple text-based web pages. It’s also possible that your browser will cache unwanted, malicious content from time to time (aka spyware). Your anti-spyware application should be able to detect these, and will often delete them for you, but it’s not a bad idea to manually clear your cache from time to time. The same thing goes for cookies.

How Do I Clear My Browser or Device Cache?

Below is a listing of techniques to clear the cache in the most common browsers, and in their latest publicly available editions (ie. not beta’s). If you’re on an older browser, the process should be very similar. In this instance, we recommend you upgrade however, for security. If for some reason you really don’t want to upgrade, or if your browser/device is not listed below, or you need more specific information, post in the comments and we’ll try and help you out with your specific browser or device. After clearing your cache make sure you close and restart your browser.

Chrome | Firefox | Safari | Internet Explorer | iPhone | Android | Google

How to Clear the Cache in Chrome

If you haven’t already, download the latest version of Google Chrome here.

How to Clear the Cache in Chrome Web BrowserBrowse to Chrome Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data… > Under “Obliterate the following items from” select “the beginning of time” > Check only the “Cached images and files” box > “Clear browsing data” button. See the screenshot at left for a visual representation.

How to Clear the Cache in Firefox

Before proceeding, make sure you are running the latest version of Firefox.

How to Clear the Cache in Firefox Web BrowserWithin Firefox, browse to the “History” menu > Clear Recent History > For “Time Range to Clear” select “Everything” > Click on “Details” to expand your options > Leave only the “cache” box checked > Hit the “Clear Now” button to clear the caches. It’s of course your option to check other boxes if you would like those things cleared as well, but proceed cautiously, especially with things like Active Logins, Offline Website Data, and Site Preferences. See the screenshot at right for a visual.

How to Clear the Cache in Safari

Before proceeding, download the latest version of Safari if you haven’t already.

Safari gets a little more confusing. The standard menu options only allow you you to clear both the cache and cookies. To do so, open the Safari menu and click on “Clear History” > From the “Clear” drop-down select “All History” and hit the “Clear History” button (caution: this will clear both cache and cookies!). To clear just the cache, you’ll need to first enable the Developer Toolbar. To do so, in your Safari menu browse to Preferences > Advanced tab > check the box at the bottom that reads “Show Develop menu in toolbar.” Next, in your Safari menu browse to Develop > Empty Caches. You’ll notice there’s a ton of other options here so proceed carefully!

How to Clear the Cache in Internet Explorer

First, download the latest version of Internet Explorer.

Next, open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon in the top right corner > Safety > “Delete browsing history” > from the drop-down select
“Temporary Internet files and website files” > Click the “Delete” button.

How to Clear the Cache in iPhone

The first step involves clearing the Safari cache, since that’s the iPhone’s native browser. If that doesn’t solve your issue, we recommend first simply resetting your iPhone by:

  • Holding down the home/sleep/wake button > “Slide to Power Off” appears > Slide to power down your iPhone > Wait until it’s completely powered down and then hit the home button again to restart it.
  • You can also do what’s called a Soft Reset by pressing and holding the home button for 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo. Your phone will reboot and restart. If none of these solve your issue, please comment below with details and we’ll try and provide more specific instructions to your needs.

How to Clear the Cache (and Cookies) in Android

We have a detailed video our web developer created for us that shows you, in under a minute, step-by-step how to clear your cache, and cookies, in Android devices. We also provide text instructions below for those that prefer that.

Browse to your Android’s Settings menu (the 3 dots/gear icon when you pull down your notification shade) > Find Apps/Applications > Select the app you’d like to clear the cache for (Chrome is the Android’s native browser) > and you’ll see the “Clear Data” as well as “Clear Cache” buttons. Click the latter to clear just the cache. To clear the cache for a specific website, visit Settings > Site Settings > Storage.  If that doesn’t solve your issue let us know in the comments!

How to Clear the Cache in Google

Chrome is Google’s web browser, so follow those instructions.

What’s a Cookie?Chocolate Chip Cookies

A browser cookie is a small file that stores details regarding your visit to the website, such as browser version, time of day, login details, etc. – this can be used to optimize your website experience. Think of the cookie crumbs as a trail that you leave as you travel the Internet. Oftentimes you’ll want to clear your cache and cookies to get a site working again. This is why we provide both instructions, although you’re welcome to clear just your cache at first to see if that helps your problem.

How Do I Prevent Sites From Setting Cookies?

Do cookies make you nervous? While cookies can optimize a user’s website experience, they can also be a privacy concern. Below are some quick instructions on how to customize cookie settings, and how to delete cookies, for the most common web browsers. Typically the settings we use for each browser are the same: we allow cookies only from the websites we visit directly (while blocking third-party cookies), and we will occasionally clear out cookies for individual websites if clearing the cache doesn’t fix our problem. What’s a third-party cookie? A cookie that is set by a website you’re not currently on. For example, this could be an ad server – if you’re visiting example.com and you see ads, those might be set by advertiser.com. These settings will allow cookies from example.com, but not advertiser.com (unless you later visit advertiser.com directly).

Google Chrome | Firefox | Internet Explorer | Safari | iPhone | Android

How to Clear Cookies in Google Chrome

Browser Cookie Settings for Google Chrome (Screenshot)

Browse to Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Content Settings > and then under “Cookies” select your preferences. We prefer to “Allow local data to be set” and check the box “Block third-party cookies and site data.” See the screenshot at left for the settings we use. Click on “Manage Exceptions” to allow an individual website to override these rules (either blocking or allowing cookies for that site). Click on “All cookies and site data” to delete cookies that have been set for individual sites (you can search by keywords in the domain name).

How to Clear Cookies in Firefox

Browser Cookie Settings for Firefox (Screenshot)Browser to the Firefox menu > Preferences > Privacy > and under “History” you’ll see various options (the screenshot at right contains our settings). We accept cookies from sites “until they expire,” but do not allow third-party cookies. We also elect to have Firefox remember our browsing, download, search, and form history – but that’s just because this is convenient for us. Feel free to uncheck those boxes for added privacy if you don’t have a use for these. Click on “Exceptions” to allow or block certain sites from setting cookies, and on “Show Cookies” to search for and delete cookies specific sites have already set.

How to Clear Cookies in Internet Explorer

In the Internet Explorer menu, browse to Tools > Internet Options > Privacy tab > under “Settings”, move the slider according to your desired cookie settings (all the way to the top to block all cookies, or to the bottom to allow all cookies, for example). Hit “OK” to save your settings.

How to Clear Cookies in Safari

Browser Cookie Settings for Safari (Screenshot)Browse to the Safari menu > Preferences > Privacy tab > and then select your option. We have it set to “Allow from websites I visit.” See the screenshot at left for an example. Click on “Remove All Website Data” to clear everything at once. You’ll also see the number of websites that are currently storing cookies. Click on “Details” to see which ones, as well as to delete individual cookies.

How to Clear Cookies in iPhone

Cookies are browser based, so you’ll want to clear the cookies of whichever browser you’re using on your iPhone. By default, this is Safari. Browse to Settings > Safari > “Block Cookies” (under the “Privacy & Security” heading) > and choose your preferred option (we like to use “Allow from Websites I Visit” (this blocks third-party cookies).

How to Clear Cookies in Android

Cookies are browser based, so you’ll want to clear the cookies of whichever browser you’re using on your iPhone. By default, this is Google Chrome. Browse to your Android Settings (3 dots/gear icon) > Settings > Site Settings -> Cookies to block all cookies, or just third party cookies. Checkout the video in the Android cache section above as our web developer Dane takes you through this step-by-step.

After Clearing Your Cache – Restart and Force Refresh

Once you’ve cleared your cache, make sure to reload the page you’re on. In some instances, you may also need to restart your browser, or force refresh the page by holding down the Ctrl (Command on Apple devices) key on your keyboard and hitting the R (for “Refresh”) or F5 keys. This is also available in your browser’s menu item.

Did we solve your cache and cookie problems? If not, what’s still bugging you?

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About Alex Schenker
Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.
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  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much – it worked and I can now access gmail.

  • Anonymous

    Hi!!!
    Thanks a lot! Very useful and easy of access information and it come in handy!!! I tried to install and turned to the torrent search engine in order to download file, but only here I understood exactly what must to do!!

  • Anonymous

    I was looking for something like this. Thanks!

    The afternoon saw very active participation of the Open Source community members and the effort put in by the speakers was mind blowing. Attendees all the way from Vijayawada and Solapur came in to attend the event. The atmosphere was so full of energy that even the attendees delivered impromptu talk sessions on the technology or the project of their interest.

  • Anonymous

    The other way is to use portable versions – you have more control in this case.

    I’m going to use portable versions to test my dom and date sites.

  • Anonymous

    Can not delete Browser History due to the button to clear Browser History is NOT working (faded and nothing happens when clicking on it). I am using Internet Explorer 7.0. How do I adjust this problem so the key will work?

    • Alex

      If the browser history button is grayed out in IE 7, you may have Internet Explorer set to not capture any browser history, or it’s also possible that you do not have the necessary administrator privileges to access this setting.

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