The cache of any Internet browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, is an area on your disk that the respective browser uses to store (cache) items that comprise a web page, such as text and graphics. The browser can and does refer to this cache when you re-visit a page, or simply click the back button of the browser to return to a previous page. The one issue with the cache, however, is that it is a finite amount of space, and once it fills up, older data needs to be removed. Also there are some known issues where browsers can fail to function as intended when that cache gets full, so it is a good idea to manually empty it from time to time. This is accomplished in different ways depending on the browser in question. Below are ways to clear the cache on some of the more popular browsers currently in use.
Internet Explorer (7 and above)
One needs to get to Internet Options and there are two ways to do this. The first is from within the browser itself, from the Tools menu, represented by either the gear icon, or the word Tools on IE’s Command Bar, or on the Menu Bar. Click Tools and then select Internet Options. In the pop-up window that will appear, look about a third of the way down and you will see Browsing History. Press the Delete button under that heading. You will be presented with another pop-up window that lists options for which files or settings you wish to delete. Select at a minimum Temporary Internet Files (that’s the cache), and then select delete.
The second option for getting to Internet Options is to go through the control panel/Network and Internet Connections, and then select Internet Options.
Internet Explorer 6
IE6 is basically the same, except when you reach Internet Options you need to look at the second heading on the pop-up window titled Temporary Internet Files. There you will see options for deleting cookies and files only; the other options are not present in IE6. Select Delete Files and the result will be the same; your cache will be cleared.
On Firefox’s Menu Bar, select Tools, then Options, and select the Advanced area. Click the Network tab. Under the heading Offline Storage, press the button marked Clear Now, and that will remove the files from Firefox’s cache.
Safari does not display the Menu bar by default, so to see it press the ALT key on your keyboard while Safari is running, and it will appear. From there select Edit, and then select Empty Cache. Alternately you can press CTRL+ALT+E (without the + signs). Either way you will be presented with a pop-up asking you to confirm that you wish to empty the cache.
Newer versions of Opera have the commands under the big red “O” on the left side of the browser. Click the O then select Settings, and then select Delete Private Data. A window will pop up asking you to confirm. Before pressing the Delete button, click the dropdown menu next to Detailed Options, and there you can choose exactly what data Opera will delete. Once you have made your selections, confirm your choices by pressing the Delete button.
Clearing the cache is a good idea if only to help keep things running smoothly. It is also a good idea if you don’t want others to see where you have been, which is especially helpful if you don’t want your significant other to see what gifts or vacation spots you may have in mind.
This article on clearing your browser cache was supplied by Jeffrey Semich from Constant Content.