Clearing Your Web Cache to Optimize Internet
The web browser cache within your browser is set by default to copy web data and elements from every web page you visit. This actually speeds up subsequent visits to the website as your web browser will be able to load the web page elements directly from your computer.
However, this data can accumulate and create such a long list of data files that it may contradictorily slow down your web browser. This may cause Internet errors that can crash or freeze-up your web browser.
For security and privacy reasons alone, it may be a good idea to clear out the cache every once in a while. After all, the Browser Cache is a prime target for malicious web code that may try to initiate within the Temporary Internet Files folder.
The cache may include web videos, pictures, emails, web page text, and even personal information that can be a security risk (ID Theft) if left lingering on a PC.
Unfortunately, clearing your Web Browser cache can actually slow your Internet speed since all of the saved web site files will have to be downloaded again instead of using the browser cache. A much more effective solution is to use an Internet optimizer download to fully optimize your hidden Internet settings. Using advanced network optimization technology, the cache is used much more efficiently to boost your web page load times, accelerate your downloading and surfing speed, while improving video streaming as well.
Did you know? Clearing your cache can fix Internet errors that may cause your browser to crash or freeze. An out-of-date web cache may very well be the problem.
WARNING: Deleting the Internet Cache (Temporary Internet Files and Browsing History) may remove saved passwords, logins, and other saved web data. To learn more (much more) on the browser cache, see Wikipedia's computing cache article.
We also show you how to change the disk space used to set the cache size and other settings further down the page.
Clear Browser Cache for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Opera
You may want to clear the Internet cache of other browsers for the same reasons as Internet Explorer. Privacy and security issues, or to solve a browser crash or freeze at a website due to old incompatible data files that need to be changed for the web site to display properly.
WARNING: Deleting the Internet Cache within any browser may remove saved passwords, logins, and other saved web data. Described below are quick delete methods, see your browser's Help section for more detailed control of your cache.
Clear Google Chrome Cache:
Click the Wrench icon at the top of the Google Chrome browser. Hover your mouse down to Tools and select Clear Browsing Data. You may also open the pane by pressing the Ctrl+Shift+Del keys together.
Next, simply select the items you wish to delete and make a selection for the time period. Then click the Clear browsing data button and you're in the clear - sorry, I couldn't resist.
Please note, the Other data tab deals with the Adobe Flash Player storage settings. A link is provided to visit the Adobe site where you can delete and adjust your stored data.
Clear Microsoft Edge Cache:
Click the Hub icon at the top right, then click the History icon. Find and click on the link that says, "Clear all history".
Next, you are given a number of checkboxes of items you would like to clear including the Internet cache - titled "Cached data and files". There's also a "Show more" link that includes a few more options to clear.
After choosing your items to clear, simply click the "Clear" button and you will be given a message stating it is clearing the data. After a few seconds (or longer if there's a lot of data) the "All Clear" message will appear and you're done.
Clear Mozilla Firefox Cache:
To clear the cache in Firefox 3, I clicked on Tools, then selected Options. Next, click on the Advanced tab (top right) and then click the Network tab. You'll see the amount of Offline Storage is set for your cache.
To the right is the Clear Now button. Clicking it will of course clear the Firefox Cache. You can also quickly Clear Recent History by pressing the Ctrl+Shift+Del keys together. Then choose the Details and check each one you would like cleared. Then click the Clear Now button.
Clear Apple Safari Cache:
Press the Ctrl+Alt+E keys together to open up a box displaying, Are you sure you want to empty the cache? Clicking the Empty button will clear the Safari Cache.
An Empty Cache option is listed within the Menu bar under the Edit tab, but it essentially leads to the same place. To get more control of the cache files in Safari, click the gear icon at the top right and select preferences, or press Ctrl+, (that's Control + Comma) on your keyboard.
Under the General tab, you can control history time period. The AutoFill tab controls usernames, passwords, and other forms. Finally, the Security tab gives you access to the Safari Cookie settings.
Clear Opera Cache:
Depending on whether the Menu bar is shown or not, there are 2 ways to delete the Opera cache.
(1) Click the red Menu tab at the top left of the Opera browser and hover down to Settings and then select Delete Private Data.
(2) If the Menu Bar is active, click on Tools and select Delete Private Data.
After opening the box with one of the above methods, click on Detailed Options and select the items you wish to remove from your computer. You can also Manage Cookies and Manage Passwords from here.
If you want to delete the items you selected, simply click on the Delete button. Of course, more detailed information is available by clicking on the Help button which will take you to the Help section of Opera's web site.
How to Clear Microsoft Internet Explorer Browser Cache
What if you don't use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer? You may still want to clear the Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer (IE) cache because those browsers are installed and embedded into the Windows operating system and there may be unneeded web data present. We already outlined how to clear the Edge browser's cache above. The following is a detailed guide to clear the cache in the older Internet Explorer browser which has obviously been replaced by new Microsoft Edge in the latest Windows versions.
Use these 5 Steps (detailed below this diagram) to Clear the Cache and Delete Temporary Internet Files for Internet Explorer.
Open Internet Options
If you are experiencing Internet errors such as slow Internet speed or your browser is crashing and freezing, clearing your cache using the following steps may solve a variety of browser errors and problems.
The easiest way to open up the Internet Options panel is to click the Windows Start button (bottom left of Desktop) and type inetcpl.cpl into the Search or Run box. You can also bring up the Run box by keeping the Windows key depressed and then pressing the R key.
Alternatively, open the Internet Explorer browser and click on Tools either in the Menu bar or the Command bar. If you don't see Tools anywhere at the top of your browser, right-click an empty space anywhere on the bar(s) below your browser's web address field. Then make sure Menu Bar or Command Bar are checked. When one of those bars appears, you should see a Tools option.
AND yet another path... the Internet Options is also located within the Windows Control Panel which you should be able to find in the Windows Start Menu.
To go straight to the Delete Browsing History panel, open Internet Explorer and press the Ctrl+Shift+Del keys together.
Launch Delete Browsing History Box
After the Internet Options pane opens, make sure the General tab is selected at the top left. If you enable the Delete Browsing history on exit (circled in diagram) it will always erase the saved web data every time you close Internet Explorer. Of course, only the data categories you select in the next step will be removed. I prefer to keep this unchecked to give me much more control over the deletion of web data.
Next, you simply click the Delete button to launch the Delete Browsing History box. It should be noted that Browsing History in this case means all of the saved web data on your PC associated with previously visited web sites - as opposed to the actual Browser History tab within Favorites which is a list of URL's previously visited.
Clear Browser History and Web Data
Now it's time to select the web data you wish to delete from your PC. To help you choose, we have provided a detailed description of each category. These are the ones listed within Internet Explorer 8, other versions should be similar or the same.
Please note: Deleting files through this Internet Options panel is the same as deleting files through the Recycle Bin. They are not fully erased and may still be fully recoverable by anyone with the technical know-how. To fully erase data from your PC, you would need a privacy eraser software solution.
Preserve Favorites website data: Checking this will over-ride all other categories and retain all of the web data just for the sites you have saved within the Internet Explorer (IE) Favorites. If you're not really concerned about privacy or you are confident in your Internet security setup, you may want to check this option to speed up access to your favorite sites.
It will keep the saved web data on your PC from all of your Favorites within the Internet Explorer web browser only - not other browsers. Login data, such as username and passwords, and other files from the web pages of your IE Favorites ONLY will continue to be saved for quick access from your drive.
Temporary Internet files: This is the main browser cache of saved files within the Temporary Internet Files folder. It contains web cookies, web page source code files, images, movie files, scripts, and any other data saved to load web pages faster on return visits.
In Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista, this folder is usually located at:
C:\ Users\ USERNAME\ AppData\ Local\ Microsoft\ Windows\ Temporary Internet Files
In Windows XP, the Temporary Internet Files folder is located at:
C:\ Documents and Settings\ USERNAME\ Local Settings\ Temporary Internet Files
Note: These are the most popular locations. However, depending on how your PC was setup, the Temporary Internet Files folder may be located in another location.
Cookies: Web data files known as Cookies are used by website's to save your login information, shopping cart data, preferences, and other details. Some advertising networks have given Cookies a bad name by using the data to track users online activities. I feel the convenience of my login and preferences being saved far outweigh the fairly anonymous tracking that takes place from a few bad apples.
History: This is the list of website's located in your Favorites section of the Internet Explorer browser under the History tab. Checking this will delete that list.
Form data: This will delete the saved information you have typed into any forms on website's. Not checking this can be particularly dangerous if you share a computer and leave your personal information for anyone to view. However, if you regularly fill out forms and like the convenience of the auto-fill function of IE, you may want to keep this unchecked.
Passwords: If you use the IE Saved Password function, you will NOT want to check this box. Checking this box will delete all of your saved passwords and you will have to input them once again into every site that requires you to login with a password.
InPrivate Filtering data: For those who use the Private Browsing feature of Internet Explorer, checking this will delete all of the accumulated information used by the InPrivate filter to determine which website's are sharing data about your surfing habits.
Click the Delete Button
WARNING: Deleting the Internet Cache (Temporary Internet Files and Browsing History) may remove saved passwords, logins, and other saved web data. Next, click the Delete button and the panel will close.
Then a small box will temporarily display signifying that the selected categories of files are being deleted. Now simply click the OK button in the Internet Options window and you have completed this tutorial.
We also discuss how to clear the cache for other popular browsers further down this page.
Set Cache Size and Other Settings for Internet Explorer
Control how Internet Explorer uses the Internet cache function to save website data on your computer. Discover how to be sure the web pages you are seeing are actually the most current up-to-date versions of that page. Also learn how to set the amount of IE cache disk space to use.
Use the 5 Steps detailed below this diagram
to adjust the Internet Explorer Cache Settings.
WARNING: Changing the Check for newer versions of stored pages to Never will always show old versions of web pages unless you manually refresh the web page every time you visit.
Open Internet Options and Click Settings
Open up the Internet Options panel - if not already open. How to open it is explained in more detail in Step 1 of the Clear Cache (other) tutorial above, but you can simply launch the Run box by keeping the Windows key depressed and then pressing the R key. Then type inetcpl.cpl and click OK.
After the Internet Options or Properties box launches, make sure the General tab is selected in the top left. Then click Settings, and continue to Step 2.
Stored Pages, Internet Cache, and History Settings
Take a deep breath... it gets a little wordy in this step. Now it's time to select the method for Internet Explorer to show web pages. Also, we will show you how to change the size of the Internet cache to suit your web surfing style.
Check for newer versions of stored pages:
Every time I visit the web page - Enabling this option will guarantee that the web pages you visit are the most up-to-date current versions. However, this may slow down your web browsing speed as all the data needs to come from the web site's server instead of your own computer's Internet cache.
Every time I start - If you enable this option, the Internet Explorer browser will only check the web page for a newer version only once during your session. If you go back and visit the same site again without closing your browser, the web site will then load from your computer's Internet cache. Once you close the IE browser, the next time you start it up, it will once again check for a newer version.
Automatically (Default) - By enabling this option, you give Internet Explorer full control over when to check to see if a web page has updated. IE uses a set algorithm to decide when to check the page based on a frequency of update pattern it has observed over time.
Recently, I was visiting a shopping site everyday, patiently waiting for a sale - then I realized that IE may not even show the changed page when the sale is posted, so I changed this setting to the above selection, Every time I start Internet Explorer. These days, you don't want to miss any sales.
Never - Only use this option if you want to be stuck in time. It will never check for newer versions of web pages and will continue to show you the old version until you manually Refresh the browser.
Did you know? Refreshing your browser manually does not guarantee the newest web page. You need to click Refresh while holding down the Shift key to make sure the browser loads the most recent page and content from the web site's server. This may also fix browsing errors for web sites that don't load properly for you.
Many errors are caused by outdated temporary files. Refreshing the browser is done by clicking the Refresh button which is near the address field at the top of your browser. It's the button with the 2 arrows. Another option to Refresh is to right-click anywhere on the web page (not an image though) and select Refresh from the Right-Click Menu.
Disk space to use - This is the amount of space to reserve on your drive for the Internet cache function to store the data from visited web pages. I prefer to set it at the highest recommended value, which in my case is 250 MB. You may want to reduce or increase the size based on your web browsing usage.
If you constantly watch large web movie files, you may want to increase it. If you just spend a lot of time online at mostly text sites, you may want to reduce it. To change the Disk space, simply click on it and type in your desired value. You may also click on the up and down arrows beside the number to adjust it manually.
Days to keep pages in history - Adjusting this value will tell Internet Explorer how many days to keep your history record of website's visited. The website's are located within your IE Favorites under the History tab.
Setting it to zero will only keep a list of website's you have visited today. Setting it to one, keeps it for today and yesterday, etc. The maximum setting is 999 days. I prefer zero days, since I just bookmark or add to Favorites, the website's that I like. Do you like this site? Hint, hint. ;-)
Click OK to Set Temporary Internet Files and History
Next, you simply click the OK button of the Temporary Internet Files and History Settings windows. Then click the OK button in the Internet Options or Properties box. Congratulations, you've finished this tutorial. If you use another web browser besides Internet Explorer, please see the section below on how to clear the browser cache of other popular web browsers.
Let me just say that I planned on writing a quick tutorial on clearing the Internet Explorer cache and it ballooned into this. Wow... what I thought was going to take a few hours, took much longer... too embarrassing to say how long it took actually. ;-)
I hope you learned a few things about the Internet cache and its' affect on how your browser displays web pages. By fidgeting with the cache settings of all the different web browsers, I certainly learned a lot. Thanks for reading. You can exhale now.
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