How to Clear the Cache & What Happens When You Clear the Cache
Every time you use the Internet, your web browser is silently saving all sorts of files and other information directly to your hard drive. This information is known as your browser's cache, and contains various traces of information and files collected from the websites you're visiting on the Internet. Browsers normally save things such as web pages, images, sounds and files known as cookies that save personal user data and preferences as you're browsing the Internet.
Saving files to a cache is designed to speed up the time it takes for your computer to load web pages, since it is generally much faster for a computer to retrieve and display files and information stored directly on a local hard drive than it is to download and display information over the Internet.
But over time the files stored in your browser's cache can really begin to take up a lot of space and can actually slow down your computer. By simply cleaning your browser's cache you can free up space on your hard drive, protect your privacy and generally speed up your computer's response time.
The good news is that clearing out your browser's cache is actually very easy to do, and it usually only involves a few mouse clicks. But because the steps are different for each browser, here is a list of a few of the most popular web browsers and the steps you will need to follow in order to clear the cache. If you are unsure what browser you are using, all you have to do is open your browser and click on Help on the menu bar located at the top of your screen. Click "About..." where "..." is the name of your browser. This will bring up a screen that will list your browser's version number, and some other information about your current browser.
Open the browser and click on Tools. Then click on Clear Recent History. It will ask you to determine the time range you would like to clear. Click on Everything. Then click on Details and select that you would like to clear only the cache.
Firefox 1.5 / 2.0 / 3.0
You can easily clear your cache and all the other private data stored by Firefox by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete. This brings up the Clear Private Data menu. From here you can pick what all different kinds of data you would like to clear. Choose whether or not you wish to clear the Browsing
History, Download History, Cache, Cookies, Offline Website Data, Saved Passwords and Authenticated Sessions. For instance, if you have set up Firefox to store any of the passwords you use when logging on to certain websites, you will want to uncheck the Saved Passwords box. Pick which elements you would like to clean and then click Clear Private Data Now.
You can also clear the Firefox cache by clicking on Tools and then clicking on Options. Click on the Privacy tab at the top of the Options menu that pops up, and then click on Settings. Now you must select which types of cache data you would like to clear, as mentioned above. After you
have selected what you want to clear out, click OK to return to the Options menu. Click on the Clear Now button located right under the Settings button and your cache will be emptied according to the file types you selected to be deleted. You can also set up Firefox to automatically clean out your cache each time you close your browser. To do this, open the Options menu again and click on "Always clear my private data when I close
Internet Explorer 8
Open your browser and click on Tools in the menu near the top of the screen, then click on Delete Browsing History and select that you would like to delete Temporary Internet Files. Now all you have to do is click Delete and wait while Internet Explorer clears out your cache.
Internet Explorer 7
Open your browser and click the Tools menu and then click on Internet Options. Select the General tab if it is not already open. Find where it says Browsing History and click on Delete. A new window will pop up and under the Temporary Internet Files section click on Delete Files. You can also choose whether or not to include browsing history and cookies in the files to be deleted.
To clear the cache for only the current page you're visiting, press Ctrl+F5. You can also Press and hold down the Ctrl button and then click on the Refresh button at the top of your screen.