When troubleshooting certain issues, it may be necessary to clear the browser cache and/or cookies to ensure you see the most current version of a website. This guide will provide instructions on how to clear the browser cache and/or cookies from your computer for Windows and Mac.
Do you use a smartphone or tablet? We have also added a separate section on how to clear the browser cache and/or cookies on mobile devices.
- What are cache and cookies?
- What happens when you clear cache and/or cookies?
- How to clear browser cache and/or cookies on Windows or Mac
- How to clear browser cache and/or cookies on a smartphone or tablet
What are cache and cookies?
Cache (or temporary internet files) and cookies are two essential components of web browsing that store data locally on your device to improve browsing speed, enhance user experience, and remember user preferences.
When you visit a website, your browser stores certain elements of that site, like images and scripts, in a local storage space called the cache. This makes it faster to load the website the next time you visit because your browser can use the saved files from the cache instead of downloading them again.
Cookies are small text files that websites store on your computer to remember user-specific information. They can save login details, site preferences, shopping cart items, and other user-related data. Cookies can be either session cookies, which are temporary and expire when you close your browser, or persistent cookies, which remain on your computer for a specified duration.
Note: You might also come across the term Browsing History. This is a record including URLs and page titles of visited websites. It helps you revisit sites you've been to before without having to remember or retype the full URL.
What happens when you clear cache and/or cookies
Clearing the browser cache and/or cookies varies depending on the browser used. Nevertheless, in each browser, you will end up in a similar menu where you can select from a range of options to delete. Often, you can also specify the time period for which you want to delete.
In most cases, it is sufficient to delete only the cache. However, especially when it comes to logging in, it can also be necessary to delete the cookies. This can improve privacy, and it helps resolve certain browsing issues. Be aware that some settings on sites get deleted.
Clearing the cache forces the browser to download all these resources anew, which can slightly slow down loading times because content like images needs to load again. But you are ensured you see the website's most current content.
Clearing cookies will log you out of pages and reset your preferences. This may affect personalized content and data stored on websites.
Clearing browsing history doesn't directly affect website behaviour or content but removes the record of visited websites.
Note: Always be cautious when clearing data and ensure you only clear what is necessary. Close/quit the browser and restart it after clearing the cache and/or cookies.
How to clear browser cache and/or cookies on Windows or Mac
Below, we have added links to the support page of the most used browsers on Windows and Mac. Select the browser you're using to open the related instructions. The links open in English or according to the language settings on your browser.
Windows and Mac
Tip: You can also quickly clear cache while in your browser with a so-called "hard refresh". This is commonly done via the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + F5 (Windows) or Command + Shift + R (Mac).
How to clear browser cache and/or cookies on a smartphone or tablet
Below, we have added links to the support page of the most used browsers on Android or iOS. Select the operating system you're using to open the related instructions. The links open in English or according to the language settings on your browser.
iPhone or iPad (iOS)