How Often Should I Clear My Cache?
Have you ever failed to load a website, only for it to work after you’ve cleared your browser cache? You might have learned how clear your cache on our blog about what to do if a website is down. Clearing your cache is helpful, but you don’t have to wait for something to stop working to do it. Clearing it on a regular basis can help stop you from running into such issues in the first place.
So what is a cache, how does it work, and how often should you really be clearing it?
What Is a Cache?
Let’s look at an example of what your cache does. Think about your favorite website that you visit the most—maybe it’s this one! Whether it’s our website, your social media platform of choice, or most other websites owned by a brand or company, you’ll always see the brand’s logo on every page of the site. Whether you click to our homepage or to another blog post, you’ll always see the Tachus logo.
But instead of downloading our logo every time you see it on a different page, your browser simply stores that image in your cache. Your cache stores all kinds of files and helps your browser run faster, as it’s not bogged down by the task of having to re-download every image, font, or code that’s on every page.
Why Do I Have to Clear My Cache?
This all sounds great—so what’s the issue? If the cache’s ability to store everything helps me browse faster, why do I have to clear it? One potential issue you can run into is if a website you’re visiting has updated since your cache last stored its files.
This results in weird glitches as your computer tries to match the older version of the website stored in your cache with the newer one. But not to worry—just clear your cached images and files and the website will work again.
How Often Should I Clear My Cache?
This can vary based on how frequently you’re online and how often you visit the same websites, but for the average Internet user we recommend clearing your cache either once or twice per month.
How Do I Clear My Cache?
How you can clear your cache or browser history and website data depends on what browser you use. Each browser has its own set of instructions:
In Chrome, click the tools dropdown menu (the three dots at the top right of the screen).
Click "More tools" and then "Clear browsing data."
Choose your time range. If you want to delete everything, select "All time."
Check the box next to "Cached images and files."
Click "Clear data."
Click the icon with three lines in the top right corner of your screen.
In the menu to the left, select "Privacy & Security."
Find the "Cookies & Site Data" section and click "Clear Data."
Make sure "Cookies and Site Data" is unchecked, and click "Clear."
Go to your Safari settings, and click "Preferences." From here there's two things you can do.
You can click "Privacy" and then "Manage Website Data." From there you can remove website data listed in the menu. Click "Remove All" if you want to clear it all."
Another option is to click "Advanced" and then check the box by "Show Develop menu in menu bar."
Go back to the menu bar and select "Empty Caches."
Go to your menu (three dots on the top right corner).
Select "Settings" and then "Privacy & services."
Under "Clear browsing data" click "Choose what to clear."
Check the box by "Cached images and files" and "Cookies and other site data" and then click "Clear."
While your cache does a lot to keep your browser as fast as it can be, it can use your help every once in a while. So do yourself a favor, and clear it occasionally to keep your Internet surfing blazing-fast!