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Need to clear your cache?

View profile for Benjamin Kremer-Yeatman
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The fastest and easiest way is usually to perform a simple 'hard-refresh'.

Most Browsers:
Hold down the Shift key (⇧) and click on the refresh page button (⟳) in the browser using your mouse.

Internet Explorer users:
Hold down the Control key (Ctrl) and click on the refresh page button (⟳) in the browser using your mouse.

If that doesn't do the trick you can find out how to fully clear your cache later on in this post.

What even is a cache? and why would I need to clear it?

Whenever you visit a website your browser temporarily downloads the entire contents of that page. Most of this information isn’t kept for long, but your browser identifies certain handy items (such as photos, graphics, style sheets etc.) and stores them away into a cache for future use. Having this cache at hand means that the next time you visit the page it can load faster whilst using up less bandwidth.

Although this clever feature exists to improve the user experience, in some situations this caching can become a hindrance and needs to be manually cleared out. This most often occurs when there have been changes made to a webpage’s design that aren’t represented correctly by your browser because it is still relying on some older files from within its cache.

The good news is that although these caching issues are common when reviewing changes made to your own site, they are very unlikely to affect the majority visitors. This is because anyone who has not visited the site recently will automatically get the most up to date version.

In most circumstances performing a ‘hard-refresh’ as detailed above is enough to bypass the issue and update any cached items that are out of date. However, caches are notoriously stubborn and occasionally more drastic measures are required.

 

Fully clearing the cache

Sometimes 'hard-refreshing' isn't enough and your browser's cache will need to be cleared entirely. This process varies depending on your preferred software, for instructions on each of the most popular browsers click one of the icons below:

  • Chrome icon
  • Safari icon
  • Edge icon
  • Firefox icon
  • Internet Explorer icon
  • Opera icon
  • Android icon
  • IOS icon

 

Chrome

Please note that these instructions are based on the latest version of Chrome available as of the date of this blog post and may vary slightly if you are using an older or future version of the browser.

Incognito Mode

This mode does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

Click on the three dots ⋮ in the top right corner and then click ‘New Incognito Window’

Manually clearing Chrome's cache

Click on the three dots ⋮ in the top right corner and then click ‘Settings’ to open the menu. Select the ‘Privacy and security’ tab on the left and click ‘Clear browsing data’

screenshot of chrome settings

This will open a pop-up where you can specify what data to clear.

screenshot of chrome settings

Make sure that only ‘Cached images and files’ is ticked and the time range is set to ‘All time’ before clicking the ‘Clear data’ button.

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

 

Safari

Please note that these instructions are based on the latest version of Safari available as of the date of this blog post and may vary slightly if you are using an older or future version of the browser.

Private Mode

This mode does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

Click ‘File’ in the top right corner and then click ‘New Private Window’

Manually clearing Safari's cache

Click on Safari in top left corner and then click ‘Preferences’ to open the menu. Select the ‘Advanced’ tab and tick ‘Show Develop menu in menu bar’

screenshot of safari settings

This adds a new item ‘Develop’ to the top menu. Close the pop up and click ‘Develop’ in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select ‘Empty Caches’

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

 

Edge

Please note that these instructions are based on the latest version of Edge available as of the date of this blog post and may vary slightly if you are using an older or future version of the browser.

InPrivate Mode

This mode does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

Click on the three dots … in the top right corner and then click ‘New InPrivate window’

Manually clearing Edge's cache

Click on the three dots … in the top right corner and then click ‘Settings’ to open the menu. Select the ‘Privacy Search and Services’ tab and scroll down to ‘Clear browsing data’

screenshot of edge settings

Click 'Choose what to clear' and make sure that only ‘Cached images and files’ is ticked.

screenshot of edge settings

With the time range set to ‘All time’ click on ‘Clear now’.

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

 

Firefox

Please note that these instructions are based on the latest version of Firefox available as of the date of this blog post and may vary slightly if you are using an older or future version of the browser.

Private Mode

This mode does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

Click on the “Hamburger” ☰ in the top right corner and then click ‘New Private Window’

Manually clearing Firefox's cache

Click on the “Hamburger” ☰ in the top right corner and then ‘Preferences’ (mac) or ’Options’ (windows) to open the menu. Select the ‘Privacy & Security’ tab, scroll down to ‘Cookies and Site Data’ and click 'Clear Data’

screenshot of firefox settings

Make sure that only ‘Cached Web Content’ is ticked before clicking ‘Clear’.

screenshot of firefox settings

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

 

Internet Explorer

Please note that these instructions are based on the latest version of Internet Explorer available as of the date of this blog post and may vary slightly if you are using an older version of the browser.

InPrivate Mode

This mode does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

Click on the gear ⚙ in the top right corner, mouse over 'Safety' and click ‘InPrivate Browsing’

Manually clearing Internet Explorer's cache

Click on the gear ⚙ in the top right corner and then mouse over ‘Safety' and click 'Delete browsing history...' to open the menu.

screenshot of ie settings

Make sure that only ‘Temporary Internet files and website files’ is ticked before clicking ‘Delete’.

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

 

Opera

Please note that these instructions are based on the latest version of Opera available as of the date of this blog post and may vary slightly if you are using an older or future version of the browser.

Private Mode

This mode does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

Click on the Opera Logo or ‘File’ in the top left corner and then click ‘New Private Window’

Manually clearing Opera's cache

Click on the gear ⚙ in the left side menu and scroll down to 'Privacy and security’ and click ‘Clear browsing data’

screenshot of opera settings

Make sure that only ‘Cached images and files’ is ticked before clicking ‘Clear data’.

screenshot of opera settings

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

 

Android Phones

As the makes and models of Android phone vary widely this process will vary depending on your device and chosen browser app.

Private Browsing Mode

Sometimes called 'Incognito' or 'Secret' mode, this does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

On mobiles this is usually availble as an option when pressing the 'New Tab' button.

Manually clearing an Android's browser cache

Open the browser and click the menu icon, this may be a gear ⚙ , three dots … or a hamburger ☰ depending on your app.

Tap 'settings', scroll to the 'Privacy & Security' section and tap the option to delete 'cache' or 'browsing data'.

Make sure that only the cache option is ticked and the time range set to 'All Time' before clearing the data.

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

 

Apple IPhones

As the models of IPhone vary and multiple browser apps are available this process may vary depending on your device and chosen browser app.

Private Browsing Mode

Sometimes called 'Incognito' or 'Secret' mode, this does not rely on the browser's cache and is often the easiest way of checking whether a full cache clear is necessary.

On mobiles this is usually availble as an option when pressing the 'New Tab' button.

Manually clearing an IPhone's browser cache

For Safari users the cache can be cleared by selecting the app from within the IPhone's main settings.

Scroll down and tap 'Clear History and Website Data' and then 'Clear History and Data'.

The cache is now cleared and refreshing (⟳) an open page will update it to the latest version.

If you are using a third-party browsing app, the option to clear your cache will likely be found within the in-app settings.

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