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Illinois State University

How to Clear your Browser Cache and Cookies

What Is Browser Cache?

Your internet web browser of choice–Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari–each use a cache or repository for stored data used to expedite the process of retrieving data and therefore loading web pages quicker. The cache can save web site data such as temporary files, cookies, history of visited web sites, download history, form data, passwords and other miscellaneous data.

Although the cache is meant to help speed up the process, from time to time it can also cause issues such as storing old passwords, or taking you to web sites that result in errors because they have recently changed. Routinely clearing the browser cache can alleviate some of these issues and is often the primary suggestion to fixing website errors.

NOTE: Most computer-based web browsers can open the menu to clear your browser cache, cookies, and history by pressing the following keys on your keyboard Ctrl+Shift+Delete (Windows) or Command+Shift+Delete (Mac). If this method doesn’t work, please follow the appropriate instructions below.

Important: All instructions are based off the latest versions for each browser.

Desktop Browsers

Chrome

  1. Open Chrome.

  2. Click the three dots in the upper-right corner of the browser.

  3. Hover over More Tools.

  4. Click [Clear browsing data].

  5. A new tab will open in your browser. When asked for the length of time in which you’d like your cache erased, pick [All Time] from the drop down menu.

  6. Also, ensure you select the following when clearing cache:

    • Browsing History
    • Download History
    • Cookies and other site and plugin data
    • Cached images and files
  7. Click [Clear browsing data].

  8. Close and reopen Chrome.

Firefox

  1. Open Firefox.

  2. Click the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of the browser.

  3. Click [Options] > [Privacy and Security].

  4. Scroll down to the heading that reads Cookies and Site Data and click [Clear Data].

  5. Select the following:

    • Cookies and Site Data
    • Cached Web Content
  6. Click [Clear] > [Clear Now].

  7. Close and reopen Firefox.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the white [Tools] icon to the right of the address bar. This icon looks like a gear.
  3. Click [Safety] > [Delete Browsing History].
  4. Make sure the box labeled Preserve Favorites website data is unchecked.
  5. Put a check mark next to each of the other items in the list. Then click [Delete].
  6. Close and reopen Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the three horizontal dots in the upper-right corner of the browser.
  3. Click [Settings].
  4. Under Clear Browsing Data, click [Choose What to Clear].
  5. Select the following:
    • Browsing history
    • Cookies and saved website data
    • Cached data and files
  6. Click [Clear].
  7. Once the “All Clear!” message appears, close and reopen Microsoft Edge.

Safari

Safari 10 and newer

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Click [Safari] > [Clear History…].
  3. In the drop-down menu next to clear, select [all history].
  4. Click [Clear History].
  5. Click [Safari] > [Quit Safari] to exit the browser completely.

Safari 8 and 9

  1. Open Safari.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the computer screen, click [Safari] > [Preferences…].
  3. In the Preferences window, click the [Privacy] tab and then [Remove All Website Data…].
  4. Click [Remove Now] from pop-up menu.
  5. Click [Safari] > [Quit Safari] to exit the browser completely.

Safari 7 and older

  1. Open Safari.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the computer screen, click [Safari] > [Reset Safari…].
  3. Check all the boxes when asked, “Are you sure you want to reset Safari?”
  4. Click [Reset].
  5. Click [Safari] > [Quit Safari] to exit the browser completely.

Mobile Browsers

Android

The steps to clear your cache, cookies, and history may vary depending on your Android device. However, the cache and data from your application should be able to be cleared from the application settings menu.

  1. Tap [Settings] > [Apps] or [Application Manager].
  2. Swipe to the All tab.
  3. Tap your [web browser].
  4. Tap [Clear Data] > [Clear Cache].
  5. Quit all browser windows and reopen the browser.

Chrome for Android

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner to open the Chrome Menu.
  2. Tap [History] > [Clear Browsing Data].
  3. Change the drop down under Clear data from the: to [Beginning of time].
  4. Select the following items:
    • Browsing History
    • Cookies and other site and plugin data
    • Cached images and files
  5. Tap [Clear browsing data].
  6. Quit all browser windows and reopen the browser.

Safari (Apple iOS)

  1. Go to the home screen and tap [Settings].
  2. Tap [Safari].
  3. Tap [Clear History and Website Data].
  4. Tap [Clear History and Website Data] again to confirm.
  5. Quit all browser windows and reopen the browser.

Chrome for iOS

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner to open the Chrome Menu.
  2. Tap [History] > [Clear Browsing Data].
  3. Change the drop down under Clear data from the: to [Beginning of time].
  4. Select the following items:
    • Browsing History
    • Cookies and other site and plugin data
    • Cached images and files
  5. Tap [Clear browsing data].
  6. Quit all browser windows and reopen the browser.