Clear Your Browser Cache and Cookies
Edited by Sean, Dougie
Clear Cache and Cookies via Browser's Tools
There are many different ways to clear out your browser's cache and cookies, which often take up a lot of space or are filled with unwanted files, and thankfully each browser comes with its own tools for clearing that all out. Like I will highlight later on in this guide, these tools are great, but only specific to each individual browser and there are better ways to do it. However, there are cases when you might just want to clear the cache and cookies for a specific browser, so here are the instructions below for clearing your caches and cookies on four of the most popular web browsers.
With Mozilla Firefox it is pretty easy to clear out your cache and cookies, or everything. Follow these steps to clear that all out:
- 1Open up your Mozilla Firefox browser.
- 3On that drop menu find the History button in the middle of it and click on that.
- 4A new menu will pop up and on there click Clear Recent History.
- 5Now you will see a box that asks you the time range for what you want to clear (hours, days, months etc.) and you need to click on that Details button.
- 6Once you click on Details it will expand this box to show you what it is going to clear.
- 8Hit Clear Now after selecting the time range you want and you are set!
This process is very simple and it gives you quite a few options for clearing out certain things from your browser. However, if you are looking for something a little more thorough then jump on down to the Clear Cache and Cookies via Other Tools section.
For Mac's Safari browser you have only have one option for clearing out your cache and cookies, the reset option. However, it does have a specific tool in the menu just for clearing out your cache and it is a bit more complicated to use, but I will first show that process and then how to use the reset option to clear out everything.
Clearing the Cache
- 1Click on the Safari menu in the top left
- 2Scroll down to Preferences and select that
- 3On the far right select the Advanced tab
- 4On the bottom of that check the box that says Show Develop menu in menu bar
- 5Now, there should be a Develop tab you can select on the top, click that
- 6On the Develop menu you should see Empty Caches about halfway down
- 7Select Empty Caches to clear only those out
Clearing Cache, Cookies and Everything
- 1Click on the Safari menu in the top left
- 2Scroll down that menu and press Reset Safari
- 3A Reset Safari box will pop up with a bunch of different options for what you want to clear out
- 4Select what options you want, or leave them all checked, and it will clear out your history, cache, and cookies (and more).
Google Chrome has one of the easiest tools for clearing out your cache and cookies, and here is how you do that:
- 1Open up your Google Chrome web browser
- 3On that menu scroll down and click on the History button, or just press Ctrl H.
- 4Now you will see a list of your recent history, click on the Clear Browsing History button on the top
- 6Like other browsers, you can select the specifics of what you want to clear, but by default it will clear your history, cache and cookies
- 7Select what you want it to clear and press Clear Browsing Data
Google Chrome gives you a few more options than the rest of the browsers and makes it pretty simple, but if you want something more thorough keep reading until you reach the Clear Cache and Cookies via Other Tools section.
Microsoft's infamous Internet Explorer is actually pretty easy to use, just like every other browser. Here is what you need to do to clear out your cache and cookies:
- 1Open up Internet Explorer
- 3On the Tools menu scroll down to Internet Options and click that
- 4The first tab to open up will be called General and on that there is a section called browser history, find that and click on the Delete button.
- 5This will open a menu with a bunch of checkboxes that show you what you can delete
- 6If you want to delete your cache and cookies then uncheck that Preserve Favorites website data box and then press delete.
Done and done right? Sort of. While Internet Explorer does give you the option to delete the majority of the data it creates, it doesn't quite wipe everything clean. To see how to really clear out your browsers head on down to the next section.
Clear Cache and Cookies via Other Tools
While using your browser's tools to clean up your cache and cookies is easy, it isn't very efficient and it obviously only cleans up that particularly browser at a time. There are two specific tools that make this process a lot quicker and easier, while also being generally a lot more thorough than any browser based cleaning tool. The two tools for this are: Windows' Disk Cleanup utility and a very popular program called CCleaner. Check out the info below on each respective tool to see which one you want to use.
This program is a free tool that you can use to really scrub your computer of pesky cookies, cache, history and those temporary internet files that do nothing but take up space. It does have a premium version, but the free version has few limits and it is very easy to use. The main thing CCleaner does is clear out everything from all of your browsers at once, while also clearing out unnecessary files for Windows programs and other applications. Follow these steps to download it and clean everything out:
Download and Installing CCleaner
- 2Right in the middle of the page press the big green Free Download button
- 3This will drop you down to show you three versions, click on Free Download under CCleaner Free to use that version
- 5Find and run the CCsetup419exe (or whatever version it is) setup file in your download folder.
- 6Follow the setup's instructions and install it wherever you want
- 7Find the now CCleaner exe shortcut and click run
Running CCleaner Now that you have CCleaner installed and ready to go you just need to run it to see all of the options. This isn't very clear right from the start, but it shouldn't take long to understand it. There are two main tools, the Cleaner Tool (which it is on by default when you start the program) and the Registry Tool. Do not mess with the Registry Tool! That tool should only be used by people who are very certain of what they are doing because messing with your registry can break programs or even your operating system. Here's what the Cleaner Tool looks like:
The first tab that is selected says Windows. This is a bunch of programs and files associated with Windows, like Internet Explorer, System files and files related to Windows Explorer. You can go through this and see what you want to delete, but the default setting for this is pretty safe and reasonable. It will clear out temporary documents floating around, your recycle bin, some dump logs (don't delete these if your computer has been crashing or having errors), your clipboard and a few other pretty normal things. Just check these really quick to make sure it is fine before moving onto the next tab.
The second tab here says Applications. In Applications you will see whatever browsers you have installed, like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and additional files that may be related to anything you might have installed. For instance, for me this clears out some unnecessary files from Skype, Winamp, Windows Media Player, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Paint and many other programs. Scroll these to see what you want to delete and make sure none of these programs are open before proceeding.
Finally, it is time to clear everything out. Now that you have everything selected that way you want you should click on the Analyze button. This will go through everything and tell you how much space this all taking up, so you can see if you even want to delete all of that right now. Once that is done you have the option delete everything. Alternatively, you can just press Run Cleaner if you don't need it to analyze first. Everything here is permanently deleted and CCleaner is excellent at finding stray files that are doing nothing but take up space. However, there is one other option.
Windows Disk Cleanup
The last tool to try is Window's own program for clearing out unnecessary files. It is called Windows Disk Cleanup and it is automatically installed on any Windows 7 or 8 operating system. It is a relatively simple tool and here is how to run it:
- 1Click on your start menu, bottom left, and search for Disk Cleanup
- 2The first thing that should show is Disk Cleanup under programs, click on that to run
- 3Select what hard drive you want to clean up and then press the OK button
- 5Select which files you want to delete and it will show you how much space it will clear up, then press the OK button to have it clean up those files.
Pretty simple right? Just make sure to not delete files you might need. For instance, mine said I could clear up 1.6 gigabytes of space, but a good chunk of that was dump files that my computer created last time it crashed, which are very useful if your computer is consistently crashing and you need to figure out what is going wrong. However, those files are not selected by default and all of the default options are pretty darn safe.
Between everything here you should be able to easily, safely and quickly clear out your cache, cookies and any extra files you may not want. You can now do it specifically through a single browser, or by using something like Windows Disk Cleanup or CCleaner to clear out large chunks of files at once. With all of this information you should be saving a lot of space and if you clear out these types of files every month or so it should help keep your computer running smoothly.
As always, if you have any questions about any of these steps, or programs, feel free to ask! Always remember to read every option when you are clearing out files to make sure you aren't losing something you might want to save.