Making Communications Buzz

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How to Empty Your Cache in Internet Explorer and Firefox Web Browsers

Sometimes correcting a problem with a Web site or Web page is just a matter of emptying the "cache" of the Web browser you are using. The cache is a collection of temporary files saved on your computer by the browser.

Your browser saves these files so that it doesn't have to download them every time you visit the same page. "Caching" of files like graphics and code makes Web pages load faster, which is always a good thing.

But sometimes you may go to a Web page expecting to see an update or some other feature that fails to appear. When this happens, the first thing you should do is empty your browser's cache.

Firefox users can easily install a button that allows them to empty their cache with one click: Firefox Clear Cache Button

It takes about 60 seconds to install the button. Make sure you have Firefox version 1.5 first.

If you don't have Firefox, check it out. It's a nice alternative to Internet Explorer. It installs quickly and is less vulnerable to hackers than Internet Explorer.

For Internet Explorer users, here's how to empty the cache:

Emptying Your Cache in Internet Explorer
1. With Internet Explorer open, go to the Tools menu at the top of the window.
2. Choose "Internet Options... "
3. Select the "General" tab.
4. Under "Temporary Internet files" click the "Delete Files..." button. (Do not click the "Delete Cookies..." button.) In Internet Explorer 7,
under the "General" tab, instead of "Temporary Internet files", find "Browsing history" and click the "Delete..." button. Then click on "Delete Files..." under the "Temporary Internet files" heading, then skip to step 6 below.
5. In the Delete Files dialog box, uncheck the "Delete all offline content" check box.
6. Click "OK" [in IE7 click "Yes" and then "Close"]. This may take a few minutes if you have not done it before. (You will see the hourglass instead of the mouse arrow. Wait patiently until the hourglass turns into an arrow again.)
7. Click "OK" to close the Internet Options dialog box.

The Delete Files button empties the cache in
Internet Explorer

And here's how to empty the cache in Firefox if you don't want to install the button:

Emptying Your Cache in Firefox 2.0
1. With Firefox open, go to the Tools menu at the top of the window.
2. Choose "Clear Private Data... "
3. The "Clear Private Data" dialog box opens
4. Check the "Cache" box.
5. Be sure to uncheck all other boxes.
6. Click on the "Clear Private Data Now" button.

The Clear Private Date button (under Tools > Clear Private Data...)
empties the cache in Firefox 2.0. Be sure to uncheck all other
boxes besides Cache before clicking the button.

Emptying Your Cache in Firefox 1.5
1. With Firefox open, go to the Tools menu at the top of the window.
2. Choose "Options... "
3. Select the "Privacy" panel.
4. Select the "Cache" tab.
5. Click on the "Clear Cache Now" button.
6. Click OK.

In Firefox 1.0, the Options dialog box looks a little different (see below), but the steps are essentially the same.

Firefox Tools menu > Options...
Select the Privacy panel.
In the Cache section, click the Clear button.


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