What is Browser Cache?
Before we learn how to clear browser cache, let’s talk about what it is. Simply put, caching means placing something in storage on the chance that it may come in use later. A browser, or web cache, does exactly that using programs and website assets.
Why Do I Need to Clear it?
When you visit a website, your browser takes pieces of the page and stores them on your computer’s hard drive. This is useful for speeding up page loading times.
However, you also want information to be up-to-date and accurate. If your browser loads an old copy of a page instead of the most recent version, you may be looking at content that is no longer relevant.
Typically, this works seamlessly, but problems can arise if your browser fails to notice the content you’re trying to access has been modified.
Some specific circumstances where this may be the case include:
- When making changes to content on your WordPress site that doesn’t appear to be updating.
- Updating a plugin or theme where the new code isn’t executing properly.
Clearing your browser cache can also help resolve several common errors including:
- 401 Responses
- 502 Bad Gateway Errors
- Plugin Conflicts
In short, if you’re experiencing any kind of problem with your WordPress website, it is always smart to try clearing your browser cache before doing anything else. Clearing your browser’s cache won’t cause any further problems and is often a very quick and effective fix that you can handle by yourself.
Clearing Your Browser’s Cache in Google Chrome on Desktop
This is slightly different for Mac users versus Windows. However, the concept is pretty much the same. Start by opening Google Chrome.
For Mac users, click on Chrome in the upper left corner.
Then click on Clear Browsing Data from the dropdown menu.
You are able to choose which items you want to clear, but for the purpose of clearing browser cache, make sure cached images and files are selected and click Clear Data. It’s as simple as that!
For Windows users, click the three-dot icon in the upper right corner.
Then click Settings, which will open your browser settings in a new tab.
On the menu, click on Privacy and Security.
Next, click Clear Browsing Data.
In the clear browsing data window, you can choose from multiple types of data that you may want to remove from Chrome. You can choose as many as you want and delete them all at once. However, for the purpose of clearing your browser cache, make sure that cached images and files are selected to delete.
Lastly, click Clear Data and you’re done!
Clearing Your Browser’s Cache in Safari on Desktop
On your desktop or laptop, simply open your Safari browser and select Safari in your computer’s toolbar, located in the upper left corner of your screen.
Unlike in Google Chrome, Safari does not give you the option to pick and choose which browser data you remove. As such, whenever you clear your browser cache, you’ll also be removing your history, cookies, and other data. After opening Safari Settings, click Clear History.
Next, click Clear History in the pop up window. You’re all done!
Clearing Your Browser’s Cache in Safari on Mobile
On your mobile device, choose the Settings app.
Next, scroll down until you see Safari and click it to open its settings.
On your mobile device, scroll down to the Clear History and Website Data option and click it.
A pop up screen will appear asking if you want to Clear History and Data, click it.