Flushing your Browser Cache

You find a problem with a website and dutifully report it. You get a report, several days later, that the problem is fixed. Everyone new to the site sees the correct version. When you go to the site, however, you still see the broken problem.  Why are you seeing something different from anyone else and why is it fixed for everyone but you?

The problem is you need to flush your browser cache.  Cache is an area on your hard drive that stores the most recent previously visited pages.  Back in the old days when network connectivity was poor and pages didn’t change very often, the entire browser experience was expedited by just looking locally for the page rather than going out to the internet again to fetch it. Of course today pages change frequently and this can create the problem you are experiencing because instead of seeing the new (corrected) page, you are still seeing the old uncorrected one stored in your browser’s cache.

The solution? Simple, flush the cache and try again. When you flush it you are deleting the page from your browser’s memory and forcing your browser to go back out to the internet to get the page. Since the page it is now getting is the corrected page, you will then see the corrected one.

So, how do you flush your cache? The process is slightly different for each browser and can, at times change based on the version of the browser, so after this document ages you may have to alter what is here a bit to do it. You also need to know that flushing the cache in one browser does NOT flush the cache in any other browser.

IE 9

1.       Click the gear icon on the extreme right toward the top and select “Internet Options”

2.       You will see the” Internet Options” window. Make sure the” General” tab is selected.

3.       Click the “Delete..”  button in the middle of the window.

4.       UNCHECK “Preserve Favorites website data” and CHECK the next three (“Temporary Internet Files”,” Cookies”, and “History”). Click Delete. Click “OK”

Firefox 9

1.       Click the “Tools” choice at the top.

2.       Click “Clear Recent History”.

3.       Where it says “time range to clear:” select “Everything” in the dropdown.  Make sure all of the boxes are checked and click “Clear Now”.

Chrome 16

1.       Click the wrench icon on the extreme right toward the top.

2.       Click “Tools”

3.       Click “Clear Browsing Data”

4.       Where it asks: “Obliterate the following items from:” Select “the beginning of time”

5.       Make sure everything is checked (except possibly “Clear saved passwords”.

6.       Click “Clear Browsing Data”

Now, what do you lose? Well, since cookies are now gone, websites may ask you again for your credit card information (since most of the time that is stored on your local machine in a cookie).  You may have to type in login information again (such as logging back into Facebook). Finally your history of visited sites is gone so you will want to save them as Favorites (Bookmarks).