When to Clear Your Browser's Cache

Clearing your browser's cache is one of those things you either think about or don't. My browsers are set up to clear the cache every time I close a browser, be it Firefox, Brave, or Chrome. However, my mother doesn't want to have to remember anything, so her cache is only cleared when I get a hold of her computer.


BigCommerce offers a great layman explanation for what a cache is:


"When you visit a website, your browser takes pieces of the page and stores them on your computer's hard drive. Some of the assets your browser will store are:


Images - logos, pictures, backgrounds, etc.

HTML

CSS

JavaScript


In short, browsers typically cache what are known as "static assets" - parts of a website that do not change from visit to visit.


What to cache and for how long is determined by the website. Some assets are removed from your machine in a few days while others may remain in your cache for up to a year."


Caching has its benefits, but also its drawbacks. So, when do you know your browser cache needs clearing?


A client recently emailed to say they were having trouble with links on their website. When they clicked several links to a retail store, they kept getting errors. I tested the links in my browsers and every link opened to where it should.


The problem? Her browser needed the cache cleared. She went through the simple steps and voila, every link opened up for her.


Sometimes things get stuck, even on the internet, and caching is one of the first steps I recommend clients take when they run into similar issues.


Below are links to how-to info on clearing different browsers.


If you're ever at a loss, go to your browser's settings. Depending on your browser, the settings can be found by clicking either a hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) or three dots in the upper right corner of the browser.


It's also important to make sure you are always using the latest version of your browser for security and functionality purposes.


Happy browsing!