Browser Cache

This guide was written to help anyone with one or more of the following questions: What is browser cache? Why clear browser cache? How do I clear my cache?

Table of Contents

  1. What is browser cache?
  2. Cache is great so why clear it?
  3. How do I clear my cache?
  4. After cache is cleared
  5. Need More Help?

Browser Cache: What, why and how.

If you have ever updated a CoalaWeb extension you may have noticed a post install message that looked something like this:

Please clear your Browser Cache and also take a look at the extension's various configuration options to see whats new and allow any updates to catch up.

Up until recently this message would have also mentioned clearing your Joomla Cache but CoalaWeb extensions now take care of that for you while they are being updated.

If after reading the message mentioned above you have one of the following questions:

  • What is browser cache?
  • Why clear browser cache?
  • How do I clear browser cache?

    Then this guide was written for you.

What is browser cache?

Any sophisticated website you visit is actually a composition of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of files. Even websites that are supremely optimized for speed are likely using a long list of files and resources that your browser is going to have to handle.

So how do Browsers do their part in speeding up the loading process?

Whenever you visit a website, your web browser saves certain information from that site to your computer’s hard drive in something called the “browser cache.” This is because your browser can then display the stored files from its cache much faster than it can pull fresh files from a website server. The next time you visit the same site, the use of locally stored cached files will help cut down page load time.

Cache is great so why delete it?

Each time CoalaWeb releases a new version of an extension it contains files and resources that have had changes made to them and in some cases files are added and or removed from the extension. These changes are made for the following reasons.

  • Fix bugs and issues
  • Add new features
  • Update and improve code
  • Remove obsolete code and files

If during the update process we change a file that your browser has cached, it’s going to keep serving the old, cached version of the file and you won’t see our most recent changes. This is why we ask you to clear your browser cache after updating a CoalaWeb extension.

Extra Information

Clearing your browser cache is good practise after making any changes to your website not just updating a CoalaWeb extension.

A good first step whenever you encounter an issue on your website is to clear your browser cache. It won’t always fix the issue – but it is an important first diagnostic step to rule out before you assume that a more complicated issue is causing problems.

You’d be surprised how often what you think is a “huge” website bug is actually just a caching issue that goes away as soon as you clear your browser cache.

How do I clear my cache?

The process of clearing cache differs from browser to browser. Generally speaking, look for an option to delete cache or temporary files in your browser’s administrative settings.

Clearing cache in Firefox

  1. Start by clicking the Hamburger icon in the top right and selecting History.
  2. Next in the menu that appears select Clear Recent History…

You can also access the menu by using the shortcut:

CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. 

Firefox will then open a popup.

  1. In the Time range to clear: drop-down select Everything.
  2. Then make sure to only check the Cache box to avoid clearing important browsing data.
  3. Lastly click Clear Now to clear your cache.
And that’s it! Your Firefox browser cache is now empty.

Clearing cache in Chrome

  1. Start by clicking the Three Dots icon in the top right of your browser window.
  2. Then, find the More Tools option and select Clear browsing data… from the submenu.

You can also access the menu by using the shortcut:

CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. 

Chrome will open up a new tab with a popup window titled Clear Browsing Data.

  1. Make sure that only the Cached images and files box is checked. Otherwise, you might accidentally clear your browsing history, saved passwords, cookies, and more.

  2. Next click the Clear browsing data button to clear your cache.

And that’s it! Your Chrome browser cache is now empty.

Clearing cache in Safari

To clear the browser cache for Safari, you have two options.

  1. If you’re ok with clearing your entire browsing history (including cookies and visited pages), you can take the easy approach and just go to:

    Safari > Clear History.

Again – this method takes a scorched earth approach. In addition to your browser cache, it will also clear your browsing history, cookies, etc.

  1. To only empty Safari’s browser cache, you’ll need to enable the Develop menu by going to:

    Preferences > Advanced

Next check the Show Develop Menu option in Menu Bar box.

After you have enabled it you can go to:

Develop > Empty Caches 
And that’s it! Your Safari browser cache is now empty.

Clearing cache in Internet Explorer

  1. To clear the browser cache for Internet Explorer, get started by clicking the Gear icon in the top right to access the Tools menu.

  2. Then, find Safety and select Delete Browsing History… from the submenu:

You can also access the menu by using the shortcut:

CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. 

Internet Explorer will open up a new tab with a popup window titled Delete Browsing History.

  1. Make sure to only select the Temporary Internet files and website files box to avoid clearing important information.

  2. Click the Delete button at the bottom.

And that’s it! Your Internet Explorer browser cache is now empty.

Clearing cache in Edge

  1. To clear the browser cache for Microsoft Edge, click the Three Dots icon in the top right of your browser window.

  2. Scroll down and click on Choose what to clear.

  3. Make sure to only select the Cached data and files box to avoid clearing important information.

You can also access the menu by using the shortcut:

CTRL + SHIFT + DEL. 
  1. Then, click the Clear button at the bottom.
And that’s it! Your Edge browser cache is now empty.

Clearing cache in Opera

  1. To clear the browser cache for Opera, click the Opera icon in the top left.

  2. Next find the More Tools option.

  3. Then select Clear browsing data from the submenu.

  4. For most cases, you should set Obliterate the following items from: equal to at least the last 4 weeks.

  5. Then, make sure to only check the Cached images and files box.

  6. Lastly click the Clear browsing data button:

And that’s it! Your Opera browser cache is now empty.

What do I do after I’ve cleared my cache?

Make sure after clearing your cache in any browser to refresh the page you are viewing so your browser has a chance to grab fresh files and resources.

Need More Help

Do you have a question that wasn't covered by the GUIDE? Then it's time to drop by the Forum
Written by Steven Palmer Sunday, 28 July 2019 Posted in Tip and Tricks, General

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