How to clear your web browser's cache, cookies and history

Many problems can be fixed by clearing your web browser's cache, cookies and history. Although your web browser will regularly clear these automatically, you can do this manually to help sort out problems. 

Chrome 

In the browser bar, enter:

  • chrome://settings/clearBrowserData
  • You can also click on the three lines in the top right hand corner and choose Tools, Clear browsing data.
  • Select the items you want to clear (e.g., Clear browsing history, Clear download history, Empty the cache, Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data).
  • To clear your entire cache, select the beginning of time.
  • Click Clear browsing data. 

Safari

Click on the Safari menu (in the top left), choose Preferences. On the Advanced tab, click Show Develop menu in menu bar. A new Develop menu should then appear. Choose Develop and then Empty Caches.

Firefox

Click on the three lines in the top right hand corner of the screen 

  • From the History menu, select Clear Recent History.
  • From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select the desired range; to clear your entire cache, select Everything. 
  • Click the down arrow next to "Details" to choose which bits of the history to clear. Click Clear Now.

Internet Explorer 10 and higher

Click on the cog icon in the top right hand corner

  • Click on Internet Options 
  • Select Delete browsing history.
  • In the browsing history part of the window, click delete.
  • Temporary Internet files or Temporary Internet files and website files.
  • Cookies or Cookies and website data.
  • History.
  • Click Delete.

You'll need to close and re-open Internet Explorer for this to complete the job.

Mobile Safari for iOS (iPhone, iPad)

To clear your history and cookies from Safari in iOS 8:

  • click Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data.
  • In iOS 7 or earlier, tap Clear History and tap Clear Cookies and Data.

To clear other stored information from Safari, tap Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data > Remove All Website Data.

Android (Chrome)

  • type in chrome://history/
  • Choose Clear browsing data 
  • Clear the browsing history, cache and cookies and site data  

Opera

From the Opera menu:

  • select Settings, and then Delete Private Data..
  • In the box that opens, select the items you want to clear, and then click Delete.

What is the cache? 

Your web browser remembers each file that you open. This is called a cache. This means the browser doesn't have to newly retrieve files (including any images) from web sites each time you click Back or Forward. It's good practice to clear the cache to allow your browser to work better.

What are cookies?

A cookie is a file created by a web browser, at the request of a web site, that is then stored on a computer. These files typically store user-specific information such as selections in a form, shopping cart contents, or authentication data. Browsers will normally clear cookies that reach a certain age, but clearing them manually may solve problems with web sites or your browser.

What is browsing history?

A browser's history is a log of sites that you visit. When you use a browser's Back button, you are moving back one entry in the history log. Browsers will normally clear the history at regular intervals, but you may want to clear it manually for privacy.