What is Cache and why should you clear it?

What is cache ? As you jump from Web page to Web page, caching those pages in memory lets you quickly go back to a page without having to download it from the Web again.

Source: PCMag’s definition of Browser Cache 

Pronounced “browser cash.” A temporary storage area, on your PC, in memory or on disk that holds the most recently downloaded Web pages.

As you jump from Web page to Web page, caching those pages in memory lets you quickly go back to a page without having to download it from the Web again. In order to ensure that the latest page is displayed, the browser compares the dates of the cached page with the current Web page. If the Web page has not changed, the cached page is displayed immediately. If the Web page has changed, it is downloaded, displayed and cached.

When you quit the browser session, the cached pages are stored on disk. Settings in your Web browser let you set the amount of space to use for the cache, which is essentially a disk folder, and the length of time to hold the pages.

(Squirrels use a form of caching; they store food to avoid having to forage every time they are hungry.)

Have you ever loaded a website page and found information that is out of date ? An example could be a diary of events where an event date or time has been changed. Using cache can save time and speed up the response to a website page load, but it has a downside. While the techie who has made the changes might set ‘clear Cache’ on the Host system as the default, the PC owner might be saving cache on his/her own PC. This can cause an out of date copy to be displayed.

What can you do ? You can set your browser to clear Cache when you close it.

Set Browser to Clear Cache When Closing

I have set my browser, Mozilla Firefox, to clear all cache when I exit the Browser program. This ensures that I don’t carry over out of date web pages from one browsing session to the next.

Here is the simple guide to clearing cache when you exit your browser for the 3 most popular browsers, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Source: https://k12parentportal.force.com/k12help/s/article/Set-Browser-to-Clear-Cache-When-Closing


  1. Open the Chrome browser
  2. Open the Chrome Toolbar (3 lines to the right of the URL window) and then select Settings
  3. Select Show advanced settings….
  4. Click the Content Settings buttonlocated under the Privacy section
  5. Under first section labeled Cookies, select Keep local data only until you quit your browser
  6. ClickDone


  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button (hamburger Menu, top right) and then select Options
  2. Select the Privacy panel
  3. In the Historysection, set Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history
  4. Select the check box for Clear history when Firefox closes
  5. click the Settings… button. The Settings for Clearing History window will open
  6. In the Settings for Clearing History window, click the check mark box next to Cache.
  7. Click OK

Internet Explorer 

  1. Open IE browser
  2. Click Tools>Internet Options>Advanced tab
  3. Scroll down to the Security section and then check the box: Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed
  4. Click OKl browser windows and re-open the browser.

If you are using a Browser that is not on this list you should be able to get what need from Google.

If you have found clearer definitions please let me know.


Ed also makes the coffee...

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