Clearing Your Computer Cache and Browser History

March 25, 2024 | Blog
computer keyboard zoomed in on garbage can key.

Did you know that clearing your computer cache and browser history may be essential to troubleshooting and resolving various issues you may be facing with loading times for web pages and performance issues? 

Clearing your browser history will also aid in better performance while improving your computer’s security since many passwords and sensitive data can be stored in your browser history.

The My Computer Works team has put together this blog on everything you need to know about your computer cache and browser history and how clearing them will benefit your computer functionality and security. Armed with this vital knowledge, you can ensure your computer performs properly. 

What Is Computer Cache – How It Functions

A cache (pronounced Cash) or web cache is a specialized variant of your internet browser history. What a web cache is and does is it keeps track of specific elements on a web page. This includes style elements, interactive content, or pictures.

For a better understanding, let’s use the example of remembering what you ate today. Your browsing history is the equivalent of remembering you had yogurt for breakfast, a burger for lunch, and steak for dinner. Your cache is the equivalent of remembering the yogurt had fruit in it, the burger was a beef burger, and the steak was well done.

The cache acts as your internet browser’s memory, and your internet browser utilizes it as a shortcut to speed up the loading time for web pages. The process is essentially this: your internet browser loads a web page and checks the cache to see if it has already been stored. If it has been, it loads those parts without requesting them from the internet server and loads the rest normally while adding various elements that aren’t already in the cache.

What Is Computer History – How It Functions

Your computer browsing history is essentially an in-depth record of all the web pages you have been on. Every reputable web browser has a history option that holds all of your browser history. This history helps you track back to any useful or interesting websites you came across, which you can return to without having to remember them.

What Is The Purpose Of Cache & Browser History? 

These two storage facilities on your computer are important in ensuring you experience fast browser speeds and an improved user experience. The cache is especially important as it ensures that webpages load seamlessly by retrieving elements stored within it. 

In addition, as mentioned earlier, your browser history aims to maintain an organized record of your visited web pages. This lets you gain quicker access by offering suggested matches as you type in the address bar.

What Are The Benefits Of Clearing Cache And Browser History 

The time for clearing browser data and your cache is not only for when your parents or partner want to use your computer. Clearing the two on your computer may provide multiple benefits, as seen below.

Improves Browser Performance 

Spending long periods of time online can overfill your computer’s cache and slow down performance. By clearing cache files, you can resolve this, as it will free up more space and slightly improve your browser performance. While effective, it’s important to note that you may not notice such a slight change, but it will make a difference – believe us.

Protects Your Privacy

Protecting your privacy should be your number one priority when browsing the internet. This is especially true if you use a computer that multiple people can access, like a public computer. 

Unfortunately, when using a public computer, anyone may see what you are doing and have access to your private data through your history and cache files. In addition, the cache files may be a target for malware and virus files, so clearing them will prevent your PC from contracting any nasty surprises.

Fixes Browser Issues

If you’re experiencing any issues with your browser or browser performance, such as web pages not opening, returning an error message, or slow loading when opening a web page, then clearing your browsing history or cache can be a viable solution. Simply clear the data within the history and cache and try reloading your browser – it should resolve any issues. 

How Do You Clear Your Cache And Browser History? 

Clearing your cache and history is not always a permanent fix. It all depends on how secure you want to be, your amount of usage, and the type of websites you are on. Some websites threaten your security, so you may need assistance from a My Computer Works technician to assist you in clearing your history or cache if your security is compromised. 

Deleting your history is easy, but how you clear it depends on your browser. The frequency at which you need to do this depends on your usage or if you are having multiple difficulties with your browser. However, it is recommended that you clear your cache and history at least once a month. 

As mentioned, the cache-clearing process may differ slightly depending on your browser; however, most of these steps are the same across the board: 

  • Step 1: Select your browser’s settings option.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the option that mentions either “Privacy & Security” or “Clear Browsing Data” and click on it.
  • Step 3: Select Cache, Browsing history, and cookies when offered what you wish to clear.
  • Step 4: Select “All Time” or a time range if you don’t want to clear everything.
  • Step 5: Select “clear data and wait for it to state that it has been completed.
  • Step 6: An alternative method is to use tools such as Finders’ “Go” menu on macOS or Disk cleanup on Windows to clear cache files on all applications.

Remember, if you delete your browser history, it will delete all history on every device the browser account is linked to or synced to. This is useful if you wish to remove specific searches on multiple devices. Here’s how to delete your browsing history: 

  • Step 1: Select the “More” option on the top right of your browser.
  • Step 2: Select history, then navigate to clear browsing data.
  • Step 3: Go through the record of webpages and searches in your history and select the ones you wish to delete.
  • Step 4: Select “All Time” or a time range if you don’t want to clear everything.
  • Step 5: Select “Clear Data” and wait for a pop-up to say it has been completed.

Wrap-Up On Clearing Computer Cache And Browser History 

Now that you have the tools and knowledge to clear your cache and browser history, you should notice a difference in your computer performance. Since there are many benefits to clearing your cache and browser history, it’s recommended that you do so often.

If you’re still struggling with clearing your computer cache and browser history, don’t worry; contact us here, and an IT repair and maintenance expert from the My Computer Works team will reach out. We’ll be able to assist you with clearing your history and cache in no time. 

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