Clearing Your Browser Session

Last Updated: Jan 08, 2018 09:57PM PST

When things go funky with websites and logins, clearing your cache forces your browser to retrieve the newest copy available from the website, something that should happen automatically but sometimes does not. Internet cookies (the non-edible type) are tiny files stored on your hard drive by your browser that contain information about your visit to a particular website, like login status, personalization, and advertising preferences, etc.

Chrome: Clear Browsing Data

In Google Chrome, clearing the browser cache and cookies is done via the Clear browsing data area in Settings. From there, check Cached images and files and Cookies and other site data (as well as anything else you want to remove) and then tap or click the CLEAR BROWSING DATA button.

Assuming you're using a keyboard, the quickest way to Clear browsing data is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Without a keyboard, tap or click the Menu button (the icon with three stacked lines) followed by More tools and finally Clear browsing data....

See How to Clear the Cache in Chrome for more details on clearing your cache. See How to Delete Cookies in Chrome for additional information like how to delete cookies from specific websites, how to allow or deny websites from leaving cookies, and more.

Tip: Choose the beginning of time from the Clear the following items from option at the top of the Clear browsing data window to make sure you get everything.

In Chrome's mobile browser, go to Settings and then Privacy. From there, choose Clear Browsing Data. In this menu, check Cached Images and Files, as well as Cookies, Site Data and press the Clear Browsing Data button once, and then again for confirmation.

Internet Explorer: Delete Browsing History

In Microsoft Internet Explorer, the browser that comes pre-installed on most Windows computers, clearing the cache is done from the Delete Browsing History area. From here, check Temporary Internet files and website files and then click or tap Delete. Also, find the option for cookies, which is called Cookies and website data and then click or tap Delete.

Like with other popular browsers, the fastest way to the Delete Browsing History settings is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Another option is via the Tools button (the gear icon), followed by Safety and then Delete browsing history....

See How to Clear the Cache in Internet Explorer for a full set of instructions. See How to Delete Cookies in Internet Explorer for more help, like how to delete cookies in older versions of Internet Explorer.

Tip: Internet Explorer often refers to the browser cache as temporary internet files but they're one in the same.

Firefox: Clear All History

In Mozilla's Firefox browser, you clear the cache and Cookies from the Clear Recent History area in the browser's Options. Once there, check Cache *and Cookies* and then tap or click Clear Now. Delete cookies in Mozilla's Firefox browser through the Clear All History window of its Options section. Choose the *Cookies *option and then the *Clear Now *button to erase the cookies in Firefox.

The Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut is probably the fastest way to open this tool. It's also available from Firefox's Menu button (the three-lined "hamburger" button) via Options, then Privacy & Security, and finally the clear your recent history link from the History area. You will then also need to go in and choose *Options > Privacy > clear your recent history *to open the Clear All History section.

See How to Clear the Cache in Firefox for a complete tutorial on clearing your cache in Firefox. See How to Delete Cookies in Firefox if you need more help or you want to know how to delete cookies from specific websites only.

Tip: Don't forget to choose Everything from the Time range to clear: set of options, assuming that's the time frame you want to clear the cache over.

If you're using Firefox's mobile app, tap the menu from the bottom right and then choose Settings from that menu. Find the PRIVACY section and tap Clear Private Data. Make sure Cache is chosen and then tap Clear Private Data. Confirm with an OK.

Safari: Empty Caches

In Apple's Safari browser, clearing the cache is done via the Develop menu. Just tap or click Develop and then Empty Caches. Deleting the cookies in Apple's Safari web browser is done through the Privacy section of Preferences, under the _Cookies and other website data _section. Click or tap *Remove All Website Data... *to delete all the cookies, or choose *Details... *to delete website-specific cookies.

Whether you're on macOS or Windows, you can get to this section of the browser's settings through the Action menu (the gear icon at the upper-right corner of Safari).

Select the *Preferences... *option and then the *Privacy *tab. The buttons I mentioned above are under the section called Cookies and other website data.

If you use the Remove All Website Data... *button, choose the *Remove Now *button to delete all of Safari's cookies. If you want to delete cookies from specific websites, pick the *Details... *button and then select the cookies you want to remove - click or tap *Remove to delete them.

With a keyboard, clearing the cache in Safari is super easy with the Option-Command-E shortcut.

See How to Clear the Cache in Safari if you need more help clearing your cache.

Tip: If you don't see Develop on your Safari menu bar, enable it via Preferences, then Advanced, followed by selecting the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.

Clearing the browser cache from mobile Safari, like the one on your iPad or iPhone, is accomplished in a different app. From your device, open the Settings app and then find the Safari section. In there, scroll toward the bottom and tap Clear History and Website Data. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

Opera: Clear Browsing Data

In Opera, clearing the cache is done via the Clear browsing data section that's part of Settings. Once open, check Cached images and files, as well as Cookies and other site data and then click or tap Clear browsing data.

The fastest way to bring up the Clear browsing data window is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Without a keyboard, click or tap the main menu button (the Opera logo from the upper-left hand side of the browser), then Settings, Privacy & security, and finally the Clear browsing data... button. Check the Cached images and files option and then press Clear browsing data.

See How to Clear the Cache in Opera for detailed instructions on clearing your cache; and See How to Delete Cookies in Opera for some additional information on viewing, deleting, and managing cookies.

Tip: Be sure to choose the beginning of time option at the top so you're sure to erase everything!

You can clear the cache from the mobile Opera browser too. Tap the Opera icon from the bottom menu and then navigate to Settings > Clear... to choose what to delete: saved passwords, browsing history, cookies and data, or all of it.

Edge: Clear Browsing Data

In Microsoft's Edge browser, included in their newer versions of Windows, clearing the cache is done via the Clear browsing data menu. Once open, check Cached data and files, as well as Cookies and saved website data and then tap or click Clear.

The fastest way to the Clear browsing data menu is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Another option is via the More button (that little icon with three horizontal dots), followed by Settings and then the Choose what to clear button under the Clear browsing data heading.

See How to Clear the Cache in Microsoft Edge for more extensive help clearing the cache, as well as See How to Delete Cookies in Microsoft Edge for detailed instructions on clearing your cookies in Microsoft Edge.

Tip: Tap or click Show more while in the Clear browsing data menu for additional items you can erase while clearing cached files and images.

To delete cache files from the Edge mobile browser, go into the menu using button on the right side of the menu, and choose Settings. Go to Privacy > Clear browsing data and choose what you want removed; you can pick cache, passwords, form data, cookies, and more.