Problem

If you go to a page and it's supposed to have changed but you still see the old unchanged version, then you are probably looking at your browser's cache.  Each time you visit a page, your browser stores a copy of it and if you visit again, it may show that instead of any new page.  The idea is to make it quicker to surf - you don't have to download every page every visit.  With high speed Internet, this is less important than it used to be.  In fact, I have my browsers set to download a fresh copy every time and the slowdown is hardly noticeable.

Refresh your browser.

There are in fact 3 levels of cache saving and three methods to clear your cache

  1. Browser temporary files.  To clear this (cache) on Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, press F5.  In Safari, press CTRL R.  In Macs, click CMD R. On a mobile phone (iPhone or Android), the browser window usually includes a small circular arrow in the address window (looks something like this: refresh ). That does the refresh of these cases.
  2. Cache at your ISP's server or elsewhere on the Internet.  If you or other users of the server (e.g. at Bell, Cogeco etc) visit the site frequently, then the server will keep a copy of the page.  To clear that cache, click CTRL F5. (Actually it may not clear the cache but you do bypass it for your computer and get a fresh copy of the page.)
  3. If you want to fully clear all files in your cache - not just the current site, you can fully clear the cache as follows:
    1. Chrome:  More Tools>Clear Browsing Data> then uncheck all except "Cached images and files" and click "Clear browsing data".
    2. Edge:  Go to settings, Under Clear Browsing data, click Choose what to clear, then uncheck all except "Cached data and Files" and clck "clear".
    3. Firefox:  Go to Menu icon and then Options>Privacy (Or if you have menu bar enabled Tools>Options>Privacy).  Click clear your recent history,  check Cache ONLY,  then click Clear Now.
    4. Internet Explorer:  Internet Options>General then under under Browsing History click Deleteā€¦  Then uncheck all except Temporary Internet Files and Preserve Favorites Website data and click "delete".

    Modify settings to not use a cache

    You can also change the default settings so that the browser does not store a cache so does not need to be cleared. The default setting is "automatic" which is supposed to check dates and decide if the cache needs to be refreshed - but it often does not work very well.  Especially if you visit the same site frequently.  The procedure is different for each browser:

    1. Firefox: Enter about:config in the URL address box.  Scroll down to the line starting with browser.cache.check_doc_frequency.  Click that line to highlight it then right click anywhere on the line.  Click Modify.  In the box, enter a number 0, 1, 2 or 3.   The choices are: 0: Check once per browser session;  1: Check every time I view the page; 2: Never check (always use cached page); 3 (default): Check when the page is out of date (automatically determined).
    2. Internet Explorer:  Go to Tools>Internet Options then General Tab then under browser history click "Settings".  For "Check for newer versions of stored pages" choose  "Every time I visit the webpage".
    3. Safari - go to Preferences>Advanced and set the Database storage to none.  This should work but I have not tested it.

    I am not aware of any way to make Chrome stop using a cache.  But you can add an extension "Cache Killer" which clears the cache before every page load.  Effectively the same thing.  Easy to enable/disable.

    Note that this does not help if you are seeing the cache of the ISP (case 2 above).  (In that case, complain to your ISP but the person on the support desk may not know what you are talking about.)

Google Ad