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Web Design Blog

Toolkit's Guide to: Clearing your Browsers Cache

When your website is being built, your Web Design Company have probably told you more than once to either "Do a hard refresh on your browser", or "Clear your browsers cache."

If you're unsure of what this means, you've come to the right place.

Why do I need to refresh/ clear my cache?

When you load up a web page for the first time, the browser you are using downloads all the files, HTML, graphics, images and more in order for you to see the page. Once you've viewed the website, it is cached in your browser.

This means, if you make a change to your website (say for example, you change an image) when you next visit the web page instead of re-downloading all of that information to show you the latest version of the site, it will show you the version it downloaded before.

This is why you need to force it to re-download all the website details again, so you can see the latest versions.

Sometimes this can be done with a simple refresh of your browser. On a PC you can hold down the Control and F5 key together, and then let go. On a Mac you can do the same but with the Command and R keys.

Some browsers have a little arrow or refresh icon where the URL is found:

But when that doesn't work, you will need to take a look at clearing your cache. In fact, you can fix many browser problems simply by clearing your cache.

In the office, our preferred browser is Mozilla Firefox.

To clear your cache in Firefox you simply follow these steps:

1. Click on the menu in the top right hand corner of the browser page

2.  Click on the Preferences option

3. You then need to select "Advanced" and choose "Network." You will be taken to the screen below, and you can then clear your cache.

Clearing the cache may take a few moments, you'll need to wait for it to complete it's work. Once it's finished, it's recommended that you restart your browser.

You will now be able to see the latest version of the website!

For a full comprehensive guide on how to clear your cache in other browsers and their different versions, visit the WikiHow article here.