How To Clear Cache On Laptop Browsers?
Getting information and data from around the web takes processing power and time. The data needs to travel from one server to another. Using caching cuts down on this time and resource usage.
What is cache – answering this will depend on the context. In simple terms cache is a way to save and quickly recall frequently used data. Managing your cache especially when using WordPress can be the difference between a smooth, fast-running site and a frustratingly slow site.
This blog will answer the questions – how to clear cache on laptop browsers and what is cache and we will provide some insight into how to manage yours on different browsers.
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What Is Cache?
How web caching works? Cache takes data processed by an app and stores it for later use. It does not have to be in the browser per se but you will find websites and their underlying technology use cache a lot.
Caching is the term for the process of storing and recalling the saved data.
Cache usually includes two elements:
- The caching software itself runs the process and shuttles it between the various other elements.
- Random Access Memory – RAM and In-Memory engines which stores the data passed by the caching technology.
These elements have to be high-quality and collaborative. Slow-performing RAM will not be able to recall the data quickly enough for the software to use it efficiently.
A cache is almost and always necessary for most web applications especially given how large page file sizes are. A solid implementation can give you precious seconds back in some cases.
A user who remarks that a site loads fast gives an indirect compliment to the caching software at the heart of the website’s server.
How Cache Can Help You Optimise Websites
In today’s world computer technology is constantly expanding hence memory, hard disk space and other such computer processing elements are increasing in size at a rapid rate. Those were the days when 64 KB of RAM in our personal computers was a wow factor, today there are Gigabytes – GB of RAM on tap.
Websites are also becoming heavier due to the demands of modern web development and related technologies place on-site code. It not only requires more processing power for an end-user but also a more robust server and the technology to accommodate. Without memory and caching – the loading speeds slows to a crawl.
That is why Search Engine Optimisation – SEO has recognised that page speed is a primary factor for ranking websites. While the exact details are not known, the ranking factors that go into the placement of a site in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) include references to site speed.
While ranking metrics will not use site speed as a direct measurement as you would like to imagine it since there are too many factors in play to use it as a reliable metric in itself.
There are a lot of other aspects to take it into account. For example – the quality of your website’s HTML code and the loading times from within Google Chrome have an impact as well.
Regarding User Experience UX – A longstanding metric states user will abandon a page after only two seconds’ wait. It brings up a few issues:
- Your Google Rank Brain optimisation — which includes bounce rate needs to be spot-on or else your SEO efforts are dead in the water.
- A faster site loading speed will help keep your bounce rate in check.
- The UX of your site is one of your website’s most critical elements.
Caching can help in all of these areas by reducing the time it takes for your page to load. What’s more – the resources your site uses will be lower and further reduce the impact.
Summary – a site that loads fast with the most relevant and up-to-date information will perform better than the rest.
How to clear caching on laptop in different browsers
How to Clear Your Cache
One of the more common needs is to know how to clear your cache. As you may expect there are a few ways to do this and it depends on your device or browser. We will take you through the various approaches – starting with your desktop browser.
Clearing Your Browser’s Cache
By far the most common relationship an end-user will have with caching is within the browser.
Clearing your browser cache is a tried and trusted way to get things working again if there are issues. It is a method often presented as much as turning something off and back on again.
Each browser will have a dedicated preferences screen to give you access to the cache to various degrees.
How to Clear Cache and Cookies In Chrome
To clear the cache and cookies in Chrome – you will need to access the browser’s Settings menu. There are three different ways you can get here.
The first way is to click the three vertical dots icon in the top-right corner of the screen – hovering over More Tools and then selecting Clear Browsing Data.
You may have noticed from the above image that there is a shortcut key you can use. To go straight to the page to clear your cache and cookies – press down simultaneously on the Ctrl + Shift + Delete keys.
Alternatively you can enter chrome://settings/clearBrowserData in the address bar.
Regardless of which method of navigation you choose – you should now be at the Clear Browsing Data window.
The first thing you need to do is select the time range for deleting the cookies and cache. Click the arrow in the box next to Time Range to expand the menu and then select the desired time range. This is set to All Time by default.
Next check the boxes next to Cookies And Other Site Data and Cached Images And Files. You can also clear your browsing history here too.
Once the boxes are checked – select the Clear Data button.
After a few moments your cache and cookies will be cleared.
Why clear the cache?
You generally would not need to clear Chrome’s cache. When all is working properly Chrome manages the cache – making room as needed.
Clearing Google Chrome’s cache is a diagnostic tool you might use when things do not seem to be working properly. For example if pages are not displaying properly or it just seems excessively slow or otherwise broken – clearing the browser cache is an easy first step. It harms nothing and might fix things.
Since the cache is a speed optimisation – the only side effect of clearing it might be a temporary performance hit where pages might take just a little longer to load the first time you visit them after the cache has been cleared.
How To Clear Cache In Firefox
Open Firefox on your Mac or PC. Click the menu button in the upper right hand corner of the browser. This appears as three lines. Click Preferences which is located next to a gear symbol.
Click on the Privacy & Security tab on the left hand side. Scroll down until you see the Cookies and Site Data section. Click Clear Data. Check the box next to Cached Web Content. Click Clear – to clear your cache.
How To Clear Cache In Safari
Click on the Safari tab at the top left of your screen and choose Preferences… from the dropdown menu.
Click the Advanced tab of the menu that pops up. At the end of the tab – select and tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar box and close the Preferences menu.
Click the Develop tab from the Safari menu at the top of the page. Click Empty Caches from the dropdown menu.
You can quickly get to the Microsoft Edge clear cache settings if you type edge://settings/clearBrowserData in the address bar.
Or alternatively the Microsoft clear cache menu can also be reached by clicking the ellipsis icon near the top right corner and selecting settings in the menu.
Microsoft Edge will now open a new tab with all of its settings. Select Privacy, search and services on the left. On the right side of the screen Edge will show all the privacy related settings.
Here you may have to scroll down a bit in order to access the Clear browsing data section – where you will see a button that allows you to choose what to clear.
Now Edge will display an overview not only of the different types of data you can clear but also the time range of the data you want to clear.
Now with Microsoft Edge you can keep your browsing history and autofill information or saved passwords that Microsoft Edge has conveniently saved for you over time. If you only want to delete your most recent browsing history then that is possible too.
You can select whether you want to delete date from the last hour, the last 24 hours, last week, last month or all time.
Besides selecting over what period of time you want to delete browsing data, you can also choose what type of data you want to delete.
How to Clear the Cache In Opera
To clear the cache in Opera – open the browser on your computer.
Click the Opera logo from the top left. This will expand a series of controls for the browser.
Click the Settings option from the list. A new tab will open.
Scroll to the bottom and click on Advanced. This is where you will find the Opera cache location in settings.
Click the Clear browsing data option.
By default Opera will select all three options in this basic screen. This will clear the history of sites you visit, cookies and site data and all cached images and files on the computer.
Select all you want to remove and click – Clear data. You can also select the time range of files – this way you can save data for older sites while troubleshooting or clearing newer ones.
NOTE: You can also use the Advanced tab from this window if you want additional options. From here, you can target specific types of data you want to clear from Opera’s cache.
After a few moments – the cache is deleted and you are brought back to the advanced screen. The time it takes to clear the cache in Opera on a PC depends on the number of files you have stored.
In reality it can take anything from a few seconds to several minutes for Opera to clear the cache.
It is not always bells and whistles with caching. The main concern is implementing a cache that works exceedingly well. A large and frequent caching cycle is not necessary for many small websites or non-enterprises or networks if your pages have not changed much.
On the other hand – a strategy and implementation that does not cache enough or in the right way will show outdated pages. This issue can sometimes happen with WordPress websites and there are tricks and tips to overcome it.
Consider a pandemic resource site that has to update its information regularly. Now consider how inadequate or non-existent browser caching could impact the page.
The good news is that getting caching set up to mitigate or lessen the impact of these drawbacks is straightforward.
We have already noted how caching is involved in several different ways across computing in general.
Now we are looking at non-CPU caches. If you check at the Apple MacBook specs, you will notice there are often a few megabytes -MB of caching included in the processing chip:
This caching also holds for mobile devices. Here we are looking at caching that uses servers in some capacity and below are some of the different technology we are talking about:
- Browsers. A browser cache is the first thing you will think of when it comes to technology. It stores regular requests in the cache for faster loading on the next call.
- Devices. While the CPUs themselves are beyond the scope of the article, the browsers and apps on the device will often use the storage and RAM to cache data.
- Apps. Yes the apps can also have a cache to store oft-used data. Once again – this is going to use on-device storage that is not the CPU to cache data.
- Servers. Another everyday use for caching. Some of the server data that shuttles around can be stored and recalled for faster execution and processing.
- Domain Name Server – DNS caching. A focused application for caching. The machines involved here do nothing but cache data so the front-line servers can shuttle data while the DNS caches ensure a smooth operation.
It is worth pointing out a few points on related technology to caching. For example – you may consider that storing cookies is similar to caching web pages which may be true.
Cookies are stored on your computer after being triggered by the browser. The difference is that cookies store information about you and your usage rather than the page state.
A Content Delivery Network – CDN does the same thing as caching on paper. CDN stores the whole website as a set of static files rather than working with the site directly while it has the hallmarks of caching on the surface – it is a different way of storing and delivering websites that still need caching to run fast.
Some CDNs like Cloudflare take care of both aspects and more which makes client sites faster and more secure.
Despite our love and affection for WordPress it is not the fastest platform around. If you are using WordPress for your website – you will need to employ caching to help serve up a rapid experience. Your site speed is a joint effort between you, your host and your choice of caching plugin.
For customers – a dedicated WordPress caching plugin will likely be an excellent addition to your setup.
There are many solutions available in the WordPress caching plugin arena and having to make a choice could be overwhelming. Let us take a look at some of our favourite options.
There are in no particular order of importance since all of them are equally important and highly recommended.
WP Super Cache
The most straightforward option is to choose WP Super Cache. The WP Super Cache plugin is considered the official WordPress caching plugin. It serves static HTML files in place of your dynamic PHP files which are what almost all of your visitors will see – all without experiencing any loss of functionality.
What’s more is that the plugin includes preloading, garbage collection -removing cached items that are no longer required, a CDN and REST API endpoints for developers. It is a solid entry point to caching plugins and could be all you need.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache has been on many users’ install lists for a long time. The W3 Total Cache plugin is billed as a Web Performance Optimisation -WPO framework and claims to be agnostic to the choice of the web host.
It is packed with features and functionality but it is notorious for being overwhelming to new users. W3 Total Cache has many features but you need the time to use it most optimally.
The WP Rocket plugin is a high-performing plugin that is also easy to use. It applies a bunch of best practices and has over 2.2 million users. WP Rocket is also compatible with most WordPress products and services.
How to Install a Caching Plugin
The process is straightforward and is the same as any other WordPress plugin when it comes to installing a cache plugin. Caching will be enabled upon activation and there will often be a dedicated panel to handle how the plugin caches your website.
For example – you can locate WP Super Cache’s options in the Settings > WP Super Cache panel:
Your particular plugin will have different settings depending on its complexity and goals. A solution like WP Super Cache is quite deceptive since it appears simple on the surface but as the Advanced section shows – there are a lot under the hood to tinker with:
Our guide is to stick to the simple – recommended options if you are unsure of what a particular setting does. Most caching plugins have quick-to-set options for different caching setups.
For example in WP Super Cache – you can choose either Simple or Expert caching:
The main difference is that the Expert mode uses Apache’s mod_rewrite option to serve cached files. Therefore for a user who does not know the inner workings of how files are cached – the Simple delivery method would be the acceptable choice.
The good news is that clearing a cache is often a case of clicking once and waiting for the browser to do its thing. Most browsers will let you select the data you want to clear from the cache and this will increase your click count if clicks are important for your site.
Clearing a DNS Cache
For the unaware – the DNS cache stores all of the most recent attempts to connect to the internet specifically its domain names. In simple terms – it is a list of DNS lookups the computer uses to figure out how to connect to the internet.
It is different from other caches on your device but could have some cross-over. Before you get into clearing the DNS cache – you should have three things in place:
- Admin access to your computer or device.
- Access to the Terminal, Command Prompt or Command Line.
- Skills necessary to use the Command Line Interface –CLI although you do not necessarily need to know the exact commands to use.
Of course when it comes to the last point – at Best-Digital Marketing Services we are here to help.
Clearing the WordPress Cache
When it comes to WordPress there are a few places you can head to clear the cache. The platform itself does not hold a cache but there are two touchpoints to consider:
- Your hosting provider’s options which sometimes can be found within WordPress.
- Your dedicated caching plugin.
Depending on your choice of host you will have an option within your control panel within a plugin installed within WordPress which is dedicated to your host’s server-side caching or both.
In some cases you will have a dedicated third-party plugin in place to help cache your site and you may find the option to clear it within the relevant settings or preferences screen.
How you access this will depend on the plugin of your choice. For example, WP Super Cache displays the option both on the toolbar and the Settings > WP Super Cache page:
For W3 Total Cache – you will again find the options you need in the toolbar at the top of WordPress:
For most plugins the option to clear the cache will be within the toolbar or labelled. As for your host – you will find the option to clear the cache in two places
- the WordPress dashboard if there is a plugin involved and
- your hosting control panel.
Some hosts help WordPress users by adding specific options to the WordPress admin through a plugin. In most cases these act in a similar way to third-party caching plugins.
However the best approach will be to head to your hosting control panel and look for your caching options.
How To Clear Cache On Laptop Browsers and meet your goals
Websites need to run fast. The most efficient way to do this is through caching. It is a way to store the data that is often pulled and pushed between servers. Once saved browsers can recall it in a split second making your website load quicker and keep you on the right side of SEO.
An efficient and effective host will have server-side caching in place and do all it can to make sure your site use it to its most optimum. A good plugin will make your site run even faster and make sure caching helps every aspect of your site.
For the end-user caching is a simple technology. For those who dig deeper it is something worth spending plenty of time on since your performance relies on it.
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