Get rid of your cookies + clean up that cache

cookies

But cookies are yummy . . . why would I want to get rid of them? Can’t I just eat them instead?

Cookies, in Internet speak, are small text files that websites temporarily store on your computer. They contain data such as form entries, shopping cart items, login details, and other information so the website will remember your computer the next time you visit.

A cache is where your browser (Firefox, Safari, Chrome—and that other one that people still insist on using—Internet Explorer), stores images, audio files, video files, and text to make pages load faster and run smoother. (By the way, it’s pronounced cash, not cash-ay like I used to say when I first started designing websites many moons ago . . .)

It’s good practice to clear your cookies and cache periodically so you can know you are viewing the most up-to-date content on the web. And, it helps your browser function better, especially if wonky things are happening.

Here’s how to clear your browser’s cookies and cache and refresh your page:

Internet Explorer

IE8+

  • Go to the Safety menu (upper right corner) and click Delete Browsing History
  • Uncheck Preserve Favorites website data and check Temporary Internet files, Cookies, and History
  • Click Delete
  • Click Refresh

IE7

  • Go to the Tools menu (upper right corner) and click Internet Options
  • Under Browsing history, click Delete
  • Check Delete files, Delete cookies, and Delete history
  • Click Close and then click OK to exit
  • Click Refresh

Firefox

  • Go to the Tools menu and click Clear Recent History
  • From the Time range to clear drop-down menu, select Everything
  • Click the down arrow next to Details
  • Check Browsing & Download History, Cookies, and Cache
  • Click Clear Now
  • Click Reload

Google Chrome

  • Go to the Wrench icon (upper right corner), click Tools, and click Clear Browsing Data
  • Check Clear browsing history, Clear download history, Empty the cache, and Delete cookies and other site data
  • Select the beginning of time from the Obliterate the following items from drop-down
  • Click Clear Browsing Data
  • Click Reload

Safari

  • Go to the Safari menu and click Reset Safari
  • Check Clear history, Remove all webpage preview images, Remove all website icons, and Remove all website data
  • Click Reset
  • Click Reload

Safari for iPhone, iPod Touch + iPad

  • Go to the home screen, tap Settings, and then tap Safari
  • At the bottom of Safari’s settings screen, tap the buttons for Clear Cookies and Clear Cache
  • To confirm, tap Clear Cookies or Clear Cache again
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