Clearing Browser Cache

It’s not quite got the same kudos as the advice given to many of ‘turn it off and on again’ but clearing your internet browser cache can often solve a multitude of issues that you may experience when are using online software. But what really is cache? And why is it so important to clear it out? Webroster’s own technical support guru David Danks tells us why…

“Whenever a computer accesses internet sites, such as Webroster.net for example, your computer needs to download various files to create and display the webpage that you are looking at. These files are not only downloaded, but also stored locally on your computer or device in an area known as a cache. These temporarily stored files are often then referred to as cache files.

“One of the benefits of this is if you are visiting the same page many times, these cache files speed up the rate in which the webpage is displayed on your screen. This is because, for the parts of the webpage that have not changed since you last looked at it, these files are loaded from your local cache on your computer and not downloaded again from the internet; it is much faster to grab those files from the local cache than the internet. For any parts of the webpage that have changed or been updated since you last looked at it, these changes are downloaded and updated in your local cache.”

So what does ‘clearing cache’ mean and why should we do it?

“Over a period of time the cache gets very cluttered, sometimes with hundreds of thousands of files! In these cases it is possible for your computer to take a long time to try and find a local file in the cache and it can make mistakes. Sometimes when a webpage changes your computer does not recognise that parts of the webpage have changed and so doesn’t download the latest version of these files and this is when problem occur.

“These problems might be images not displaying correctly, buttons can no longer be pressed, warning and or error messages appearing, the webpage not looking quite right or other graphical issues. “So by clearing your cache and deleting these temporary internet files stored in your local cache it forces your computer to request the most up to date versions of these files from the internet because those files can’t be found locally on your computer.

“Additionally your local IT service may have restrictions on your network/computer or company firewall to restrict this type of file being automatically updated and this may need to be done manually by your IT team.” Explained David.

 


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