How Do I Clear My Browser's Cache?

Web browsers collect (and store) large amounts of data on your computer. By default, browsers automatically download the entirety of every webpage you visit so the software can simply "display the page." However, by default most browsers keep a copy of these pages (in your browser's cache) to improve seamless display as you navigate. Incidentally, browsers typically collect (and report) much more.

While there are certain benefits (and downsides) to web-caching, a frequently unanticipated issue involves the caching of pages displayed due to network interruptions, page download failures, server issues and connection problems. Even after the actual issue is fully resolved, stale error pages, browser warnings, and other caution flags will often continue to display because the browser saved them in cache. This sometimes happens for remote/off-campus users connecting to library subscription databases. Many network linkages and "handshakes" must occur to make a solid connection. When these connections fail, error pages sometimes get "stuck" in cache, preventing the user from accessing available content.

Many experienced web users simply set their browsers to limit (or not even allow) certain types of data caching. Whenever your browsing session includes connection problems or download difficulties, please consider refreshing your browser's cache to clear outdated (and often erroneous) Internet browsing data. Then, re-start your browser to begin anew.