Google Chrome – Clearing The Cache

Google Chrome

Sometimes its necessary to clear the cache and sometimes its just helpful and can help speed things up – especially if you don’t clear the cache often.  There are several possible reasons for wanting to clear the cache.  Maybe you’re running out of disk space (or want to free up some more)?  Maybe you’re web browser is going really slowly?  Or maybe you’re seeing an old version of a web page that you know has been updated?  The final one affects web developers a lot of the time!

In this tutorial we’re going to go through some simple steps to clear the cache in Google Chrome.  Google Chrome has become a very popular browser, with one of its key advantages being its speed.  In a time when some browsers continue to get ever-more bloated and take up even more memory (that’s RAM, not hard disk space ;)) its a refreshing change to have a browser with a smaller memory footprint and speeder response times.

However, no browser can escape the slow down of an unnecessarily large cache.  A cache is a temporary place where website files are stored on your local computer so that next time you visit that website, it can load faster (as it doesn’t have to download some or sometimes all of the files for that website page).  However, after a while, this cache can be rather large, and that not only takes up disk space but it can make your browser very sluggish, which in turn leads to your frustration.

There’s a few simple steps to clear the cache in Google Chrome listed below.  And don’t worry, nothing bad can happen to your computer by clearing the cache.  The worst that can happen is that some websites are a little slower to load than usual at the beginning (due to all the files for the website having to be downloaded) but this is becoming an extremely small problem, and most of the time unnoticeable, due to fast broadband connections available these days.

Firstly, it’s always good to start by opening Google Chrome:

Google Chrome - Clear Cache - 1

Next, we need to go to the ‘Chrome’ menu item on the top menu bar and click on it (Windows users note:  This is probably going to be the File menu for you).  The select the ‘Clear Browsing Data…’ option:

Google Chrome - Clear Cache - 2

After clicking this Chrome should open up a new tab which will load a page containing your Chrome preferences.  A white dialog box will also be displayed asking what you want to clear and for how far back in time you want to clear it:

Google Chrome - Clear Cache - 3

As we want to clear the entire cache, select ‘the beginning of time’ from the drop down box near the top of the dialog.  This will ensure that all the cache is deleted.  Also ensure that the ‘Empty the cache’ checkbox is ticked.  It is only necessary to tick this one checkbox to delete all of the cache, but feel free to tick the other boxes if you want to delete any other history / cookies etc.  The cache is however, the one which will have the most impact on the performance of your browser.

Google Chrome - Clear Cache - 4

After you’ve selected the settings described above and shown in the above picture, click on the ‘Clear browsing data’ button.  Please note that clearing the cache make take a while, depending on how often you use the browser and how long it is since you last cleared the cache.

And that’s it!  You’ve cleared Chromes cache and you should now be experiencing increased performance while browsing! :).

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