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! :).


Will Mountain Lion be the OS X BSOD Superbug Solution?

OS X Mountain Lion LogoApple have today released the latest version of their OS X operating system – Mountain Lion.

Of course, this is usually an exciting time for Mac owners as they browse the new features and improvements and work out just how fast they are going to buy the latest operating system.

However, there is a much more critical reason for a possible OS update for Mac users, especially ones suffering with the OS X BSOD superbug problem.

Although DPS Computing managed to discover a temporary solution (which, by the way, still works :)), Mac users (including ourselves) are eager for a permanent solution that doesn’t mean that we have to effectively disable one of our graphics cards just to stop our Macs freezing every 5-10 minutes.

Has this been fixed in Mountain Lion? – well as yet, we’ve not been able to verify this – we would be particularly eager to hear from anyone (via e-mail, website contact form or a comment on this post) if they have previously suffered from the OS X BSOD superbug problem and have upgraded to Mountain Lion and it has fixed it.

However, this raises further questions.  If this problem with the nVidia graphics card drivers has been fixed in Mountain Lion, why has a free update not been given to Lion users?  After all, it would be unacceptable to effectively charge for what amounts to a critical bug fix, having already paid thousands of pounds for Apple Mac equipment.

Another question is, if this problem with the nVidia graphics card drivers hasn’t been fixed in Mountain Lion, why not?  The issue was first reported on Apple’s community support forums approximately 18 months ago, with Apple acknowledging the issue 12 months ago.

Some would argue that the time spent on ‘fixing’ the problem has already been too long, but if there is no fix, free or otherwise, available still, where does that leave Mac users (especially mid 2010 model users) suffering from this catastrophic bug within the nVidia drivers shipped with Lion?

Also, if no fix is released, does this mean that mid-2010 models of Mac computers are incompatible with OS X Lion, despite being previously confirmed as compatible?

There are still many questions to be asked, and more importantly, answers to be given regarding this problem, which many Mac users will now hope, having coped with the issue for at least 18 months, is close to a resolution to allow them to fully utilise their Mac hardware.

OS X BSOD ‘Superbug’ – gfxCardStatus v2.0 Declared a Success

gfxCardStatus Logo

The recent solution to the OS X BSOD ‘Superbug’ provided by DPS Computing Limited has undergone rigourous testing which has now been completed and declared a success.

Many users, mainly of mid-2010 MacBook Pros have been desperately searching for answers to the OS X BSOD ‘superbug’ which has been rendering their Apple machines useless.  With kernel panics, due to this problem, occurring every 5 to 10 minutes after boot, the problem all but disabled many of Apple’s flagship products.

Multiple avenues of investigation were performed by DPS Computing, including hardware issues, driver issues and third party software ‘triggers’.  Apple have failed to come up with a solution currently, after first acknowledging the problem 12 months ago.

Although there was initial problems when using gfxCardStatus 2.2.1, these problems have been confirmed to be rectified by using gfxCardStatus 2.0.

Apple are due to release the next major version of OS X – Mountain Lion, later on this month with predictions for the date being the 25th July, based on information regarding the release of Lion.

It is widely believed that Apple may release a permanent solution to the OS X BSOD superbug, to be included with Mountain Lion, by possibly including a rewritten version of the nVidia graphics card driver.  This would be an ideal solution for Apple customers, who would then be able to resume using dynamic switching and getting the full performance from their Macs.

UPDATE: OS X BSOD ‘Superbug’ : gfxCardStatus v2.0 Results Promising

gfxCardStatus Logo

Results from our initial thorough testing of gfxCardStatus version 2 in response the OS X BSOD ‘superbug’ are very promising which means that we now have a fully working and documented solution which has been documented previously.

Although not ideal this will no doubt come as a relief to many MacBook Pro mid-2010 model owners who are currently experiencing the disabling OS X BSOD bug.

Tests show that after multiple reboots the “Integrated only” option continues to work with each reboot, unlike the experience we had with gfxCardStatus v2.2.1 in testing.  The developer has put this down to the updated gfxCardStatus ‘triggering’ a defect related to the nVidia graphics card which in turn triggers the OS X BSOD.

One thing that is key to note from our testing of v2.0 is that even with the ‘run at startup’ option enabled, gfxCardStatus doesn’t appear to actually start upon booting and therefore it is necessary to run the application explicitly by double clicking it in the Applications folder (or an alternative location where you have copied it to, if not to Applications).

This problem is however fairly minor compared to the consequences of not using it, so I’m sure we can live with temporarily.  It would be advisable that users pin gfxCardStatus to the dock to serve as a reminder to start the application upon reboot.

To make life easier, so that the application is just ‘click and run’ for the purposes of what we need it to do some default settings should be changed (which then will obviously, not subsequently require resetting first time).  These settings changes are necessary to prevent the nVidia card being used in anyway or the ‘dynamic switching’ function becoming inadvertently activated.

Firstly, you should notice an ‘i’ at the top of your display – this may display as an ‘n’ in some circumstances, or may appear as a ‘d’ which means that the nVidia card is currently in use.  The ‘i’ refers to the Intel card.  After we change the settings, you want to verify that the ‘i’ is definitely showing, otherwise something has gone wrong.

Firstly, click on the ‘i’ and then select ‘Intel only’ from the menu:

Then we need to click on the ‘i’ again and select ‘Preferences’:

On the preferences menu you should ensure that under the ‘Switching’ category, ‘Restore last used mode’ at startup is ticked, ‘Use power based switching’ is unticked, and both of the ‘Intel’ buttons have been selected at the bottom.  You preferences should now look the same as those below:

And there you go, you’ve now got gfxCardStatus all set up to banish the OS X BSOD superbug!

Don’t forget, always remember to start up gfxCardStatus after a reboot if it fails to start itself!

With Mac OS X Mountain Lion due out later this month many MacBook Pro mid-2010 model users will be hoping that the long anticipated fix to the OS X BSOD superbug will be included with this release.

Link: gfxCardStatus v2.0 download.

UPDATE: OS X BSOD ‘Superbug’ – gfxCardStatus 2.0

gfxCardStatus Logo

Following the discovery by DPS Computing that gfxCardStatus 2.2.1 (the latest stable release) was a ‘one time wonder’ in regards to solving the OS X BSOD ‘superbug’ we decided to follow the advice of the gfxCardStatus developer and downgrade to 2.1, which shouldn’t have the same issue.

We can confirm during testing that downgrading to 2.1 had the same effect as using 2.2.1 – after one reboot, the screen would be garbled and unreadable using the ‘Integrated Only’ option.

Another solution that was suggested by the developer is to downgrade to any version of gfxCardStatus 2.0 or above, especially if it has worked previously for you.

Unfortunately, we were not using gfxCardStatus before the problems started affecting our testing machine, however we have downgraded to version 2.0 of gfxCardStatus to see if this helps resolve the issue.  Testing is currently ongoing however initial results are promising (although this was the case while using the initial 2.2.1 version).

That having been said, we are hopeful that version 2.0 may work for us, as there has been some positive feedback on the gfxCardStatus forums stating that this has worked for users trying to thwart the robust OS X BSOD superbug.

We will continue testing gfxCardStatus version 2 and update you.  We are planning to continue to run the test plans involving actions where the OS X BSOD and kernel panics frequently occur and reboot the machine several times to check that the solution continues to work after reboot.