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Clearing Your Web Browser Data - Knowledgebase / Application and Online Services Help / Web browsers - SOU IT Help Desk

Clearing Your Web Browser Data

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This article describes how to clear your web browsing history, cache, and cookies in all of the major web browsers supported by SOU. Clearing your cache and cookies can resolve common issues with some of our online services, and clearing the cache especially can help recover disk space on your device.

Definitions


Cache

To speed up webpage loading times, all modern web browsers save local copies of images and other webpage content on your computer. Since we tend to visit the same websites frequently, this cached content can often be reused, saving time by loading the content from your local computer instead of downloading it again over the network. This cached data takes up disk space and can sometimes cause your web browser to serve up an expired version of a webpage when the live version of the webpage updates, but caching issues are rare enough that the benefits greatly outweigh the occasional hiccups. As you will see in a minute, it is also very easy to clear the cache when you need to in order to resolve a problem.

Cookies

Cookies are small pieces of data that your web browser stores on your computer on a website's behalf. Cookies enable your web browser to remember certain things about you when you visit websites, such as who you are after you have logged in so that you don't have to authenticate over and over again when browsing a website that requires a login. Unfortunately, cookies can sometimes go stale (haha) and thus lead to problems with authentication. It is easy to clear them all out, and at worst you might need to log in again the next time you visit your favorite website.

History

By default, your web browser remembers the websites that you visit so that you can conveniently find your way back to them later. You can follow the steps below to erase that history information, and if you would prefer not to have your web browser track it in the first place, consider using your web browser's private browsing mode.


How to Clear Your Web Browser's Cache, Cookies, and History


Google Chrome: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2392709?hl=en&rd=1


Mozilla Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-clear-firefox-cache


Apple's Safari browser

On a MacOS laptop or desktop: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21412?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

On an iPhone or an iPad: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201265


Microsoft Edge: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/10607/microsoft-edge-view-delete-browser-history