Service Desk

Clear my web browser cache, cookies and history

Each time you access a file through your web browser, the browser caches (stores) it. This way, the browser doesn't have to newly retrieve files (including any images on the page) from the remote web site each time you click Back or Forward. You should periodically clear the cache to allow your browser to function more efficiently.

A cookie is a file created by a web browser, at the request of a web site, which is stored on a computer. These files typically store user-specific information such as selections in a form, shopping cart contents, or authentication data. Browsers will normally clear cookies that reach a certain age, but clearing them manually may solve problems with web sites or your browser.

A browser's history is a log of sites that you visit. When you press a browser's Back button, you are moving back one entry in the history log. Browsers will normally clear history at regular intervals, but you may want to clear it manually for privacy reasons.

Click any image for a full-size version.

Windows

Internet Explorer 8 and above
  1. In the upper right corner of the screen, click on the Tools menu (gear shaped icon).
  2. From the Safety menu in the upper right, click Delete Browsing History...
  3. Deselect Preserve Favorites website data, and select Temporary Internet files, Cookies, and History.
  4. Click Delete.
Internet Explorer 7
  1. From the Tools menu in the upper right, select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete...
  3. To delete your cache, click Delete files...
  4. To delete your cookies, click Delete cookies...
  5. To delete your history, click Delete history...
  6. Click Close, and then click OK to exit.
Firefox 3.5 and above (Windows)
  1. From the Tools menu, select Clear Recent History...
  2. From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select the desired range. To clear your entire cache, select Everything.
  3. Click the down arrow next to Details to choose what history elements to clear (e.g., check Cookies to clear cookies). Click Clear Now.
Chrome
  1. Click the wrench icon on the browser toolbar, or in the browser bar enter, chrome://settings/clearBrowserData and press Enter.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
  5. Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select Beginning of time to delete everything.
  6. Click Clear browsing data.

Mac OS

Safari
  1. From the Safari menu, select Reset Safari...
  2. From the menu, select the items you want to reset, and then click Reset.
    Note: As of Safari 5.1, Remove all website data covers both cookies and cache.
Firefox 3.5 and above (Mac OS)
  1. From the Tools menu, select Clear Recent History.
  2. From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select the desired range. To clear your entire cache, select Everything.
  3. Click the down arrow next to Details to choose which elements to clear. Click Clear Now.

Mobile 

Safari for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad)
  • From the home screen, tap Settings, and then tap Safari.
  • At the bottom of Safari's settings screen, tap the buttons for Clear Cookies, Clear Cache, and Clear History. To confirm, tap Clear Cookies or Clear Cache or Clear History again.
Android
  1. Start your browser.
  2. Tap Menu, and then tap More.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Under Privacy settings, select Clear cache, Clear history, or Clear all cookie data as appropriate. Tap OK to accept (or Cancel to cancel) the deletion.
Article last updated: 
Jul 24 2013