The browser cache is integral for many reasons, but in order for it to operate well, you need to clean it every so often. Cached files not only take up space, but can impact browser performance and even create rendering problems for some websites. Plus, anyone can peek into your internet cache and uncover sensitive information (like your browsing habits).
We’ve explained what the browser cache is and what it means for your browsing habits, so read that for a deeper exploration of the topic.
As far as clearing the cache, you can use the Ctrl + F5 keyboard shortcut. Or open the three-dot menu and select More tools > Clear browsing data. But did you know that there are three “hidden” switches that give you more options for cleaning without interrupting your work?
The 3 “Hidden” Switches
Open the Chrome Dev Tools by pressing F12. On the Dev Tools screen, just right-click on the Refresh button (upper right-hand corner) and a menu will drop down. Now you have three ways of cleaning the browser cache with a press of a button.
1. Normal Reload
This is the normal refresh you know about. The browser will reload but use cached data. The web browser will check the web server to see if any file has been modified. If so, the web browser will fetch the latest version of the file. Otherwise, the web browser will continue to use the cached version.
2. Hard Reload
You can also use the following key combinations: Ctrl + R, Ctrl + Shift + R, or Ctrl + F5.
3. Empty Cache and Hard Reload
This is the best choice to get the most recent version of a webpage. It wipes the cache completely and re-downloads everything. This is the best option to use if you want a completely fresh page from scratch.
Do you clean your cache files as a habit? Try the switches and tell us if you find them useful every day.
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