Browsers Internet

3 Hidden Switches That Clear the Chrome Cache Instantly

Saikat Basu 20-04-2017

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 Everything You Need to Know About the Browser Cache [MakeUseOf Explains] Whenever you have an issue with a website, one of the first suggestions you will hear from IT support is "try to clear your browser cache" along with "and delete your cookies". So what is... Read More 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.

Dev Tool

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.


A normal reload does not consume too much bandwidth and is fast. But it is a “dirty” way of reloading a webpage as the browser just refreshes the page without wiping the old CSS, JavaScript files, Flash assets, etc.

2. Hard Reload

The browser bypasses the local cache and re-downloads everything to show you the latest version of the webpage. But this might not be a clean wipe always as some cached data can be reused. For instance, a JavaScript file that goes to work after the page loads.

You can also use the following key combinations: Ctrl + RCtrl + 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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  1. Nettlebay
    March 13, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    continually displaying this developer tool is not very convenient ... But in the Developer tool, there is an option in settings where you can "undock into a separate window" then minimize it. So you can forget it!

  2. Ernesto
    November 25, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    How to disable cache in Chrome?

  3. Mark Tristan R. Ocampo
    April 20, 2017 at 8:27 am

    I recently purchased a Pro version of CCleaner for Mac after using the free version for sometime. Now, I have peace of mind. I believe that's fine.

    • Saikat Basu
      April 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Doesn't CCleaner prompt you to close the browser and then run it. Here, you don't need to. Of course, a system wide cleaning tool like CCleaner is always recommended because you can selectively keep some cookies while wiping others.