Answered By: Ken Winter
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2017     Views: 16

"Clear your browser cache" is often the first solutions that techies recommend when you encounter Web page problems. 

The browser "cache" exists because of a basic assumption made by browser designers: the Internet is slow. More accurately, your Internet connection is slower than your computer. What that means is that it’s typically faster to get something from your computer's hard disk than it is to get it from the Internet. Even with today’s faster internet speeds, that still holds very true.

Browser designers noticed that most web sites had many of the same elements on multiple pages. For example, if you look at this page, you’ll see the Ask Leo! logo at the top. It’s actually at the top of every page on this site. So the thinking was, why download the same logo for every page? Why not just download it once and then keep it so we can use it again?

That’s what the browser cache is for. The cache is nothing more than a place on your computer's hard disk where the browser keeps things that it downloaded once in case they’re needed again.
When you first visit a page on this site, the browser downloads the logo into the cache, and then displays it on the page you’re viewing. For each additional page you visit, the logo doesn’t need to be downloaded again; as long as the same logo is displayed, it’s already on your hard disk.

The cache has a size limit.  When the cache gets full, the items in it that haven’t been used in a while are discarded to make more space. Generally speaking the cache is a place to keep things locally so you don’t have to download the same things over and over again, and cache is transparent for users...until something breaks.

When that happens, "clearing the cache" is often the solution. Here's how to do it: 

1. Select "Customize and control Google Chrome."
2. Select "More tools"
3. Select "Clear browsing data."

Clearing the cache just means emptying it, so that the next time you display a web page everything must be downloaded anew.  With this in mind you may want to consider unchecking (it is the default setting) passwords, so Chrome will remember those for you. :)