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How Do I Clear My Web Browser's Cache, Cookies, and History?

If you do not see instructions for your specific version or browser, search your browser's Help menu for "clear cache".

If you're unsure what browser version you're using, from the Help menu, select About [browser name].

On this page:


About cache, cookies, and history

Each time you access a file through your web browser, the browser caches (i.e., stores) it. Thus, the browser doesn't have to newly retrieve files (including any images on the page) from the remote web site each time you click the Back or Forward buttons. 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 website, that is stored on the your 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 websites 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 the history log. Browsers will normally clear history at regular intervals, but you may want to clear it manually for privacy reasons.

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Internet Explorer 8

  1. From the Safety menu in the upper right, click Delete Browsing History... .
  2. Deselect Preserve Favorites website data, and select Temporary Internet files, Cookies, and History.
  3. Click Delete.

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Internet Explorer 7

  1. From the Tools menu in the upper right, select Internet Options.
  2. Under "Browsing history", click Delete... .
    To delete your cache, click Delete files... .
    To delete your cookies, click Delete cookies... .
    To delete your history, click Delete history... .
  3. Click Close, and then click OK to exit.

Firefox 6 Windows

1. Open Mozilla Firefox 6.
2. Click the Firefox button and then choose Options.
Note: If you're using the menu bar, choose Tools and then Clear Recent History. Skip to Step 5 below.
3. With the Options window now open, click the Privacy tab.
4. In the History area, click the clear your recent history link.
Tip: If you don't see that link, change the Firefox will: option to Remember history. You can change it back to your custom setting when you're done.
5. In the Clear Recent History window that appears, set the Time range to clear: to Everything.
6. In the list at the bottom of the window, uncheck everything except for Cache.
Note: If you wish to clear other kinds of stored data, feel free to check the appropriate boxes. They will be cleared with the cache in the next step.
Tip: Don't see anything to check? Click the button next to Details.
7. Click on the Clear Now button.
8. When the Clear Recent History window disappears, all of the files saved (cached) from your Internet browsing activities in Firefox will have been removed.

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Firefox 3.5 for 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.

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Firefox 3 for Windows

  1. From the Tools menu, select Clear Private Data... , and then select the items you want to delete (e.g., Browsing History, Cache, Cookies).
  2. Click Clear Private Data Now.

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Chrome

  1. On the upper right, from the Tools menu (Tools Img), select Options.
  2. From the Under the Hood tab, click Clear browsing data... .
  3. Select the items you want to clear (e.g., Clear browsing history, Clear download history, Empty the cache, Delete cookies and other site data), and then click Clear browsing data.

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Safari

  1. From the Safari menu, select Reset Safari... .
  2. From the menu, select the items you want to reset, and then click Reset.

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Firefox 6 Mac

1. Open Mozilla Firefox 6.
2. Click the Firefox button and then choose Options.
Note: If you're using the menu bar, choose Tools and then Clear Recent History. Skip to Step 5 below.
3. With the Options window now open, click the Privacy tab.
4. In the History area, click the clear your recent history link.
Tip: If you don't see that link, change the Firefox will: option to Remember history. You can change it back to your custom setting when you're done.
5. In the Clear Recent History window that appears, set the Time range to clear: to Everything.
6. In the list at the bottom of the window, uncheck everything except for Cache.
Note: If you wish to clear other kinds of stored data, feel free to check the appropriate boxes. They will be cleared with the cache in the next step.
Tip: Don't see anything to check? Click the button next to Details.
7. Click on the Clear Now button.
8. When the Clear Recent History window disappears, all of the files saved (cached) from your Internet browsing activities in Firefox will have been removed.

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Firefox 3.5 for Mac OS X

  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.

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Firefox 3 for Mac OS X

  1. In Firefox, from the Tools menu, select Clear Private Data.
  2. Select the elements you want to clear (e.g., Browsing history, Cache, Cookies), and then click Clear Private Data Now.

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Mobile Safari for iPhone OS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)

To clear cache and cookies:

  1. From the home screen, tap Settings, and then tap Safari.
  2. At the bottom of Safari's settings screen, tap the buttons for Clear Cookies and Clear Cache. To confirm, tap Clear Cookies or Clear Cache again.

To clear history:

  1. From the home screen, tap Safari.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, tap the Bookmarks icon.
  3. In the lower left, tap Clear.
  4. Tap Clear History.

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Last Updated: 6/26/15