Clearing cache, cookies, and history from web browsers is important for having your web browser run optimally. I learned this when my browser started slowing down and thought it was my internet connection. I decided to look into this topic a lot more when I experience a slower browser experience.
Why should you clear your cache, cookies, and history? Clearing your browser’s cache, cookies and history will increase its performance. All three of these components of a browser store data in their own way on your computer’s hard disk that should be freed up periodically to allow for more of an optimally performing computer and browser.
Cache, cookies, and history each serve a purpose in browsing the web. Depending on how you use them, it can be beneficial to clear some of them more than others. There are many reasons to clear them periodically for browsing the web though.
Why clearing your Browser’s Cache, Cookies, and History is Necessary
The browser’s cache is designed to store common data from a website on your hard disk. This is because it is faster to retrieve data from your device’s local storage rather than over the internet.
On certain websites, many pages contain the same layout so the cache will download these commonalities between the pages. Then your browser can pull the common data from you local disk to the browser and fill the rest of the page on the browser with the changing information from over the internet.
It may sound beneficial to not clear this, but over time storing too much data of this data over many websites can affect your computer’s overall performance.
Over time, when your browser retrieves data from the cache it can mess up and not formate the web page as it is supposed to. This can happen because developers can update parts files of a website that you do not have cached. The result will be that every time you go back to the website, you will be using your old cached files rather than the new updated files. This is another reason why it is beneficial to periodically clear the cache.
Browser cookies are a small file filled with information that is sent to your browser from a website that you visit. The website that placed this cookie on your browser, can now track certain information about sites you visited by reading this small file. When you revisit the website, the data is sent back to them with information on your previous visit also.
An example of this would be when you sign in to a website. The website will use a cookie to remember your login information so that you do not have to type this info when you navigate to another page on the website.
Cookies delete themselves after a certain amount of time but it still may be beneficial to manually clear them. Since they are small files, they have less of an individual effect on performance but more of an effect on privacy.
Storing a lot of cookies over time can affect your computer’s performance which is another good reason to clear them over time.
It may be inconvenient to have to re-type your login credentials or whatever data your cookie was storing but it can save you in the long run from someone using your data.
The browser history is designed to save a copy of all the pages you visit. It makes web browsing convenient because you are able to revisit a funny meme you came across a week ago by going through your browser’s history.
Although it can make navigating the web convenient at times, it is still a good idea to clear your history to clear all the data it is storing. This is beneficial because it can increase the performance of your computer and is beneficial for your privacy.
Are My Cache, Cookies, and History The Only Factors Affecting My Computer’s Performance?
The simple answer is maybe. If you experience that your computer and browser are running as fast as it was when you first got it then not clearing your cache cookies and history may have been the problem. If you only experience a slight increase in speed then there could be something else wrong.
There can be many other reasons why your computer is not operating at peak performance such as old hardware, your software not being up to date, etc. I can offer some tips on other ways to speed up your computer.
Try to clear up more hard drive space on your computer. Navigate to the hard drive settings on your computer and look for programs that take up a lot of space on your hard drive. Try to get rid of these programs that you believe you no longer need. This can include large photos you no longer need or applications you no longer use.
Get anti-malware program and scan for malware on your computer to ensure nothing suspicious is going on.
Make sure you do not have too many background programs running at the same time. Each program you use takes up the memory on your RAM. If too much of this memory is used up at once, you will notice a decrease in how much each of these applications can perform.
How To Clear Your Cache, Cookies, and History
- Follow this guide to clear your cache and cookies in Google Chrome
- Follow this guide to clear your history in Google Chrome
- Follow this guide to clear your cache in Firefox
- Follow this guide to clear your cookies in Firefox
- Follow this guide to clear your history in Firefox
- Follow this guide to clear your cache in Safari
- Scroll to the bottom to find how to clear your cache
- Follow this guide to clear your cookies in Safari
- Follow this guide to clear your history in Safari
When clearing the history in Microsoft edge, they will also prompt you for what other data you will like to clear such as the cache and cookies.
- Follow this guide to clear your cache (Temporary Internet Files) in Internet Explorer
- Follow this guide to clear your cookies in Internet Explorer
- Follow this guide to clear your history in Internet Explorer
What does block cookies mean? Blocking cookies means stopping websites from putting a piece of data on your device. This will prevent the website from being able to remember you in the future when you visit again. Some websites do not allow you to visit them if you have cookies blocked.
Are Cookies Dangerous? In general, cookies are not dangerous. They are small text files placed on your browser for companies to gather information about where a computer has visited.
What gets stored on a hard drive? The hard drive is the device that stores all your digital data from on your computer. This can include applications, pictures, documents, videos and music. Computers come with internal storage but you can also purchase an external hard drive for additional storage.