How to Clear Cache in Microsoft Edge

Clear cache to keep Edge running smoothly

A screen shot of Lifewire's web site in Edge with the Settings menu open.
Clear Edge cache in Settings. Joli Ballew

To clear the cache in Microsoft Edge, click the Settings and More menu (the three ellipses), click Settings, and click Clear Browsing Data. When you clear the cache this way, you'll be clearing other items as well, including your browsing history, cookies, saved website data, and tabs you’ve set aside or recently closed. You can change this behavior if you like though (as detailed later in this article).

What is Cache?

A picture of a recycling logo.
Cache is saved data. Joli Ballew

Cache is data that Microsoft Edge saves to your hard drive in a reserved space often referred to as the Cache Store. The items saved here consist of data that doesn’t change much, like images, logos, headers, and the like, that you often see running across the top of web pages. If you look at the top of any of our Lifewire pages, you’ll see the Lifewire logo. Chances are that logo has already been cached by your computer.

The reason this type of data is cached is because a browser can pull an image or logo from the hard drive a lot faster than it can download it from the internet. So, when you visit a web page it can load faster because Edge doesn’t have to download every item on it. But cache consists of more that images. It can include scripts and media too.

Reasons to Clear Cache

A picture of an eraser erasing ones and zeros.
Clear cache occasionally for best performance. Joli Ballew

Because cache consists of items Edge finds and saves while you surf the web, and because websites can and do change the data on their websites regularly, there’s a chance that sometimes what’s in cache is outdated. When that outdated information is loaded, you won't see the most up-to-date information from the web sites you visit.

Additionally, cache can sometimes include forms. If you’re trying to fill out a form but running into problems, consider clearing the cache and trying again. Furthermore, when a web site upgrades their hardware, or revamps security, cached data might not let you log in or access available features. You might not be able to view media or make purchases.

Finally, and more often than you’d expect, the cache simply gets corrupt, and there’s no explanation why. When this happens all kinds of difficult-to-diagnose issues arise. If you find you’re having trouble with Edge that you can’t pinpoint, clearing the cache might help. 

Clear the Cache (Step-by-Step)

A screen shot of the option to clear browsing data.

To clear the cache as detailed in the beginning of this article you’ll need to navigate to the Clear Browsing Data option. To get there:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the Settings and More menu (the three ellipses).
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Clear Browsing Data.
  5. Click Clear. 

As noted in the introduction this clears the cache and your browsing history, cookies and saved website data, and tabs you’ve set aside or recently closed.

Choose What to Clear

A screen shot of the clear browsing data options in Edge.
Choose what to clear. Joli Ballew

You can choose what you want to clear. You might only want to clear cache, and nothing else. You might want to clear cache, browsing history, and form data, among others. To choose what you want to clear: 

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the Settings and More menu (the three ellipses).
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Underneath Clear Browsing Data, click Choose What to Clear.
  5. Select only the items to clear and deselect the rest.