How to Clear Internet Cache in Every Major Browser

Clear the cache in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE, Safari, and more

A cache is a collection of snapshots and data from web pages you've visited in the past. The information is stored to make your internet experience run more smoothly and revisited web pages load faster. In time, the cache may take up a big chunk of your computer's storage.

In most browsers, you can clear the cache in either the settings or options menu. The keyboard combinations Ctrl+Shift+Del (Windows) or Command+Shift+Delete (Mac) bring up the necessary deletion screen in most browsers as well.

While the keyboard shortcut works in most non-mobile browsers, the exact steps involved in clearing your browser's cache depend on the web browser you're using.

This guide covers Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, and Vivaldi, as well as any relevant mobile browser apps.

Animation of a magic wand clearing files off of a sad computer screen
 Lifewire / Tim Liedtke

What Exactly Is Cache?

Your browser's cache, pronounced cash, is a collection of web pages stored on your hard drive or in your phone/tablet storage. The cache includes the text, images, and most other media contained on web pages that you've visited.

Having a local copy of a web page makes for quick loading on your next visit because your computer or mobile device doesn't have to download it from the internet again.

Why Do You Have to Clear Cache?

You don't have to clear the cache as a regular part of computer or smartphone maintenance. However, there are some good reasons to clear cache:

  • Clearing your cache forces your browser to retrieve the newest copy available from the website, something that should happen automatically but sometimes does not.
  • You're experiencing issues such as 404 errors or 502 errors (among others) that may indicate your browser's cache is corrupted.
  • Malware is another reason to delete the browser cache. It can be dropped in the cache without you knowing or alongside program installations, so clearing the entire cache can delete malicious files. (It also helps to have antivirus software.)
  • Another reason to delete browser cache data is to free up space on your hard drive. Over time, the cache can grow to a huge size; clearing it can recover some of that previously used space.

Regardless of why you want to do it, clearing your browser's cache is easy to do in all the popular browsers in use today.

Chrome: Clear Browsing Data

Assuming you use a keyboard, the quickest way to the Clear browsing data window in Google Chrome is by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Del (Windows) or Command+Shift+Delete (Mac).

Screenshot of the Clear Browsing Data window in Chrome

If you aren't into keyboard shortcuts, here's how to clear the Chrome browser cache on your computer:

  1. Select the three-dotted menu button in the upper-right corner of Chrome and select Settings in the drop-down menu.

  2. Choose Privacy and security from the left pane.

  3. Select Clear browsing data from the right side of the page.

  4. Check the box next to Cached images and files

    Also choose All time from the Time range option at the top to make sure you get everything.

  5. Choose Clear data.

Google has more details on clearing browsing data in Chrome.

Clear Cache in the Chrome Mobile App

In Chrome's mobile app:

  1. On Android, open the Chrome app and tap the three-dotted menu icon at the top of the screen. iOS users can find this button at the bottom.

  2. Tap Settings in the menu.

  3. Tap Privacy.

    Chrome app menu and settings screens
  4. Choose Clear browsing data.

  5. Tap Cached images and files to place a check mark next to it.

  6. Select Clear data on Android or Clear Browsing Data on iOS, and then confirm with Clear (Android) or Clear Browsing Data (iOS) in the pop-up window.

    Chrome app privacy and clear browsing data screens

Internet Explorer: Delete Browsing History

In Microsoft Internet Explorer, the browser that comes installed on most Windows computers, you clear the cache in the Delete Browsing History screen.

Screenshot showing how to clear the cache in Internet Explorer in Windows 10

As with other popular browsers, the fastest way to the Delete Browsing History screen is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Another option is:

  1. Open the Tools icon, which sits at the top-right corner of the browser and resembles a gear.

  2. Choose Safety.

  3. Select Delete browsing history.

  4. Place a check next to Temporary Internet files and website files.

  5. Select Delete.

See our guide on clearing the cache in Internet Explorer for some more information.

Internet Explorer often refers to the browser cache as temporary internet files, but they're one and the same.

Firefox: Clear Recent History

In Mozilla's Firefox browser, you clear the cache from the Clear Recent History or Clear Data area.

The Ctrl+Shift+Del (Windows) or Command+Shift+Delete (Mac) keyboard shortcut is the fastest way to open the Clear Recent History screen, which looks like this:

Don't forget to choose Everything from the Time range to clear options, assuming that's your intent.

Firefox clear recent history screen

To get to the Clear Data screen through the menus, do this:

  1. In Firefox's menu button (the three-lined hamburger icon), select Options.

  2. Choose Privacy & Security from the left.

  3. Select Clear Data in the Cookies and Site Data area.

    If you scroll down a bit and choose Clear History, you'll get to the same screen that the shortcut above takes you to.

  4. In the Clear Data screen that opens, select Cached Web Content.

    Firefox clear cached web content screen
  5. Choose Clear.

Clear Cache in the Firefox Mobile App

To delete the cache in the Firefox mobile app:

  1. Tap the three-line menu icon at the top (Android) or bottom (iOS) of the app and choose Settings in the menu.

  2. Select Clear private data on Android, or Data Management on iOS.

  3. Enable the Cache option.

    Firefox settings and clear private data screens
  4. Choose CLEAR DATA on Android. If you're on an iOS device, select Clear Private Data and then confirm with OK.

Safari: Empty Caches

In Apple's Safari browser on a Mac, clearing the cache is done via the Develop menu. Just select Develop in the Safari menu bar and then choose Empty Caches.

Safari window showing Develop > Empty Caches

You can also clear the cache in Safari on a Mac using the Option+Command+E keyboard shortcut.

If you don't see Develop on your Safari menu bar, enable it via Safari > Preferences > Advanced, followed by selecting Show Develop menu in menu bar.

Clear Cache in the Safari Mobile App

Clearing the browser cache from mobile Safari on your iPhone or iPad is accomplished in a different app.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Safari.

  2. Scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data.

  3. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

    iPhone screens showing path to clear history and data

Opera: Clear Browsing Data

In Opera, clearing the cache is done via the Clear browsing data section that's part of Settings.

Opera clear cached images and files option

The fastest way to bring up the Clear browsing data window is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del (Windows) or Command+Shift+Delete (Mac) keyboard shortcut.


  1. Select the main menu button, which is the Opera logo in the upper-left side of the browser.

  2. Go to Settings > Advanced > Privacy & security.

  3. Choose Clear browsing data.

  4. Select Cached images and files and then press Clear data.

Be sure to choose All time at the top to erase everything.

Clear Cache in the Opera Touch Mobile Browser

You can clear the cache from the Opera Touch mobile app, too.

  1. Use the Opera button at the bottom of the app to select Settings.

  2. Choose Clear browsing data on Android, or Clear Browser Data on iOS.

  3. Tap Cached images and files to place a check next to it.

    Opera app menu and settings screens for clearing the cache
  4. Choose CLEAR DATA on Android, or Clear on iOS.

If you're using the Opera app, tap Settings from the Opera menu, go to Clear browsing data, choose Advanced at the bottom followed by Cached images and files, and then tap CLEAR DATA.

Edge: Clear Browsing Data

There are two versions of the Microsoft Edge browser, Edge and Edge Legacy. These steps are for the newer, Edge browser.

Clearing the cache is done via the Clear browsing data menu.

Microsoft Edge Clear browsing data screen

The fastest way to the Clear browsing data menu is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.

Here's another option:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge and select the three-dotted menu button at the top of the screen.

  2. Select Settings and then go to Privacy and services > Choose what to clear under the Clear browsing data heading.

    Microsoft Edge clear browsing data screen

    If you don't see these options, open the menu from the button at the top left of this screen.

  3. Select Cached images and files and then choose Clear now.

Clear Cache in the Edge Mobile Browser

To delete cache files from the Edge mobile app:

  1. Open the Edge app and tap the three-dotted menu button at the bottom.

  2. Choose Settings.

  3. Select Privacy and Security.

    Edge mobile app menu and settings screens
  4. Tap Clear browsing data.

  5. Make sure Cached images and files is selected on Android, or Cache on iOS. This screen is also how you can delete other items like saved passwords and cookies.

  6. On Android, tap Clear and then confirm with CLEAR. For iOS, choose Clear browsing data and then Clear.

    Edge mobile app privacy and security and clear browsing data screens

Vivaldi: Delete Browsing Data

Clear the cache in Vivaldi via the Delete Browsing Data area.

  1. From the menu bar (select the V logo at the top left if you don't see it), go to Tools > Delete Browsing Data.

    Tools options in Vivaldi web browser
  2. Select Cache as well as any other categories you want to clear.

    You can also use this screen change the Delete Data for time to something else like All Time to clear the whole cache.

  3. Choose Delete.

    Delete Browsing Data screen in Vivaldi web browser

As with most browsers, the Ctrl+Shift+Del (Windows) or Command+Shift+Delete (Mac) keyboard shortcut brings up this menu, too.

Clear Cache in the Vivaldi Mobile Browser

The Vivaldi app for Android lets you clear the cache as well:

  1. Tap the V icon at the top right of the app and then tap Settings.

  2. Scroll down and select Privacy.

  3. Tap Clear browsing data.

  4. Make sure Cached images and files is selected, and optionally adjust the Time range setting to clear more or less of the cache.

    Vivaldi app settings and clear browsing data screens
  5. Tap Clear data to erase the cache.

More About Clearing Caches in Web Browsers

Most browsers have at least basic cache management settings where, at a minimum, you can choose how much space you'd like the browser to use for its cache.

Some browsers let you choose to automatically clear the cache and other data that might contain private information every time you close the browser window.

In most browsers, you can overwrite a web page's stored cache without deleting all the cache collected by the browser. In essence, this erases and replenishes the cache for that specific page only. In most browsers and operating systems, you can bypass the cache by holding down the Shift or Ctrl key as you refresh.