Saturday, November 13, 2010

Clearing Browser Cache

I've been helping bloggers maintain their Blogger blogs, and had to remind them of the occasional need to clear browser cache, for many years.

One of the challenges, with clearing browser cache, is that each browser - and different versions of each browser - have different menus and wizards, for every maintenance procedure, and for every different setting.

What we used to call "cache" and "cookies", so long ago, is now called "private data" - and there are multiple selections, varying by browser, for various components of "private data".

It's important to understand why you should not clear cache, indiscriminately - and alternately, why you should clear cache, at the proper time.

Every browser has its own set of menus and wizards, which provide the option to clear private data. Some browsers have changed their menu structure, between versions.

With Chrome, you clear private data using the "Clear browsing data" wizard. The wizard is accessible from the "Customize and control" menu, selecting "History". My selections for clearing are:
  • Clear browsing history
  • Clear download history
  • Empty the cache
I do not select, and recommend not clearing:
  • Delete cookies and other site data
  • Clear saved passwords
I personally do not select:
  • Clear saved form data

With Firefox, you clear private data using the "Clear Recent History" wizard. With older versions of Firefox, the wizard was accessible from the Tools menu; with newer versions, you'll find it on the History menu. My selections for clearing are:
  • Browsing & Download History
  • Cache
I do not select, and recommend not clearing:
  • Cookies
  • Active Logins
  • Site Preferences
I personally do not select:
  • Form & Search History

With Internet Explorer, you clear private data using the "Delete Browsing History" wizard, on the "General" tab of "Internet Properties". The wizard is accessible from the browser "Tools" menu - or from the Control Panel, "Internet Options". My selections for clearing are:
  • Preserve Favourites website data
  • Temporary Internet files
  • History
I do not select, and recommend not clearing:
  • Cookies
  • Form data
I personally do not select:
  • Passwords
  • InPrivateFiltering data (this you may wish to read about)

With Opera, you clear private data using the "Delete Private Data" wizard, on the "Tools" menu. My selections for clearing are:
  • Delete temporary cookies
  • Delete entire cache
  • Clear history of visited pages
  • Clear history of downloads
  • Clear bookmark visited time
I do not select, and recommend not clearing:
  • Delete all cookies
  • Delete password protected pages and data
  • Clear all email account passwords
I personally do not select:
  • Clear Password Manager
  • Delete persistent storage
  • Close all tabs

With Safari, you clear private data using the "Reset Safari" wizard, from the Gear icon. My selections for clearing are:
  • Clear history
  • Empty the cache
  • Clear the Downloads window
  • Close all Safari windows
I do not select, and recommend not clearing:
  • Remove all cookies
  • Remove all website icons
  • Remove saved names and passwords
I personally do not select:
  • Remove other AutoFill form text
  • Reset all location warnings

Firefox appears to distinguish between "Cookies" and "Active Logins". If you examine the IE "Delete Browsing History" screen, you'll note the advice about cookies.
Files stored on your computer by websites to save preferences such as login information.
This makes it appear that the equivalent of "Active Logins" (aka "authenticated sessions", in some of my advice) may be simply part of "cookies", in Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Similar to clearing of "cache" is clearing of "cache, cookies, and active login sessions". You'll also want to know how to enable cookies and scripts.

Besides browser cache, which holds website content, you may need to know about DNS cache, which holds website addressing. If your problem involves a custom domain published blog, you'll probably need to refresh DNS cache.

Remember to restart the browser, after clearing any private data, or changing any settings. And note the possible effects, depending upon your Internet service, of cache outside your browser, which you cannot clear. And finally, consider how all of this fits into the topic of Layered Security - which includes filters in the browser, in add-ons in the browser, in applications on the computer, and in appliances on the network.

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6 comments:

Kate said...

What about Safari?

Chuck said...

Kate,

Thanks for the reminder. Opera and Safari are on the list. Check tomorrow.

Grey Matter said...

so sorry if this is a stupid question, but I want to be sure: does clearing browser cache make my bookmarks disappear or not?

Chuck Croll said...

Grey,

No, cache is transient content that comes from the distant web servers. Your bookmarks are local to you, and are persistent.

So, your bookmarks are safe. Though it does not hurt, to back them up from time to time. Firefox has "Show All Bookmarks", which provides a menu "Import and Backup", which has several possibilities.

Tom Bike said...

Thanks! I wasn´t being able to see comments on my blog...
Tried a lot of things, almost went editing the template, hehehe, them searched and found your two posts... clearing cache worked!

:D < I am such a n00b! :P :D >

other post I saw http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2010/07/blogger-magic-update-post-template-to.html

SilverMonk said...

Thank you Nitecruzr!
Fix it, much appreciated!

cheers
chimin