Clear cache is a common slogan for the online users. If you are familiar with use of browsers then the word ‘cache’ shouldn’t be new. Though a lot of computer and mobile phone users simply know the name only few understand the purpose and all it does when it comes to sourcing for information using our browsers. This post will be discussing ‘Cache’ in details, all you need to know about it, and lots more.
The following topic about ‘Cache’ has been covered on this post:
- WHAT IS CACHE?
- WHY SHOULD I CLEAR CACHE?
- DISADVANTAGE OF CLEARING CACHE
- ALTERNATIVE TO CLEAR CACHE
- HOW TO CLEAR CACHE
WHAT IS CACHE?
The word “Cache” according to an online English dictionary simply means a hidden storage space. Nevertheless, the word “Cache” when it comes to online applications/software or computer and its related devices, ‘Cache’ otherwise known as Memory Cache is a RAM memory that is set aside as a specialized buffer storage that is continually updated; used to optimize data transfers between system elements with different characteristics.
Meanwhile, Wikipedia.org defined ‘Cache’ in computing as a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster, the data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation or a copy of data stored elsewhere.
Another definition from businessinsider.com defined ‘Cache’ as a reserved storage location that ollects temporary data to help websites, browsers, and apps load faster.
Based on these definitions of Cache, you probably have a clue now regarding what cache is all about. The moment you load a website in your browser, you will notice that the speed of the first time loading is usually slower than the subsequent loading. If this is a website you visit every day with a particular browser you may not take note of the fact that your browser has cached the website to make it easy to load faster and provide cached page even when your internet connection is off.
In a clear term, cache is simply storing data in any computing device so that when the same data is called next time there will be no need of loading it from the server rather a cache version from the computing device will be shown. In the case of websites and browsers, the cached pages only need need to serve the new changes and upload the cached files such as headings, footers, images, and sidebars. The same is applicable to Apps.
Advantages of caching in a computing device
- You can load files faster
- You can save data consumption because most files are already cached during your first visit.
- Without internet connection you may still view a website page you previously visited before.
- Cache can increase the speed of your computing device
- Cache can provide a better browsing experience in any computing device/
Disadvantages of Caching in a computing device
- You may mistakenly be viewing old version of a website page because it was cached
- Some changes made in a software may not be seen in your browser immediately
- Sometimes you will need to clear your device cached files to get everything working normal again
WHY SHOULD I CLEAR CACHE?
While you got the details of what Cache does in terms of giving you better browsing experience and helping you load files faster, and lots more, you may be wondering while you need to clear cache. Yes there are conditions that will require you to clear your browser cache. Besides browser websites such as WordPress equally clear cache when necessary the same is applicable to all areas that caching is applied.
You may be required to clear cache if the following occur:
- If there are changes made and you want to see it immediately. This is common in website updates and viewing your changes on the browser, clearing your cached file makes it easy to see the new changes made in the website update. This happens in other areas that caching is applied as well. In other words, you must clear your cache to be able to note changes made visually.
- You may need to clear cache ifd your browser has become slow or website has become extremely slow. The cause of the problem could be a large cached files or common caching errors. Clearing the cache is like resetting the system and bringing it to its initial condition.
- You can clear cache if you keep seeing a particular page of a website every time you load it or try to view the website. The same thing with Apps and other cache enabled platforms.
DISADVANTAGE OF CLEARING CACHE
Though it is good to clear your browser cache when the need arises but that will not go without a cost. Whenever your browser cache is cleared the following happens:
- You will be logged out of all the websites you were once logged in. this is not a good experience for some people who use only one browser to access the internet since all their login details and logged in websites are synchronized in the browser for easy access. Clearing cache will remove all the logged in website pages and you will be required to login again next time you want to access the website page using the same browser.
- The loading speed of all the websites you will be visiting after clearing your browser cache will increase. This will continue for some time until most files have been cached again by the browser before experiencing speed loading again.
ALTERNATIVE TO CLEAR CACHE
There are situations that clearing your browser cache doesn’t worth it. For instance, if you are experiencing low speed in loading a particular page or if you recently cleared your cache. You can disable caching of particular website in your browser if you don’t want to be viewing cache files on the webpage anytime you visit. This is applicable to as many websites as possible. It can be an alternative way of ensuring you do not keep clearing your browser cache within short periods.
HOW TO CLEAR YOUR BROWSER CACHE
The steps to clear your browser cache is simple all you need is to understand your browser and the settings location. For popular browsers like Chrome, Brave, Edge, Opera Mini, and Mozilla, you can clear your cache by doing the following:
Locate the Menu options tab on the top right corner of the browser.
Click on the tab to reveal list of options on the browser menu. Scroll down to ‘More Tools’ option. Some of the browser will reveal sub-options under this option by simply touching a mouse on it while some will need you to click on it.
When you click on the “More Tools” you will see sub options such as:
Save page as…
Clear Browsing cache
From the list above select the “Clear browser cache” and you will be taken to a settings page where cache clearing can be executed. The picture below is how the cache clearing page looks.
Before clicking the clear cache button, you have the option of choosing a particular period of time that files need to be cleared or you can just allow the default ‘ALL TIME’ option to clear all the cached files in the browser from the onset when you started using the browser this is necessary if you are troubleshooting a browser problem. However, if you are having a problem with a webpage you just started visiting recently you can select the option to clear the cache from the period you started accessing the website page to the current time.
The moment you click the ‘Clear Cache’ button you will give the browser sometime to run underground clearing of files cached in its memory. The action may take few seconds or minutes depending on the size of the cached files.
At this stage you must have known what Cache is all-about, the reasons we have caching in browsers, the advantages and disadvantage, the alternative options, and how to clear the cache as well. If this post actually provided the answer you are seeking you can drop a comment in that regard, also, if you need further assistance on this issue you can still drop your comment for further assistance.