What is browser cache?


Have you ever accidentally closed a YouTube video and noticed when you try to play it again, it directly starts playing without any buffering. Or closed a website and re-opened to see the website already loaded and ready instantly. Many times websites like Google, Yahoo load in milliseconds. All of this is possible because of your browser cache.

What is Browser Cache?

Browser cache is a small repository that browser uses to load websites faster when the user visits them the next time. The basic logic behind this is, it’s easier and faster to get files from your local hard-disk than from some server on internet.

When you visit any website, your browser downloads all the required images from the server into it’s cache memory. This memory stores images, videos, webpages, css and sometimes scripts. When you visit the same website the next time, your browser looks into the cache memory, finds the website’s respective files and directly shows them to you, saving your data transfer and time.

Use of Browser Cache?

Most of us have Google as our homepage. When you enter www.google.com it loads almost instantly. Have you ever wondered why? Because of browser cache. The browser stores the logo and image of google. The moment you hit enter, browser looks in the cache and pulls out the logo and image and loads the page instantly. Google has just an image so we won’t know the use of cache. But when it comes to sites with lots of contents and images like Yahoo, a browser cache comes very handy. Once you visit Yahoo, browser saves all the images for future use. The next time you hit yahoo.com, browser doesn’t download the images and logo. It simply uses its cache. Same happens when you watch any YouTube video. The video playing is actually present in cache. The video is downloaded into cache when buffering is complete.

More about cache!

You can download videos or songs or images in your cache using various software like VideoCacheView. The data will be saved immediately since it is already downloaded.

But when you surf a lot on the internet, the browser cache gets full. The browser then replaces the old unused images and logos and videos with the new data. The size of browser cache is fixed and can be easily changed as per the user’s wishes. If your browser’s cache is dynamic in size, it can be a problem because in your browser cache resides various images of websites you visited, videos you have seen and html pages you viewed. Sometimes, this can take a lot of space and hence it might even fill your drive.  You can use third party applications like CCleaner to clear the cache or temporary internet files and free up some space.

Here’s how to clear cache using your browser settings:

Internet Explorer:

Press Alt to view menu, select Tools –> Options:

Clear cache in Internet Explorer!

Clear cache in Internet Explorer!


 Mozilla Firefox:

Press Alt to view menu. Select Tools –> Options.

 

Clear cache in Firefox 1

Clear cache in Firefox 1

Clear cache in Firefox 2

Clear cache in Firefox 2


Google Chrome:

Enter ‘Chrome://settings‘ in the address bar.

Chrome browser settings

Chrome browser settings

Clear cache in Chrome

Clear cache in Chrome

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