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In order to speed up the display of a web page, web browsers will save parts of a web page the first time you visit a web page.  These saved parts are stored on your computer in what is called the cache.  It is much faster for a computer to find files stored in the cache on your computer than it is to get them from the Internet.  The next time you visit the same website, the browser will use the pieces saved in the cache to speed up the loading of the web page.

However, if a web site is updated, then you may continue to see the old version of the website, as the computer is displaying the files saved in your cache.  This may cause the web site to not function correctly because the old version you are seeing may not contain the newer buttons, images, or lines of code.  Clearing the cache would resolve these problems as it forces your web browser to display the web site from the Internet and not from the stored files on your computer

Before clearing the cache on your web browser, please note that doing so may also clear the cookies, which are files created on your computer to store personalized information or security information for a particular web site.   For example, a banking web site might store your user name for you so that the next time you visit the backing web site, you do not need to retype it.  If you clear these cookies, then you must know your user name and password for that banking web site.  If you don’t remember your user name and password, then do not clear the cache just yet.

Click on one of the web browers to see the associated instructions for clearing its browsing history and cache.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer