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How Do I Clear The Browser Cache in Google Chrome?

Google’s Chrome is the most popular web browser on Windows PC’s, with well over fifty percent market share. It’s often one of the first applications downloaded to new Windows installations.

Like every browser, Chrome has a cache, and sometimes that cache can get “confused”.

Clearing the browser cache is the fastest way to un-confuse it.

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Clearing the Chrome cache

Type CTRL+SHIFT+Del to go directly to the Clear browsing data dialog, below.

Alternately you can click the vertical ellipsis at the top right of Chrome’s menu bar, and then click Settings.

The menu, showing the Settings item, in Google Chrome
The menu, showing the Settings item, in Google Chrome

On the resulting page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Advanced to expose more options.

Advanced link at the bottom of Chrome's options page
Advanced link at the bottom of Chrome’s options page

Scroll down until you find, and then click on, Clear browsing data.

Clear browsing data link in Chrome Options
Clear browsing data link in Chrome Options

In the resulting dialog, in either the Basic or Advanced tab, make sure that “Cached images and files” is checked. This represents your browser’s cache. You can select additional items to clear if you like.

Clear browsing data in Google Chrome
Clear browsing data in Google Chrome

Click on Clear data.

Google Chrome’s cache has been cleared.

Why clear the cache?

You generally won’t need to clear Chrome’s cache. When all is working properly Chrome manages the cache, making room as needed.

Clearing Google Chrome’s cache is a diagnostic tool you might use when things don’t seem to be working properly. For example if pages aren’t displaying properly, or entirely, or just seem excessively slow, or otherwise broken, clearing the browser cache is an easy first step. It harms nothing, and might fix things.

Since the cache is a speed optimization, the only side effect of clearing it might be a temporary performance hit: pages might take just a little longer to load the first time you visit them after the cache has been cleared.

12 comments on “How Do I Clear The Browser Cache in Google Chrome?”

  1. Ctrl+Shift+Delete will get you to the clear browsing data window of every major browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, IE, and Edge) except Safari. So the general instructions should work similarly in any of those browsers.

  2. Very helpful. Now I have an idea of what a cache is and, even better, how to clear it. Now to see if an overfull Cache was the problem with one website.

    • Problems caused by the cache generally aren’t the result of a full cache. They usually happen because there is something left over in the cache from the website you are visiting and the browser gets confused and serves up the cached page instead of the contents of the page you are trying to access.

    • Click on the Gear Icon, Click Reset Safari. Make sure “Remove all website data” is checked. According to the help box it, “It removes cookies, tracking information, and other data that websites stored on your computer.” You can uncheck any other items you don’t want to clear. I checked this on Safari for Windows. I don’t know it it’s the same on a Mac.

  3. THANK YOU LEO!!! It worked beautifully when I pressed control+shirt+del but when pressing “Clear” it hanged or the little circle went round and round forever. I’ve been trying it many times since this morning and keeps hanging. Once I left for over 4 hours and on return….it still went on and on…Anyone knows why? Thank you.

    • Which “Ask Leo!” Window do you mean? Just visit another website or close your browser is what comes to mind, but I’d have to know what window it is you see.

  4. If I never cleared it in 10 years…is it normal that it takes a very loooooong time to clear??? ( been going on for over 1/2 hour now!). I am clearing everything up to cached image and files.

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