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How Do I Clear the Browser Cache in Mozilla Firefox?

Mozilla’s Firefox has long been a popular alternative browser.

Like every browser, Firefox 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 Firefox cache

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

Alternately, you can locate the dialog by clicking on the “hamburger menu” in the upper right and then clicking on Options.

Menu in Firefox, showing the Options item
Menu in Firefox showing the Options item.

On the left side of the resulting page, click on Privacy & Security.

Privacy & Security link in Firefox Options
Privacy & Security link in Firefox options.

Scroll down to find the “History” section, and click on Clear History….

Clear History button in Firefox options
Clear History button in Firefox options.

In the resulting Clear History dialog, make sure that the “Time range to clear:” selection is set to “Everything”, and that the “Cache” item is checked. You can include other items if you like.

Firefox Clear History Dialog
Firefox Clear History dialog.

Click the Clear Now button.

Mozilla Firefox’s cache has been cleared.

Why clear the cache?

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

Clearing Mozilla Firefox’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.

4 comments on “How Do I Clear the Browser Cache in Mozilla Firefox?”

      • It doesn’t empty the cache, but forcing it to reload the page has often resolved problematic web pages for because it bypasses the cache. There have been cases where that wasn’t enough and I had to clear the cache, though.

        • Actually it may, or may not, bypass the cache. I think this is browser-specific behavior. (In theory I believe SHIFT+F5 is a cache-bypassing refresh in most.)

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