What’s a Browser Cache? How Do I Clear It? Why Would I Want To?

The browser cache appears in more answers than questions, but often causes even more questions.

Even while following instructions to empty the cache, many people aren’t clear on what this piece of magic really is, or why clearing the cache does anything at all.

Let’s review what the browser cache is and why it exists. I’ll also point you to steps to clear it in Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, and try to dream up some reasons why that sometimes helps.

Read moreWhat’s a Browser Cache? How Do I Clear It? Why Would I Want To?

How Do I Stop Websites from Pestering Me About Notifications?

It seems many websites now really, really want to keep you as informed and as up to date as possible by providing notifications in your web browser when something they think is important happens. As on mobile devices, all these websites seem to act as if they were the MOST IMPORTANT WEBSITE EVER, and if it were up to them, you’d be faced with a never-ending stream of notifications.

Fortunately, most browsers ask if you want a specific website to present notifications the first time you visit. Naturally, we almost always say “no”, and move on.

The problem? So many websites want to display notifications that even responding to these queries can quickly get annoying.

Fortunately, in most browsers you can turn if off.

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Should I Update to the Latest Internet Explorer?

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I have Windows 7 Home Premium, Service Pack 1. In the past, I’ve always been gun-shy to jump on the newest Microsoft release. On my computer, IE 9 takes second fiddle to Chrome. That said, along comes IE 10. In my experience, I usually wait about six months for them to work all the problems out before I update. So, what are your thoughts on the IE 10? Shall I wait a bit longer or jump?

Ultimately, if you’re running Chrome anyway, it’s a moot point. If you primarily use Chrome, just keep using it and keep it up-to-date (which Google does transparently for you).

I’d probably have you update Internet Explorer, but not for the reasons most people think.

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Can I Use More than One Browser?

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Hi, Leo. I’m thinking about installing Google Chrome. I currently use IE8. Will Chrome just install over it and then become the default browser leaving IE as a used program in the background?

Let’s begin by clearing up a few misconceptions here.

First, you can have more than one browser on your machine. Many people do. I do.

Once you install Google Chrome, you still have Internet Explorer available to you. The icon should still be in your Programs menu and when you click it, Internet Explorer 8 opens. And you can then click the Google icon to use Google Chrome. Installing one browser does not automatically replace any browsers already installed. They are completely separate programs that can actually live together in something approaching harmony.

However, when you download an additional browser you do have the option of making it the default browser. And much like Highlander, there can be only one.

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