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.

Read moreHow Do I Stop Websites from Pestering Me About Notifications?

How do I disable remembered passwords in my browser?

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Please describe how you disable the “remember password” feature in browsers. And how to clear previously remembered passwords, as well.

That was a comment posted on my article How safe is it to let my browser save my passwords? where I essentially discouraged the use of browser built-in password saving features, in favor of utilities like Lastpass.

Fair enough. Let me show you how in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.

Read moreHow do I disable remembered passwords in my browser?

Do I need more than one browser? Why?

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I run Windows 7, Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox 28 on a nearly new LG all-in-one with an I5 processor. I have two issues with Internet Explorer. When accessing a video link from an email, for example, I get sounds but no picture. When booking an online ticket, I can’t complete the process as when pressing “next” I’m returned to the first page. I don’t have either of these problems with Firefox. Any suggestions?

Honestly, I think you’ve answered your own question. If it works in Firefox, use Firefox.

Browsers are complex beasts, and websites can be complex beasts too. When you combine them, things get geometrically more complex. All three of the top browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, are good, solid browsers, as are many others like Safari and Opera.

Read moreDo I need more than one browser? Why?

Thunderbird – A Free, Open Source, and Powerful Email Client

Mozilla’s Thunderbird is my choice for email. I use it all day every day, and I can heartily recommend it as an often more powerful and capable replacement for mail programs like Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail and many other desktop email applications.

The feature list is long, but I want to call out some of my favorite features and some of the things that personally draw me to Thunderbird and cause me to make it my recommendation for almost anyone using a desktop email program.

Read moreThunderbird – A Free, Open Source, and Powerful Email Client