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 Get My Web Browser’s Menu and Toolbar Back?

I have lost my internet toolbar which allows me to go to my tools, file, internet options, etc. What do I do about this?

From your description, I’m going to assume you mean that all this is happening within Internet Explorer, though similar features are present in other browsers (as well as other applications).

It’s easy to accidentally hide menus and toolbars.

I’ll examine those, and show you how to get your toolbar, menu, or whatever it is that you’re missing back.

Read moreHow Do I Get My Web Browser’s Menu and Toolbar Back?

How do I view cookies in IE 11?

How do I view cookies in Internet Explorer 11? There used to be a menu item, but that seems to be gone now.

I had to go searching to figure this one out. While it hasn’t changed a lot, what used to be moderately difficult to discover and easy to do now seems totally obscure.

The good news is that it’s still easy to do.

Read moreHow do I view cookies in IE 11?

Internet Explorer crashes, how do I fix it?

I keep getting the message “IExplorer.exe has generated an error” when I browse the web, and Internet Explorer crashes and shuts down. Why does this happen, and what do I do to fix it?

IExplore.exe which is Internet Explorer, or more commonly “IE”, is perhaps one of the most used pieces of software ever written next to the Windows operating system itself.

Unfortunately, being such a widely used program, when it crashes a lot of people notice. And since not all crashes that look like IE are actually caused by IE, things get very confusing, and perhaps very frustrating.

Let’s look at some of the clues to help identify the problem as well as some steps that may help resolve the issues we find.

Read moreInternet Explorer crashes, how do I fix it?

How do I disable remembered passwords in my browser?

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?

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?

Do I Need to Install IE 11?


Hi, Leo. My computer’s an HP Pavilion Slimline desktop PC. My operating system is Windows 7, Home Premium, 64-bit, Service Pack 1. I noticed in the last Windows Update, Internet Explorer 11 was included. IE 11 was included in the important updates. Now, I remember IE 10 was an optional update. Do I need to install IE 11? I’m still using IE 9. Would I have to install IE 10 before I install IE 11?

Let me answer the last part first: no, you won’t need to install IE 10 before IE 11. Windows Update would actually show you IE 10, if that was what you needed first.

Instead, as you noted, IE 11 is included immediately with Windows Update. Now, I’m not really sure what the criteria for important or optional might be according to Microsoft, but in general, my tendency would be to take the update.

I want to talk a little bit about why you should take the update, and my theory on why it changed from “optional” to “important”.

Read moreDo I Need to Install IE 11?

How Do I Reinstall Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer is an odd beast. Treated like an application, it’s also considered a Windows component. In fact, it’s such a component of Windows that you may be able to make the shortcuts and icons related to IE go away, but you can never really get rid of everything. Some components simply are parts of Windows.

Unfortunately, there are times when we’d really like to treat it like a “normal” application. Specifically, it would be good to be able to uninstall it completely and then reinstall it from scratch.

While we can’t do exactly that, I’ll walk you through what we can do that gets us fairly close; as close as we can get without reinstalling Windows itself, anyway.

Read moreHow Do I Reinstall Internet Explorer?

Why Do I Keep Getting Certificate Errors from My School’s Website?

I’m getting “Internet Explorer blocked this website from displaying content with security certificate errors.” I get this on all of my community college web pages. It pops up every time I go to do something different for school: check my school mail, upload my homework, etc. It’s driving me nuts. I’ve tried changing the date and time and I lowered my security settings to an unhealthy level and nothing is working. Every time I log into the school website, that blasted thing pops up and it doesn’t have any options; just a button that shows content you can click or the “X” button. This happens on every PC in my house: 4 laptops; 2 desktops, all different brands but they all have Windows 8. I’ve clicked the “show content” thinking it would be the end of it, but within a few minutes, it’s back up there again. I’ve tried clicking the “x” button just to close it and then a few minutes, it’s back. I never get the message when I’m at school working on the school computers.

To begin with, there should be a link or an option on that error page that would give you more information about what the error with the security certificate is. Without that, it’s actually very difficult for me to take a guess at exactly what’s happening.

Read moreWhy Do I Keep Getting Certificate Errors from My School’s Website?

How do I fix Internet Explorer if it won’t open?

I’m running Windows 7; I thought I had IE9. When I tried to use Internet Explorer, it won’t open. A little pop-up just says that “IE has a problem and is closing.” Then it’s difficult to close and keeps popping up. It might be connected to an add-on called Conduit.com as I see it in the search window behind the pop-up. I had to clean that off of Chrome and Firefox rejected it (thankfully). I went to Windows/IE site to install IE10 over what I have and it refused, saying I already had a more current version. How can I already have something more current than what the site has?

Based on what you’re seeing, I suspect that you’re already running Internet Explorer 10. Now, it’s going to be hard to say exactly what’s going to work to solve this problem, but I’ve got a couple of ideas.

Read moreHow do I fix Internet Explorer if it won’t open?

Three tips to make Windows 8 less annoying

Windows 8 gets a bad rap.

Admittedly, Microsoft could have done more to ease the transition. They made some significant changes to the user interface – changes that are both jarring visually (i.e. the tiled Start screen), and confusing to use (the “removal” of the Start menu). Throw in a couple of design decisions that can at best be considered questionable and I can certainly understand people’s confusion.

Recently, I was helping a friend who works at a library and is faced with trying to answer Windows 8-related questions without actually having any Windows 8 computers at the library.

I asked myself, “What are the top three things that I would tell people to make using Windows 8 a little easier?”

Read moreThree tips to make Windows 8 less annoying

Why Might an Update Take a Large Amount of Space?

My laptop runs Windows 7. And I’ve got a 500 GB hard drive. I recently updated my Internet Explorer from IE9 to IE10. Now earlier, I wrote down the amount of space that was available or actually used on my hard drive. After I installed IE10, I looked at it again. And it took a full 1 GB more than before.  Is it really possible that this update has cost me 1 GB of space? Is it really possible that this update was that big?

Well, yes and no. There’s a lot more to updating than just updating. I know that sounds a little wishy-washy and I’ll try and explain what that means.

When Windows updates something important, especially something as important as Internet Explorer, things get complicated very quickly.

Read moreWhy Might an Update Take a Large Amount of Space?

Can I Use More than One Browser?

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.

Read moreCan I Use More than One Browser?