University of Oregon

Clear Your Browser's Cache and Cookies



What are cache and cookies?

Cache are files (html, images, multimedia, etc) that are stored locally on your computer so the next time you return to a webpage you are shown the cached version. It is much quicker to load and display a website using cached data for components that do not change (such as headers or themes) than to connect to the remote server and retrieve the full webpage. 

A web cookie is a small file that your web browser downloads from a website. This cookie contains information that the website uses to customize your visit. Cookies are able to track your online behaviors as you navigate through a site (i.e. notes which pages you visit, when you enter a site, when you leave a site, username/ password info). Most of the time, cookies are used to record your website viewing preferences and are useful for staying logged in to websites, save shopping carts, etc.

Why do cache and cookies need to be cleared?

Sometimes a browser cache will display an outdated page. Sometimes you can refresh your browser and it will show you the most recent page. However, problems will begin to occur when your browser doesn't refresh to the most recent webpage. In this instance, it's time to clear your cache and cookies. 

How to clear cache and cookies?

Step-by-step instructions for popular web browsers: