To Clear or Not to Clear Browser Cache

What is a browser cache?

A browser uses a local cache (pronounced “cash”) to store copies of recently accessed website information to quickly display data to a user at a later time. Having pages and images cached prevents the browser from having to re-download content, which can greatly increase the speed at which pages are loaded.

Why should you periodically clear the cache?

Sometimes browser performance seems sluggish because the cache gets large and bloated. Websites can also behave erratically if the content on the server has changed from that in the cached copy. This can result in page loading errors, performance issues, and in some cases, security issues. For example, a recent change to the login page for the Lab’s FMS was resolved by clearing the cache. 

Clearing your cache is like rebooting your computer. This is usually the first step to diagnosing a browser issue with a website. Next time you visit a website, your browser will download and cache the latest data. 

How to clear my cache?

For more instructions on how to clear your browser cache, please see FAQ article Clearing Browser Cache.