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How do I clear the cache (temporary internet files) and history in my browser and why should I do this?

Question: How do I clear the cache (temporary internet files) and history in my browser and why should I do this?
Answer: Almost all web browsers (like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) will download graphics from a webpage and store them on your hard disk so that when you return to a previously viewed page, your browser will pull the graphic from the cache instead of downloading it again. Browsers are configured to use a certain amount of your disk space for this purpose (usually 10%). When that space is used, you are now maxed out, leaving your browser no choice but to delete old files. Therefore, this causes your browser and hard disk to work twice as hard. Also, occasionally your browser might display an old copy of a page you are trying to view, instead of the current copy of the page on the website. So it is a good idea to clear your cache once in awhile, just to keep your browser running smoothly.

With Internet Explorer version 7 or 8, you can clear your cache and history by selecting your "Tools" menu at the top, then "Internet Options". In the window that pops up, make sure you are on the "General" tab. In the "Browsing History" section, click the "Delete" button. In the window that pops up, make sure that the following items are checked:

* Temporary Internet Files
* Cookies
* History

You do not have to select "Cookies", but it is a good idea to clear them out once in awhile as well. Then click the "Delete" button at the bottom. Wait for everything to complete (this could take a minute if you haven't done it before, or haven't done it in awhile). The window will dissapear when done, leaving you with the main "Internet Options" window. Click "OK" to make that window go away. Shut down all open browser windows, bring up a new one, and your browser's temporary files and history should now be clear.

With Firefox version 3.6, you can clear your cache and history by selecting your "Tools" menu at the top, then "Options". Make sure you are on the "Privacy" tab, and then click the "clear your recent history" text link. In the box that pops up, in the drop down menu next to "Time range to clear", choose "Everything". Then click the "Details" button right below, and it will expand to show everything that you can delete. Make sure that the following items are checked:

* Browsing & Download History
* Cookies
* Cache

You do not have to select "Cookies", but it is a good idea to clear them out once in awhile as well. Then click the "Clear Now" button at the bottom. Wait for everything to complete (this could take a minute if you haven't done it before, or haven't done it in awhile). The window will dissapear when done, leaving you with the main "Options" window. Click "OK" to make that window go away. Shut down all open browser windows, bring up a new one, and your browser's temporary files and history should now be clear.

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