Its timeless advice: if a website isn’t loading correctly, clear your cache. We’ve all completed it, noticed that things work again, and continued to not think about the system browser cache ever again.
But somewhere, in the back of your mind, you can’t support but wonder: what the heck is the cache? Why does clearing it fix things? I care about you and want you to know something, so let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
What is a Cache?
Your browser could re-download data every time you visit a different page on this website, but that would be reckless. So, instead, your browser stores the logo, and all sorts of different things, on your system, in the cache.
Why does Clearing the Cache Sometimes Fix Things?
Once in a while, a site will stop running, and clearing the cache will fix it. A co-worker of mine, for instance, couldn’t upload articles to our website around a month ago. I suggested that they clear the browser cache, which resolved the issue.
Why does this help? To greatly simplify, sometimes there’s a difference between the versions of a website cached on your system and the version that you’re loading from the browser. This friction can lead to ghastly glitches, and clearing your cache can support when nothing more seems to.
In our case, the website’s backend had newly been updated, which was likely the reason for the conflict.
The cache might also cause difficulties for signing on to public Wi-Fi. Read about how the browser cache appears into play when trying to force open a public Wi-Fi login page—and how to fix it.
Cookies vs Cache: What’s the difference?
In most computer browsers, the choices for clearing the cache and clearing cookies are in the same spot, but they’re not the same form.
- Your cache stores files downloaded right from the websites you visit—pictures, fonts, that kind of thing. The data in your cache isn’t that separate from the files in the cache of someone else who hits the same website as you.
- Cookies are different—they store data about you and the things you’ve done online. If you browse an online store and figure some stuff to a shopping list, that’s saved using a cookie. Cookies also keep track of which site you’re logged in to—which is why, if you clear your cookies, you’ll need to log back into all of your accounts. Clearing your cache doesn’t alter any of this.
Related, but not the same: you can visit the cached version of various websites through Google search. Instead of drawing you to the live website, it’ll show you the page the last time Google’s robots visited it.
How to Clear YouTube Cache & Cookies on Any Device
When you want to stream videos on YouTube with the Google Chrome browser, the browser will keep the YouTube cache and cookies to enable a more constant and faster performance for having a better streaming experience. But keeping cleaning the cache and cookies routinely can make your devices always running at high speed. Therefore, you can follow the guide below to clean up the YouTube cache & cookies in Chrome on different devices with comfort.
Clean YouTube Cache & Cookies on iPhone
- Launch Chrome app on your iPhone.
- In the lower-right corner of the page, hit the three-dot menu icon and go to History.
- On the page, hit Clear Browsing Data in the bottom left corner.
- Tick the options you want to clear, such as the browsing history, cookies, site data, cached images, and files. Finally, hit on Clear Browsing Data to remove the YouTube cache & cookies from Chrome.
Clean YouTube Cache & Cookies on Android
- Launch Google Chrome on Android.
- Go to the menu list by hitting on the three-dot icon on the upper-right corner of the interface.
- Navigate to the History page and hit the Clear browsing data option on top.
- Check the box of the items you need to clear from the Chrome browser, including the browsing history, cookies and site data, cached images, and files.
- Lastly, hit on the Clear data icon to clean the YouTube cache and cookies from the Chrome web browser on Android devices.
Clean YouTube Cache & Cookies on PC
- Open Chrome browser on your PC.
- Hit on the three-dot menu beside your profile icon, then go to More Tools > Clear browsing data.
- Select the option you want to clear, such as browsing history, cookies, other site data, cached images, and files.
- Hit Clear data to remove YouTube cache & cookies from Chrome browser.
Should I clear my cache regularly?
In general, I suggest not clearing your cache unless you have a particular reason to. The files in the cache enable the websites you visit most frequently to load faster, which is a great thing. Your browser will regularly delete old files, so it’s not like the cache will continue growing forever.
Sure, the cache is taking up space on your hard drive, and some people find that annoying. But the cause you have a hard drive is so you can save stuff on it, and a cache that increases your web browsing speed seems like proper use of your hard drive’s space.
You may find it helpful to clear cache periodically, but a regular cache clearing plan isn’t required. If you find you’re routinely clearing cache to free up space, you may think of removing unused apps or archiving stored video and photos in the cloud. Installing a high-volume micro SD card is a different option to address phone storage needs.