Ken's Korner Newsletter Logo September 2023
Maintenance Time

This month’s newsletter focuses on some maintenance items.

Clearing the cache is an important part of maintaining your device(s). While some people prefer to just let this go until there is a problem, I don’t like waiting for problems to happen. I believe it is better to be a little proactive.

Computer maintenance.

What is the cache and what does it do? The cache is a place where the browser stores stuff like images, fonts and some kind of technical sounding stuff like CSS style information, HTML, and JavaScript to conserver bandwidth. Without this feature your browser would be much slower because each time it reloaded the page it would have to download all these rather bulky files.

For example, there is a logo at the top of this page. Without the cache if you were to leave this page and then return your browser would have to download that logo again, along with the formatting information from the cascading style sheet and a host of other information on how to build the page. Not a very efficient way to go.

However, there can be problems with the cache. The cached data can become lost or corrupted. If the web page changes it could cause problems with how the page loads when you revisit the site. The browser is supposed to check for an updated page but that is just the front end. If the backend, the server that provides content for the site, changes the browser probably won’t see that and then the page doesn’t load or doesn’t load correctly.

The cache can grow over time. There is not always a mechanism for automatically clearing old information from the cache. Eventually loading the cache into memory can reach a point where it starts to impact the computer’s performance. There are many other problems that can occur with cached data.

With most browsers the options for clearing the cache and clearing cookies are in the same place. But cookies are not the same as your cache. Cookies store information about you and things you have done. If you shop at an online store those items are saved using a cookie. Cookies also store information about sites that you are logged into. That is why when you clear cookies you need to log back into your accounts. Properly done cookies expire after a certain period or other event. Clearing the cache doesn’t have any effect on cookies.

Some browsers do delete the older files from the cache periodically. But that time period is kind of a nebulous thing. Clearing the cache doesn’t’ do any real harm. Some sites might load a little slower the first time you visit them after clearing the cache. I don’t recommend clearing the cache whenever you close the browser, more like every few months.

Computer maintenance..

How to clear the cache?
Different browsers have different steps to follow to clear the cache, but it is usually a pretty straight forward operation.

Clearing the browsing data in Chrome:

There are several versions of Chrome out there. For version 117.0.5938.89 (Official Build) (64-bit) here are the steps to take. Previous versions should be similar. (If you don’t have the current version perhaps you should consider updating your browser.)

  1. From the menu bar of in Chrome window click More. (More is the three dots near the upper right part of the window.)
  2. Click More Tools and select Clear browsing data (Ctrl + Shift + Del).
  3. From the Pop-Up window select Cached images and files.
  4. Deselect the other choices unless you want to clear them too.
  5. Click Clear Data

Clearing the browsing data in Edge:

As with Chrome, there are several versions of Edge. The current version, as of this writing, is 117.0.2045.41 (Official build) (64-bit). Follow these steps to clear the cache.

From the menu bar of a Microsoft Edge window, click Settings and more, (the three dots in the upper right corner of the window).

  1. Click Settings and then select Privacy, search, and services. Clicking settings may drop you on your profile page. To get to the Privacy, search and services page click the “hamburger”, (the three lines at the top left of the page, ≡).
  2. In the Clear browsing data section, click Choose what to clear.
  3. In the pop-up window that appears, select the types of browsing data you want to clear and the desired time range, (probably All time). There is also a selection for Clear browsing data for Internet Explorer mode. This might need to be cleared too if you use that mode.
  4. After you have made your selections click Clear now.
  5. There is also a section to clear browsing data for Internet Explorer. MSIE isn’t used these days, at least not very much, but you might want to clear that too.

Clearing the browsing data in Firefox:

  1. From the menu bar of a Firefox window, click Open application menu, (the “hamburger" again, ≡), and then click Settings.
  2. From the navigation pane, click Privacy & Security.
  3. In the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data.
  4. In the pop-up window that appears, deselect Cookies and Site Data (unless you want to clear your cookies), and then click Clear.

Clearing the browsing data in Safari on a Mac:

  1. In the Safari app on your Mac, choose History > Clear History, then click the pop-up menu.
  2. Choose how far back you want your browsing history cleared.
  3. Tap Clear History

For more information about clearing the cache in Safari on a Mac here is a link to Apple Support,

Robot thinker

View and Close Running programs and Tasks
With Windows built in Task Manager you can deal with running programs but that may not always work. The Task Manager monitors things in real time. You can use tasklist to create a static list that doesn’t constantly keep updating. That way you can scroll through it in a more orderly manner and locate the stubborn program.

Clearing the browsing data in Safari on an iPhone:

There are many different iPhones out there. This guide is a little generalized, but it should support most of them.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Safari and tap it.
  3. Scroll down through the Safari options to the button for Clear History and Website Data and tap it.
  4. Select the timeframe if available.
  5. Confirm that you want to clear the browser cache. This does not clear the Autofill data.

For more information about clearing the cache on an iPhone here is a link to Apple Support,

Clearing the browsing data on Android devices:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app.
  2. At the top right, tap More (the three dots).
  3. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
  4. Next to Cached images and files, check the box. You can check the other boxes if you want to delete them as well.
  5. Tap Clear data.

For more information on clearing cached data on Android devices here is a link to Google support, ?

If you know someone that you think would enjoy this newsletter, share it with them and ask them to join using the link at the bottom of the page.


And remember — always back it up!



Go back to the top

To get the Ken's Korner Newsletter delivered to your Inbox CLICK HERE