If you're using the Google Chrome browser and having problems with loading certain sites or having general formatting issues, you may have a full cache or too many cookies saved. Sometimes clearing your cache and removing all your cookies can solve the problem.

When you clear the cache and cookies, you can make Chrome run faster and have fewer issues with memory. Of course, the cache and cookies are there for a reason, which is why you need to understand the ramifications of clearing your cache and cookies before you do it.

What are Cookies?

A cookie is a file which has a small quantity of data that a website creates when you access it. It hands the cookie to your browser, and it is stored in your computer. Cookies can serve many purposes. When helpful, they allow the website to remember you and your passwords/sessions on the site. They can remember what you put in your shopping cart on an e-commerce site, the last page you visited, and other useful information. They can also be used to track which websites you visited and other personal data.


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What is Cache?

Your Internet cache is a temporary storage area that saves images and other portions of the websites you visit so that when you return to them, you will have a faster Internet experience. If you visit many Internet websites, chances are you have a full cache. The Chrome browser will sometimes clear its own cache when certain conditions arise such as the expiration of an active session when you close the browser.


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Why Should You Clear Your Cache and Cookies?

The temporary storage associated with the cache and cookies can get full. This causes Google Chrome to overwrite old cache which can slow down your browser significantly and can cause problems with the loading of new websites. Sometimes updated websites do not refresh when the cache is full. Clearing your cookies can remove tracking cookies as well as free up storage space.


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Problems with Clearing Your Cache and Cookies

The downside to clearing your cache is that the websites you visit will be slower to load the first time when you revisit them because there are no images in the cache. The downside to clearing cookies is that the websites you visit will not remember your username and password and you may have reenter them. This can be problematical if you rely on websites to remember you and your password.


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Clearing Your Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome -- Open Your Browser

Clearing your cache and cookies in Google Chrome is relatively easy to do. You must first open your Google Chrome Browser to accomplish this. Double click on the Google Chrome Browser icon on your desktop, or if it is not there, open up your programs or apps menu and look for Google Chrome.


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Clearing Your Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome -- Select More

Once Google Chrome is open, you'll need to look for the "More" followed by three vertical dots in the right-hand corner of the browser. Click on this menu and select More Tools > Clear browsing data in the menu. This will take you to the page where you can clear your cache and cookies.


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Clearing Your Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome -- Select Timeframe

Once you are in the page to clear your browsing data, you need to select the timeframe of the data you wish to clear. To clear your cache, select All time. This way you can ensure that you have a cleared cache and will be able to use all the space that is freed up.


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Clearing Your Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome -- Select Cookies and Cache

On the same page, you will see the following choices with checkboxes:

  • Cookies and other site data
  • Cached images and files

Be sure to check both of those options if you want to clear both the cookies and the cache. Alternatively, you can just clear either of those two, but they will not give you quite as much freed up space.


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Click on the Clear Data Button

If you have your options set the way you want them, click on Clear Data. Be sure you want to do this as there is no going back, once you tell it to clear the cache and cookies. Remember that websites may take longer to load when you first go to them, and the websites will neither remember you nor your passwords.


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Why Clear the Cache and Cookies?

You may be wondering if other than speed if there are other reasons for clearing your cache and cookies. An excellent reason for personal privacy. Many websites offer cookies that have an expiration date on them, but some cookies never expire and continue to track where you go on the Internet to serve ads to you. At the same time, your browsing history is stored until you clear out your cache and your history.


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