Q. How do I clear my web browser's cache and cookies?

Answered By: Susan Adland
Last Updated: Jan 05, 2024     Views: 873

Follow these instructions to clear Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge of saved information that can interfere with authenticating for off campus access to library resources, while preserving your history and saved logins.


  • Desktop
    • From the vertical ellipsis menu, select More tools > Clear browsing data...
      • Select Advanced
        • From the Time range drop-down menu, select All time.
        • Check off Cookies and other site data, Cached images and files, Site settings, and Hosted app data
        • Click Clear Data
    • ​Quit and restart Chrome
      See instructions with screenshots.
  • Android
    • From the vertical ellipsis menu, select Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data
      • Select Advanced
        • Check off Cookies and site data, and Cached images and files
        • Click Clear Data
    • Quit and restart Chrome
  • iOS
    • From the vertical ellipsis menu, select Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data
      • Check off Cookies, site data, and Cached images and files
      • Click Clear Data
    • Quit and restart Chrome


  • Desktop
    • From the Hamburger menu, select Options> Privacy & Security.
      If the menu bar is hidden, press Alt to make it visible.
      • Under Cookies and Site Data, click Clear Data.
      • Under History, click Clear History
        • From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select Everything.
        • Check off Active Logins, Cookies, and Cache
        • Click Clear Now
    • ​Quit and restart Firefox
  • Android
    • From the vertical ellipsis menu, select Settings > Delete browsing data
      • Check off Open tabs, Cookies, and Cached images and files
      • Click Delete Browsing Data
    • Quit and restart Firefox


  • Desktop
    • From the Safari menu, select Preferences > Privacy
      • Click on Manage Website Data...
        • Click on Remove All
        • Click on Remove Now
    • From the Safari menu, select Preferences > Advanced
      • Check off Show Develop menu in menu bar
      • In the menu bar at the top of the screen, select Develop > Empty Caches
    • Quit and restart Safari
      See instructions with screenshots
  • iOS
    • Launch Settings app
      • Scroll down and tap on Safari
      • Scroll down and tap on Clear History and Website Data
      • Tap on Clear History and Data


  • Desktop
    • From the ellipsis menu, select Settings > Privacy, search and services
      • Under Clear browsing data: click Choose what to clear
        • Select Time range > All time
        • Check off Cookies and other site data, Cached images and files, Site permissions, and Media foundation data
      • Click Clear
    • Quit and restart Edge


  • If you don't see instructions for your specific browser, access your browser's Help menu and look there for instructions on how to clear the cache.

  • In Firefox, if you don't see the menu bar, press Alt.

  • After clearing your browser cache to troubleshoot problems, exit your browser completely before attempting to access the site again. In Windows, close all your browser windows. In macOS, quit (Command-q) your browser.

About cache, cookies, and history

Whenever you access a new website in your web browser, the browser stores the files (such as HTML files, images, and cookies) associated with the webpage. It does this so that it does not need to retrieve the files again if you click Back or Forward. Over time, these files build up, taking up storage and processing resources, making your browser slow down.

Among these files are cookies, which are created by your web browser, at the request of a website, to store information specific to your visit to the website. This information can include form contents, log in information, or the contents of your shopping cart. While your browser automatically clears cookies when they reach a certain age, some can cause access problems when you visit a website again. Manually removing these cookies may solve these access problems.

Your browser also stores a log of the sites that you visit, allowing it to know where to move when you hit the Back or Forward buttons. Like cookies, your history can easily be cleared manually to help preserve privacy.

If you would like further assistance, please Ask-A-Librarian.