All of us use a web browser to surf the internet. The process by which this program displays a web page is simple. It connects to the server (a computer on which the web site resides), downloads the web page and all associated files and displays them in its window – read how do browsers work to know more.
Many times, the web browser stores some of these files on your computer’s hard disk. This is done to help in loading the web site faster the next time to visit it – instead of retrieving the file from the web server the browser picks it up from the local disk. These temporary internet files are stored in a directory on your computer called the browser cache.
Over time, as you visit more and more web sites, this cache location can become bloated with all those extra and unnecessary files because of which you might run short of hard disk space. It is imperative to delete browser cache once in a while to free up space on the hard disk. Cleaning up the temporary internet files also remove traces of your meanderings on the internet… if you know what I mean. Anyway, all modern web browsers let you delete the cache directory in just a couple of mouse clicks.
The two important advantages of deleting the browser cache are:
The big disadvantage of cleaning browser cache is that web sites might become a tad slower when displaying on your computer because each file now needs to download afresh. But on a decently fast broadband internet connection you would hardly notice it. Also please remember that all web pages you’ve saved for offline browsing will be removed once you delete the browser cache folder.
In conclusion, deleting the browser cache is a double-edged sword. On the one had it lets you recover valuable hard disk space if you are falling short and protects your privacy, while on the other hand, it may slow down the loading of web sites you’ve already visited because all files need to be fetched from the web server once again.
Below is a list of links to help you delete browser cache of the five popular programs. Each article contains step by step instructions with screenshots and also directions on how to get rid of cookies.
InternetWorks was the first web browser to introduce tabbed windows. It was created by BookLink which was acquired by AOL in November 1994. [more...]