How to Clear Your Cache
(And Why You’d Want To)

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When you roam the Internet, accessing Web pages, files, images and other downloaded content, your Web browser caches, or stores, all that on your computer. That way, those files -- which are called temporary Internet files -- don't have to be retrieved again each time you click the back or forward buttons.

Why should you clear your cache? There are two reasons:
• Free up space on your computer
After a while, the cache fills up and needs to be cleared -- at least once a quarter -- so your Web browser will function most efficiently.
• Protect your privacy
At work, you may not want others to see where you have browsed, while at home, several people may use the same computer. If you have privacy concerns, you'll want to regularly clear your cache.

Clearing your cache takes just a few minutes. You can do it yourself by following the steps below, or there is software such as System Mechanic that can clear your cache automatically.

How to clear the cache in Internet Explorer 8
1. Open Internet Explorer. Click the Tools menu on the top left of the IE toolbar.
2. Click on "Delete Browsing History."
3. Select "Temporary Internet Files."
4. Click the Delete button at the bottom of the window and your temporary files will be deleted instantly.

To set Internet Explorer 8 so it automatically clears the cache:
1. Open Internet Explorer. Click the Tools menu on the top left of the IE toolbar.
1. Click on Internet Options.
2. Click the Advanced tab.
3. Scroll down to the Security section.
4. Click to check the box next to the option labeled "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed."
5. Click OK. This will delete everything except cookies.

How to clear the cache in Firefox 3.5 or 3.6
1. Open Firefox. Click Tools on the top left of the Firefox tool bar. Select Options.
2. Select the Advanced panel.
3. Click on the Network tab.
4. In the Offline Storage section, click Clear Now.
5. Click OK to close the Options window

To set Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 so it automatically clears the cache:
1. Click Tools on the top left of the Firefox tool bar. Select Options.
2. Select the Privacy panel.
3. In the History section, click on the "Firefox will:" drop-down box and choose "Use custom settings for history."
4. Check the box for "Clear history when Firefox closes."
5. Click on the Settings button.
6. In the Settings for Clearing History window, click the checkmark box next to Cache.
7. Click OK to close the Settings for Clearing History window.
9. Click OK to close the Options window.

If you need additional help or your Web browser is not listed here, search your browser's Help menu for "clear cache."

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