Browser Cache, Cookies and Incognito windows

Very often, you might get a suggestion from a member of the Support team to either clear your cache/cookies or try opening the page in an Incognito window. It might sound like a cheap solution and a cliche, but it's actually a very sound advice.

In order to increase loading speeds and reduce the amount of traffic generated, every browser stores data like old versions of a website, login credentials, etc. Whenever you open a website, this locally stored data is used instead of downloading it again. Of course, various checks are performed to make sure what you're viewing is up to date but sometimes things go wrong. This might cause a whole array of issues like seeing something that's not relevant anymore, not being able to log in, refusing to load something altogether. 

To rule out an issue caused by your own device, we usually suggest clearing your cache or using a Private/Incognito window. If the problem persists, then the issue is most likely somewhere else and we can get to investigating.

What's the difference between using Incognito and clearing your cache/cookies?

Clearing will affect your entire browser, which means affecting other sites that might be working fine. If you clear all your cookies you'll be logged out of all websites you're currently logged into.

Using an Incognito window, on the other hand, will allow you to just test if the problem you are encountering persists, without losing anything. Every time you close an Incognito window and open it again, it automatically clears any cache and cookies from the previous session without affecting your regular browser windows. 

Here is how to do both in the most popular browsers. Note that you don't need to clear the cookies as well but there's a chance they might be causing login problems.

In Chrome

To clear cache/cookies:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More More.
  3. Click More tools and then Clear browsing data.
  4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
  5. Next to "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files," check the boxes. (cookies are an option in our case)
  6. Click Clear data.

To open Incognito window:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More More.and then click New Incognito Window

In Firefox

To Clear cache/cookies:

  1. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select Options.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel.
  3. In the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data‚Ķ.
  4. Remove the checkmark in front of Cookies and Site Data if you wish.
  5. With the Cached Web Content check marked, click the Clear button.
  6. Close the about: preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

To open a private window:

  1. On your computer, open Firefox.
  2. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and then click New Private Window

In Safari

To Clear cache/cookies:

  1. Click on the Safari drop-down menu and select Preferences.
  2. Click the Advanced tab. Select the Show Develop menu in menu bar checkbox and close the Preferences window.
  3. Select the Develop drop-down menu. Click Empty Cache

To open a private window:

  1. On your device, open Safari.
  2. Click the File menu and then click New Private Window


Empty Cache and Hard Reload

Another very handy and easy procedure is the "empty cache and hard reload" for a particular website. To do that you'll need the Developer tool of the browser.

  1. While you are on the page, open the Developer tool.
  • Shortcuts - CTRL+Shift+I or F12 on your keyboard
  • From the browser menu: 

More>More tools>Developer tools

This will open an additional window that you can ignore, it just needs to be open.

2. Right-click on the browser's Refresh button.

3. Click Empty Cache and Hard Reload.

4. Close the Developer Tools window.

This will clear the cache for the particular internet page and reload it from scratch fetching all possible updates.





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