Thanks to temporary internet files, your web browser runs a lot faster than it did when you originally installed it. By using certain saved data, rather than retrieve the information a second time, it saves it for later use–and that’s where the faster browsing comes from. For example, saving passwords to websites you frequently visit or auto-filling information when you sign-up on a website.
However, after awhile, this kind of stored data will eventually bog your browser down. What you need to do is delete your temporary internet files. Of course, you don’t have to delete everything–there is a choice–but it’s better to consider files you don’t need.
General Temporary Internet Files
Below you’ll find a brief summary of what each category stores, just so you have an idea of what you want to delete.
- Browsing history: Every page you’ve gone to. However, it won’t include any page visited while you used Incognito Mode.
- Download history: Self-explanatory. A list of all your downloads.
- Cookies and other site data: Information that makes it easier for your browser to load certain pages.
- Cached images and files: Another way of saying ‘temporary files.’
- Passwords and other sign-in data: Self-explanatory. If you have ever allowed a website to save your password, then it will get stored.
- Autofill form data: Similar to ‘Passwords and other sign-in data.’ If you have ever entered personal information on a website, like your name, it will auto-fill that information on other websites that ask for the same information.
- Site Settings: Settings that were saved beyond Google Chrome’s default settings.
- Hosted app data: If you use apps in Google Chrome, data gets stored.
Deleting Temporary Internet Files with Google Chrome
1. Locate and launch Google Chrome.
2. In a Google Chrome browser, look in the top right corner of the browser for three vertical dots. Clicking it will open a menu full of options.
If you have an older version of Google Chrome, rather than display three vertical dots, it may use three horizontal lines instead.
3. Take your mouse cursor and hover over History. This will produce an additional menu. In the new menu, click on History. Google Chrome will redirect you to your browser history.
There exists an alternative way of opening History through the use of shortcuts. Press and hold together the keys Ctrl + H.
4. Look to the left hand side of the browser and you’ll see a few options. Click on Clear browsing data. It will redirect you to Google Chrome’s settings as well as prompt a small window, labeled ‘Clear browser data.’
5. At the top of the new window, click Advanced.
6. In the new window, you have to decide which temporary internet files you’d like to delete. It can be everything or it can be a select few.
7. Give every single box a checkmark if you have no intention of keeping any temporary internet files. In other words, you’re nuking your temporary internet files. Do NOT clear your browsing data yet.
8. Click the drop down menu next to Time Range and decide how far back you want to go. Afterwards, click Clear data. If you want to delete everything, click All Time.
via Mobile App:
1. Locate and launch the Google Chrome app. You can usually find it somewhere on one of your Home screens. Or, if it wasn’t there, you can look inside your App Drawer. All your currently installed apps are housed in your App Drawer.
2. Select the three vertical dots located in the top right corner of your screen. You can’t miss it. This will produce a drop down menu.
3. In the drop down menu, select Settings. Look near the bottom of the menu for Settings. It will redirect you to Google Chrome’s browser settings.
4. Under the Advanced section, locate and select Privacy. It will redirect you to another page.
5. All the way at the bottom of the Privacy page, you’ll see Clear Browsing Data. Go ahead and select it. It will prompt a window.
6. Select the temporary internet files you want to delete. If you want to delete everything, then by all means, select everything.
7. When you’re satisfied with what you’ve chosen, select Clear Data.
8. Google Chrome will warn you one last time, again, choose Clear Data a final time.
Deleting Temporary Internet Files with Safari
1. Find and launch the web browser, Safari.
2. At the very top, where your menus are located, find Safari and click it. This will open a drop down menu.
3. In the drop down menu, click Preferences. This will prompt a window labeled ‘Advanced.’
4. In Advanced, click on the Privacy tab.
5. Under Cookies and Website Data, click on Remove All Website Data. This decision will prompt a window.
6. Your Mac will prompt a warning. If you’ve made peace with your decision, click Remove Now. Afterwards, your temporary internet files will get deleted and, after a moment, you’ll be free to use Safari again.
via Mobile App:
1. Locate and launch the Settings app. Its icon is typically a series of gears. Look for it on one of your Home screens or inside your App Drawer. All installed apps are located in your App Drawer.
2. On the left hand panel, scroll down the menu until you find Safari. Select it.
3. In the Safari app settings, locate and select Clear History and Website Data. You can usually find it at the bottom of Safari’s settings. Selecting it will prompt a window.
4. Your iOS device will warn you of your decision. If you’ve made peace with your decision, select Clear History and Data. It may take a moment for it to complete the process, depending on how much data was saved.
Deleting Temporary Internet Files with Mozilla Firefox
1. Launch the Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. At the top right corner of the browser, click the three horizontal lines to open a drop down menu.
3. Click Options.
4. On the left hand side, click Privacy & Security.
5. Scroll down until you see History. Click Clear History located just below it.
6. Clicking each box will fill it with a checkmark. Choose the data you want deleted.
7. Click Clear Now. Your temporary internet files will get deleted shortly after.
via Mobile App:
1. Locate and launch the Mozilla Firefox app.
2. Select the three vertical dots located in the top right corner of the screen.
3. Select Settings.
4. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and select Clear private data.
5. Place a checkmark next to anything you want to delete. Then hit Clear Data. Your data will be deleted after a brief moment.
Deleting Temporary Internet Files with Microsoft Edge
1. Locate and launch Microsoft Edge.
2. At the top right corner of the web browser, click on the three horizontal dots. It will open a drop down menu for you.
3. In the menu, click on Settings. You’ll find it at the bottom. Clicking it will open a panel on the right hand side.
4. Near the bottom, locate Clear browsing data. Under it, click Choose what to clear.
5. Place a checkmark in every box of temporary internet files that you want to see deleted. On the other hand, if you want everything deleted, then go ahead and select everything.
6. Before you delete the files, be sure of the files you want deleted. Unlike other web browsers, Microsoft Edge won’t ask you to confirm what you’re deleting–it’ll delete them right away. Click Clear when you’ve made peace with what you wanted deleted.
via Mobile App:
1. Locate and launch the Microsoft Edge app.
2. At the bottom right corner of the screen, tap the three horizontal dots.
3. Select Settings.
4. Scroll down to the Advanced section. Under Advanced, tap Privacy.
5. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the menu and select Clear browsing data.
6. Place a checkmark next to everything you want to delete. Afterwards, select Clear.
7. Finally, select Clear one last time. Your files will then be deleted after a brief moment.