Will Clearing Your Browser's Cache Actually Improve Your Browsing Experience?

Will Clearing Your Browser's Cache Actually Improve Your Browsing Experience?

by Chad Faith on 1 April 2014 · 18383 views

Actually the title of this post is a double-edged sword because the answer is both yes and no. And you are wondering why I have said that. Well, let me take you through briefly on what this actually entails by first explaining what the cache is.

What is cache?

Remember when we all first were using IE at the start of the internet age? The cache is known as the "temporary internet files" under Internet Explorer and that name actually explains it quite well. These are temporary pieces of browsing history (style sheets of that webpage, images on that page, Javascript files and etc) that your browser saves in order to help you visit that site again faster.

Think of the first visit you have made to Download3K homepage, your browser will download our site logo and other things on our home page. These downloads go to your cache. When you are reading this article on our site, say on your second visit, your browser actually loads whatever it has downloaded in the cache to help you view this page faster.

What does clearing your browser's cache do?

clear browser history

Well, when you clear your cache, it simply means that you have deleted those temporary internet files from your system. It will also mean that your browser would have to download all those files again if you visit that website again. The extra answer you want to hear is on this Google support page screenshot below that puts it across clearly that you are actually making the loading speed of that page slower because of this process the browser has to go through... again.

cache clearing effects

Source: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?hl=en

So, a slow loading speed surely doesn't make your browsing experience better, right? I mean, all of us want to browse the internet fast these days, we do not want to wait for pages that take forever to load (especially if you have a slow internet connection).

Point to note: Clearing your browser actually slows down the browsing speed.

But why does everyone always say clearing the cache will help the browsing experience?

These same people weren't clear in what they were saying but they are not wrong either. This brings me to discuss why this question in the first place is a double-edged sword.

In some cases, your browser's cache can actually stop you from viewing updated content on websites and might even cause functioning problems (commonly causing a computer freeze mode) when the newer live content conflicts with the older content stored in your browser's cache. That is why many people advise all over the internet to clear your browser's cache whenever you have browsing issues. So in this way, clearing your cache can be said to "improve" your browsing experience.

Point to note: Clearing the cache can clear browser problems, but not speed up your browsing experience.

Leave your browser's cache alone until you need to

You see that in the pointer I have put up above, I did not mention that it can improve your browsing experience, it can solve browsing problems but it does not add to your browsing speed. In my opinion, it is better leave your browsing cache alone until you encounter browser issues. In this way, you will be able to visit your often visited sites faster and remember, the cache is there for a reason – the computer geeks didn't invent them to just waste our disk space or to just use it for keeping browsing history. If you regularly clear your browser's cache, what you are doing is simply putting a speed bump to your browsing experience!

So take it from me, leave your cache alone, my friend.


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