Clear your browser's cache and resolve common problems


Target audience: Entire McGill community.

Web browsers store a cache or history of browsing data on your computer. Your cache records traces of what you've seen, heard, or downloaded from the Internet, including images, sounds, web pages, and cookies. Your cache can sometimes negatively impact browser functionality, requiring you to clear your cache.



When troubleshooting issues with any website, clear your browser's cache and cookies, then exit your browser completely before attempting to reaccess the site. In Windows, close all your browser windows; in Mac OS X, quit (Command-q) your browser.

Why clear your browser's cache

Although the cache is designed to speed up your browsing experience, it takes up space on your hard drive, and files left there are susceptible to corruption. Additionally, some web content (such as movies, graphics, and JavaScript) is not refreshed with the most recent content until the browser's cache is cleared and the page is reloaded.

How to clear the cache

Select a browser below and follow the instructions to clear your browser's cache periodically:

Open the Webpage in a Private browser window to diagnose problems

Accessing a webpage from a private window is often a good way to know if stored cookies or other cached information are interfering with the content you are trying to access.

When you enable Private Browsing mode, your web browser doesn’t store any history, cookies, form data, or other information about the site. Some data, like cookies, may be kept during the private browsing session and immediately discarded when you close your browser.

You can open a Private browser window by using the New Private window (name varies slightly in each browser) under the File menu in your browser.

Further diagnostic options: