Frequently Asked Question

How do I clear my browser's cache and cookies?
Last Updated 3 years ago


If you are experiencing issues with a website, one of the first troubleshooting steps is to erase your browser's cache and cookies, which effectively logs you out and disassociates any session data that may be causing issues.

Instructions are available for your supported web browser of choice:

Technical Details

Cookies are small bits of information passed back and forth between your web browser and the websites you visit. They can be used for a variety of different purposes. They are most commonly used to maintain your session with websites, which is a key transmitted back and forth between your browser and the website to associate you with your login state and settings.

Clearing your browser's cookies erases the session keys.  When your browser doesn't transmit a session key, websites generate a new session for you, which reduces the possibility of errors caused by your current session.

Browsers also keep copies of the files downloaded when browsing websites.  This is helpful when accessing the same site multiple times; it is unlikely that a website will have changed within a short time span.  There are mechanisms to keep your cached files up to date built into all web browsers, however, there is potential for problems if a website is changed and a server is misconfigured, as this could result in your browser using old, cached versions of these files.

Clearing the browser cache ensures that new, up-to-date copies of these files are downloaded.  This reduces the likelihood of outdated files causing conflicts.

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