Web browsers store data on your computer. This data takes the form of cookies, caches, and browsing history. It provides a faster and more customized browsing experience. As much as it benefits your browsing experience, its long-due pile-up can slow down your computer. In fact, cleaning this data from your computer is considered a vital and rudimentary step in troubleshooting.
Each browser has a data limit for your local storage. For instance, Google Chrome can use up to 80% of your total disk space. In other words, if you let your browser stock up on this data, it can take up necessary space on your computer, and cause other problems that we shall discuss in this article.
Why do browsers store cookies, caches, and history?
A browser stores cookies and caches to personalize user experience and provide a faster service. To draw a fundamental difference between cookies, caches, and history, it’s essential to understand their roles.
The websites you visit store data such as your web activities and trail of preferences as cookies. Cookies help your browser provide a personalized experience by recommending things based on your browsing trail. Note that while cookies do not store your passwords, they can help your browser remember your credentials so that you don’t have to log in from scratch when you revisit a page.
History is the track record of your browser activity. Whatever site you visit gets saved to your history so that you can access it later, even if you don’t remember the site’s name.
Importance of preserving computer space by deleting cookies and cache
Clearing your device of cache, cookies, and history means that there will be no more browsing information on your computer. This includes your login credentials. However, there are plenty of ways cleaning this data from your computer can help.
Enhanced system performance
Cookies, caches, and history take up a lot of space on your computer. Caches can amplify in space even more than others since they store data such as images and videos. This pile-up can significantly affect the other functions of your computer, like response time.
Since much memory on your computer is used up by this data, clearing it from computers can help you free up the necessary storage required for other features to work. Note that without caches, the loading time for some websites will be longer, but the performance of your system will also improve.
View the most up-to-date websites
The fundamental purpose of caches is to store website information. This ensures that loading time is decreased when revisiting a site. However, most websites constantly change and evolve to stay relevant. Older caches can keep the website from displaying most of its new features and changes. Clearing your device at regular intervals can help you view the most up-to-date websites.
Clearing caches and cookies from your computer can also ensure better security of personal information. This data is highly vulnerable to hacking. Websites use the cookies on your device to study your browsing pattern and provide you with targeted displays, like ads. Hackers could tamper with this saved information with malicious intent.
For instance, DNS cache poisoning is one of the threats that you could face. Since the systems do not appropriately check the integrity of websites, it is possible to poison them.
This means that users may be redirected to dangerous websites instead of legitimate ones. This can leave users vulnerable to credential theft through fake login pages. In this case, clean computer DNS cache to protect these devices from potential DNS spoofing. Subsequently, you may also read up on the four types of passwords to avoid.
You can also add more security by installing a Virtual Private Network. This tool reroutes your traffic and hides IP addresses. Moreover, many VPNs also use private DNS servers to handle your web requests. Such servers are usually highly resistant to DNS spoofing. Therefore, getting a VPN for Windows could be a viable solution for securing transactions and ensuring that your web requests get completed quickly and fairly.
How to clean a browser’s cookies, caches, and history
Cleaning cookies and caches from computer storage is a no-brainer if you know your way around. Here’s how you do it on Google Chrome. Since it is the most resource-draining app, it is likely the one you should deal with first:
- Open the Chrome browser on your computer.
- Click on the three-dot icon on the top right corner of your screen.
- Select More Tools.
- From the options that appear, click on Clear Browsing Data.
- From the popup, select your time range to All Time, and check the boxes for Cookies, Caches, and History.
- Click on Clear Data.
For the changes to take effect, you may need to restart your browser, or your computer, depending on what your computer requests.
Similar instructions apply to all browsers. If stuck, you can find step-by-step guides on each necessary step.
Fastening all loose ends to secure your browsing experience and having your computer work faster requires you to clear cookies and caches periodically. They can mount up, pose threats to sensitive information, and increase your computer’s response time.
You can look up the steps to clear browsing data on support pages if you use browsers other than Google Chrome. Of course, remember that browsing itself can be a little more sluggish than before. It is because your browser won’t have stored versions of websites to refer to. Thus, it will need to receive information fully.