Trash Your Browser's Cache
(Paul W. 08/31/07)
Whether you use Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, Opera, or some other browser to surf the net, everytime you do, your browser is saving copies of webpages and pictures and other data in the background. This can be helpful for surfing faster and easier sometimes, but can also cause a variety of problems over time, especially when these files become corrupt. I've seen some very strange problems that are easily cleared by cleaning up these temporary files. So this tip will explain how to send your browser's "cached" files into the "trash".
You may need to adjust these instructions a bit depending on the version of I.E. or Netscape/Firefox you have, but you should get the idea.
NOTE: Before I tell you how to delete the "cookies" you need to be aware that deleting cookies can force you to remember a password that you haven't had to remember for a while. Some websites require passwords, but give you an option to "save" the password. The up side of this is that you don't have to remember the password normally. The down side is that if this password is stored in your cookies (typical) and you delete them or they get deleted some other way, now you have to remember your password that obviously you don't! The other downside is that this is a security risk, because hackers look for passwords in your cookies if they can. My advice is that you never choose to "remember" or "save" an Internet password. Save it somewhere OFF of your computer.
In Internet Explorer click on Tools > Internet Options. In this box you should have three buttons that you will want to use to do the clean up. 1. Click on the "Delete Cookies ..." button, then click OK. 2. Click on the "Delete Files..." button, check the "Delete all offline content" box, and then click OK. If you've haven't done this in a long time you may see the hour glass sit there for a while. This just means there were lots of temporary ("cached") files to delete. 3. Click on the "Clear History" button and then click on "Yes". You may see the hour glass for a while again. Now you can close the Internet Options box.
Since I use Firefox I'll tell you how to clean it up. It's based on Netscape so Netscape should be similar. Click on Tools > Options and find the "Privacy" option. Here you should see a number of items that you can clean up. "History", "Saved Form Info", "Saved Passwords", "Cookies", "Cache", and more or less depending on your version of the Netscape type browser. Newer versions give you an option/button to "clear all" which even has a shortcut key combo. I love it!
So make it a habit to clean your browser's temp files regularly and you should avoid some surfing problems.