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What is Cache - Functions, Types, and How to Clear It

Last updated: Sep 22, 2022

What is Cache - Functions, Types, and How to Clear It
Cover image: An illustration of a cache which is a component containing computational data to speed up the process of loading web pages in the future. Find out the information in this article.

What Is Cache?

A cache is a temporary storage area where a website stores the newly executed computational data or other data duplication that is useful for serving faster future requests. It allows you to reuse the previously retrieved data.

For example, when you perform a search, the browser will save the browsing data to make it easier for you when you want to browse the same page without requesting the server again.

Function of Cache

The function of the cache is to serve faster requests in the future since the computer does not need to download the data each time it runs the command.

This is because the computer does not need to retrieve the elements to run the command, it only takes the cache stored in memory, and that increases the speed of execution.

Cache Weaknesses

Besides having a convenient function, Cache also has drawbacks. Here are some of the drawbacks or weaknesses.

Storage Consuming

Data stored in mobile or computer memory will take up a lot of space, making your storage to full faster. Cache data can also consume a lot of space on the device you are using.

Causing Apps Error

The amount of data stored makes the installed applications become heavier. It often makes the application experience problems such as system slowdown, corruption, and others.

Vulnerable to Hack

Cache stores personal data which can be sensitive. This can allow irresponsible parties to use them freely. Therefore, make sure you keep an eye on Cache usage.

Types of Caches

1. Memory Cache

Memory cache is a portion of memory created with high-speed static RAM (SRAM). This cache type is more effective because most programs repeatedly access the same data or commands.

2. Disk Cache

Disks and RAM cache have similar working mechanisms. Originally, disk cache has a larger capacity compared to memory cache, yet, instead of high-speed static, disk cache uses slower dynamic RAM (DRAM).

3. Web Cache

Web cache is commonly used in web browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Every time you open a web page, the browser will automatically store the Web documents, such as HTML, CSS style sheets, JavaScript, images, etc. on the disk. The cache is stored with the purpose of a faster process when the user reopens the web page.

Cache and Cookies Differences

It is common for cache to be paired up with cookies. People commonly confuse the two, assuming both things are the same. Better to keep in mind that cache and cookies are separated from each other.

Cookies store information and data such as usernames or passwords, meanwhile cache stores the files such as images or audio.

Cache and cookies are both temporary storage that is beneficial to save users’ resources and time.

How to Clear Cache on Browsers

Clearing Cache is very easy depending on the browser you are using. Here's how to do it.

Clearing Cache on Chrome

First of all, open the Google Chrome app. At the top right, tap the 3 dots icon and select Other features > Clear browsing data. Next, you can choose a deletion time range such as the last hour, the last 7 days, and more.

Check the categories you want to clear such as Browsing history, cookies and other statuses, and image Cahce and files. Finally, select clear data to delete it.

Clearing Cache on Mozilla Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox, open the side menu and select Library > History > Clear Recent History. Next, it will be the same as on Chrome, you need to select a time range for the deletion. Then select the elements to be deleted, and if you have chosen them, you can select Clear Now.

Clearing Cache on Safari

In the Safari browser, you need to select the History menu > Clear History to clear the Cache data. Next, you can select a time range of deletion such as All history if you wish to clear the entire Cache.

Unlike other browsers, Safari will delete all History such as Cache and Cookies without having to choose one. Tap Clear History to clear the data.

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