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Browser Cache - The Place to Start When Issues Arise
Browser Cache - The Place to Start When Issues Arise

How clearing browser cache can resolve common issues

David Chitwood avatar
Written by David Chitwood
Updated over a week ago

What is browser cache?

Put simply, browser cache is the place where your browser stores images, code, and other files to avoid re-downloading them repeatedly.

To illustrate, there's a MaestroQA logo at the top of this page. If you go to another Help Center article, you'll see the same logo at the top of that page. To speed up your browsing experience, your browser downloads that image and saves it so that it doesn't have to re-download it each time you load a new page.

How can browser cache cause issues?

Occasionally, the version of the website you are visiting will differ from the version your browser has cached. This can happen more frequently for sites you visit everyday (like MaestroQA!).

Most times, a simple refresh of the page in your browser (think "Command + R" on your keyboard) will update the cache with the new version of the website and fix that mismatch.

There are times, however, where you'll need to manually clear your browser cache to resolve the issue. Let's review common tells and how to clear cache for most browsers.

Common symptoms of browser cache issues

The main tell that you might be experience a browser cache issue: no one else on your team is having the same issue.

A quick way to check for yourself:

  • Open a different browser than you normally use

  • Navigate to the website where you are having an issue

  • Attempt to replicate the issue in the new browser

If the issue is still present, you might want to rule out extension conflicts.

If the issue is not present, it's possible that browser cache is causing the issue.

How to clear your browser cache

The steps to clear your browser cache can be slightly different depending on the browser you use. We'll detail the steps using Chrome, but know that all browsers will typically have a menu item for this. For instance:

  • Safari: History > Clear History

  • Edge: Menu > Settings > Privacy and Services > Clear browsing data

In Chrome:

  • Begin by selecting Chrome > Clear Browsing Data

  • Next, go to the Advanced option, select All Time, and check every checkbox option (be sure to scroll down and capture everything). Once complete, select Clear data

  • Open a new browser window, navigate to the website, and check if the issue is resolved

Other Common Issues and Steps to Take

Sometimes clearing your browser cache will not resolve the issue. Here are some steps you can take in those instances.

Browser Extension Conflicts

Browser extensions can add convenience and functionality outside of the normal browser features (our MaestroQA Screen Capture Chrome extension is a great example!).

At times, they can present conflicts with certain websites and cause different issues. If you have already cleared your cache and are still experiencing an issue, it's a good idea to test the website with your extensions disabled.

Most browsers have a feature that disables all extensions at once (e.g., Incognito (Chrome); Private (Safari); InPrivate (Edge)). To test, using Chrome as an example:

  • Open a new Incognito window by selecting File > New Incognito Window

  • Navigate to the website and check if the issue is resolved

If the issue is not present within an Incognito browser session, it is possible that one of your browser extensions is the culprit. Return to a normal browser session, disable your extensions, and turn them back on one at a time to test which one might be causing the issue. Once discovered, leave it disabled to resolve the issue - and reach out to MaestroQA Support to let us know which extension is conflicting with our app!

Restart Your Computer

If none of the above resolve your issue, we recommend restarting your computer. Restarting your computer does many things: flushes RAM, restarts software processes, and more. Sometimes issues that only affect us can be due to something in these areas. Restarting your computer is a way to address many of these variables at once.

Reach Out To Us For Further Help

If none of these steps resolve your issue, please reach out to MaestroQA Support (through our in-app chat bubble) and we can help dig in deeper!

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