What is cached data?

You've probably heard of cached data, but what does it actually mean?

In the ever-changing world of high-tech gadgets and gizmos, a whole load of jargon is thrown our way that many of us don’t necessarily understand.

One that you may often hear but not know the meaning of is cached data.

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What is cached data?

Cached data is information which comes from a website or an app that is stored on your computer, smartphone and tablet.

This data is stored on your machine, so that the next time you go to use it, it’ll already be available.

Why does cached data do this?

The simple reason is to save on loading time. A website, for example, might save data about its layout on your PC. By doing this, it means your computer won’t have to load it from the internet all over again next time - it’ll already be there on the machine, which is much quicker.

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Does cached data take up space?

Yes, the downside to cached data is that it is taking up space on your device, which means you should probably clear it every now and again.

Cached data is useful for websites you visit regularly, but it’s a waste of space for websites you visit once.

How can I clear my browser’s cached data on a PC?

Chrome: Tap the icon with three dots. Go to Settings - Clear browsing data - Cached images and files. Use the drop-down menu to select the time period.

Firefox: Tap the icon with three vertical lines. Go to Options and click Privacy & Security from the side menu. Under Cookies and Site Data tap Clear Data and make sure Cached Web Content is selected.

Microsoft Edge: Click the menu button - History - Clear all history. Select Cached data and files and hit Clear.

Internet Explorer: Go to Settings - Internet Options. Under the General tab look for Browsing history and click Delete. Make sure Preserve Favourites website data is ticked. Tick Temporary Internet files and website files, Cookies and website data and History.

How can I clear my browser’s cached data on a phone?

Android: Launch your Chrome browser and scroll down to Settings. Go to Privacy - Clear browsing data and tick the Cached images and files box.

If you've got an Android phone, the steps may vary depending on the manufacturer and version you are running.

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