What is browser cache and how to disable it

What is browser cache and how to disable it
Remacle Jean-Claude
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Browser cache is the frustration of many people, especially for website editors.
But there is good news, you can disable it in the browser, so that you won't forget to clear it.

What is cache?

Cache is meant for optimizing the speed when you're browsing the world wide web.
There are 2 major implementations for cache, client-side (browser cache) and server-side (server cache).

What does browser cache do?

Browser cache is a storage of complete web pages or part of the web pages (assets).

For example:

  • images (logo's, backgrounds, pictures, ...)
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

In short, browsers typically stores "static assets" of a web page in the cache.
The website determine what will be cached and for how long. Some assets are removed as soon as you closes your web browser, some remains a few days or sometimes it is stored for a year.

Disable browser cache

Many website editors can curse the browser cache for all the lost time and the many hours that they've spend by looking for a problem that doesn't exist, but is in fact, the browser cache that stored an older version of the asset.

Good news, you can disable it!

But keep in mind, that disabling the cache, will affect every single web page you visit!
So you may want to turn it back on after you're ready with editing.

How to disable it in Firefox

  1. Open a new window or tab in Firefox
  2. Type "about:config" in the address bar
  3. Search for "cache" in the search bar and look for "network.http.use-cache" or "http.use-cache"
  4. Double click it and it will toggle from "true" to "false"

How to disable it in Chrome

  1. Open the developer tool (View > Developer > Developer Tools OR right click on the page and click "inspect")
  2. Click on the network tab
  3. Check the box "Disable cache"