Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
A cookie is a file that is stored on your computer that contains the address of the websites you are visiting. These files can include user specific information such as information used in web forms, contents of an online shopping cart etc.
Web browsers also store webpage contents (text, pictures, files etc.) in what is known as cache. Having a cache greatly improves performance when navigating pages (for example when clicking Back or Forward) because the browser just displays information already stored on your computer.
Please note that when clicking on linked files such as a .PDF or a Microsoft Word Document (.doc) files for example, your web browser will typically ask if you want to download/save or open the file. If you choose to "download" or "save", you should be prompted to save the file in a destination of your choice (e.g. Desktop or My Documents). If you select "open", the web browser will still download and save the file. Most browsers will save these files in the cache, but some (such as Macintosh computers) may put the files in your "Downloads" directory. Please be aware of this. For privacy reasons (when downloading confidential documents for example) it's always recommended to clear the cache and delete files in the "Downloads" directory.
Finally, your browser’s history is just a collection of sites that you visit.
Many of these settings are typically cleared at regular intervals pre-determined by your web browser, but clearing them manually can also help your system remove stale files to clear up space as well as aid in the protection of your privacy.
Below are the methods used to clear cookies, cache and history from most web browsers. If you don’t see instructions for your specific version of your browser, check the “Help” menu.
Internet Explorer 10, 9 and 8
Internet Explorer 7
Firefox (The following instructions apply to Firefox 3.5 and later)
Mobile Safari for iPhone OS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad)
To clear cache and cookies:
To clear history: