When you are surfing your web browser, and you get a pop-up asking you about cookies and cache. What do you do? Most of us just ignore or accept it. But what are these terms? Why do they appear on the web pages now and then? What is the concept behind these pop-ups, and what do they represent? And how clearing cache or cookies can fix several website issues? Let’s discuss!
Sometimes our browser needs some files to adjust our web pages according to our likes. Cache and cookies are two forms in which temporary data is stored in a machine. They are supposed to improve the quality and performance of the webpages. They basically save data so that we can get a better experiencethe next time we visit the same website.
Many people believe that these two are the same. And well, they are more or less the same but still there are some differences. Cookies contain very little information that is saved by a website. And every time, you open that page, it is sent back to the server. That way, the server is informed that you are visiting along with the information about your previous visit.
On the other hand, cache files also contain temporary data and are stored on the web pages. But unlike cookies, these work for a long time. Both of these types of files are used for enhancing our browsing experience. Although, they can get corrupted too. And when they get corrupted, they cause more harm than benefits.
In the case of a web browser, sometimes these temporary files and cookies are not current or even become corrupted. Either way, if changes are made in the browser when trying to load something, these become activated. And if you are attempting to use a cached page, then you might face some troubles. These files conflict with what the data a website recently has, to what it saved before. As a result, your requested web page can load badly or does not load at all.
Therefore, it is suggested to clear your cookies and cache frequently. When you delete these files, your computer/phone loses any memory of the previously saved pages. So, clearing all this forces the browser to load it as if youare visiting the page for the first time. This helps in improving the speed, and the overall performance of your browser.
But this is not all. Most of us believe that cookies and cache files are hidden, and we cannot see them in our routine use. Well, that is not entirely true. While you might not notice these files in your day to day work, you see it in some disguised form.
For example, when you Google search something, you will see that some titles are not standard blue. These oddly purple-colored links are the ones that you have visited before. But how does google know this?
Well, it’s quite simple. When you open a web page for the first time, a temporary file is created in the form of cookies. So, when you search the same query again, Google knows that you have already visited some sites, and it highlights them in purple.
Let’s consider another common example: websites that have a limited number of page count, such as newspaper websites that allow you to read only a certain number of articles without a subscription. So, when you try to exceed your fixed number, an annoying window appears on your screen prompting you to log in or subscribe. Ever wonder why that happens?
When you open such websites, they get saved in your cookies and cache files. So, when you visit them later, the server is informed that you are visiting again. Hence, when you reach the limit of your free services, the server denies your access or an annoying screen prompts you to log in or subscribe.
Therefore, if you work smartly, and clear these temporary files, you can trick the server as if you are visiting the website for the very first time. Because clearing the cookies will remove the reference point and you will be considered as a new visitor. Therefore, you will be able to fix a lot of website issues by just clearing your browser cache and cookies.