Pretty much the same as with Internet Explorer, your Microsoft Edge clear cache menu item can help you get out of trouble in certain scenarios. The option to choose which parts of the cache in Microsoft Edge is also inherited from Internet Explorer. However, the procedure is slightly different.
Let’s take a look and see what your options are to clear Microsoft Edge cache data including browsing history, download history and form data or saved passwords.
People often hesitate when using the Microsoft Edge clear cache menu item because they are unsure whether or not clearing their cache will break anything. No reason to worry: you can delete Microsoft cache data without the risk of messing anything up. This is one of those computer tips and tricks that are quick and easy to do without the risk of getting into trouble. The only thing you DO need to think about is whether or not you want to keep your saved form data or stored passwords. We’ll get to that in a bit.
The Microsoft clear cache menu can be reached by clicking the ellipsis icon near the top right corner and selecting settings in the menu.
That will take you to the settings menu, where you may have to scroll down a bit in order to access the “Clear browsing data” section, where you’ll see a button that allows you to choose what to clear.
Click the button that says “Choose what to clear” and you’ll see an overview of all sorts of different options you can select to clear out your Microsoft Edge cache data.
“Browsing history”, “Cookies and saved website data” and “Cached data and files” are the options that are selected by default and will not cause you any headaches if you proceed to delete them. Click the “Show more” link to open up additional Microsoft Edge clear cache options.
“Media licenses”, “Pop-up exceptions”, “Location permissions”, “Full screen permissions” and “Compatibility permissions” are the additional cache data options you can select to clear.
Under normal circumstances you can proceed with the defaults selected and click the “Clear” button in order to delete Microsoft Edge cache data. For most of the issues that you would experience with Microsoft Edge, the standard cache delete options will suffice.
It’s safe to clear your Microsoft Edge cache, you won’t mess up things. But what exactly do the 3 default options mean?
“Browsing history” refers to the list of website addresses that Microsoft Edge automatically builds as you surf the web. Any web address that you’ve visited before will automatically show up in a list (your internet or browsing history) that Microsoft Edge displays as soon as you start typing in the address bar.
The image above shows an example of browsing history in Microsoft Edge, with the little clock icons as an indication that these are addresses that are stored in your Microsoft Edge history.
Obviously your browsing history can speed things up for you because you can click any address in the list rather than having to type the entire address. Clearing your browser history cache will empty this list and Microsoft Edge will automatically start building your browsing history again after you use the Microsoft Edge clear cache button and start visiting new web addresses.
“Cookies and saved website data” refers to cookies that some sites may store on your computer in order to remember your preferences (for instance language choice or location).
“Cached data and files” means copies of data, images or other media files that are stored in your local cache data so your computer can load them more quickly if you visit the same website again at a later time.
As mentioned before, if you are trying to solve issues with Microsoft Edge, clearing the cache with these default options checked is a good starting point. Normally you won’t need the other options to troubleshoot general issues.
When visiting websites where you need to enter personal information or logon with a user account and password, you can instruct Microsoft Edge to remember your data for future visits. Microsoft Edge will then remember the information you enter in web forms or passwords so you don’t have to.
This can make your life a whole lot easier for instance if you’re making a repeat purchase at your favorite online store because you don’t have to enter your shipping address all over again. Microsoft Edge remembers and fills out all the web form data for you.
Pretty much the same way Microsoft Edge can also remember passwords for your online accounts, like illustrated in this example right here.
Microsoft Edge has already filled out the password so a simple click on the sign in button would access the account in this example.
The problem with this is that other people who are using the same computer with your account can of course also count on Microsoft Edge’s “memory” to use your passwords. That’s why I always encourage people to create their own account when sharing a computer with others, but even if you share one account with someone else, it’s still possible to erase your sensitive data from Microsoft Edge.
In order to do so, you use the Microsoft Edge clear cache function with the “Form data” and “Passwords” options checked.
There is one caveat though. Microsoft Edge has stored your passwords, but as you can see in the image above, they are hidden behind bullets. So if you don’t know what the actual password is or don’t have them on file anywhere, you might lock yourself out of your accounts by clearing the stored passwords. (There’s a technique to reveal those passwords, but I’ll come to that in a minute).
So make sure that you know all the passwords that are stored in Microsoft Edge or that you have them on file somewhere before you clear stored passwords in Microsoft Edge.
I’ll walk you through the steps one more time with the screenshots below.
To get started, click the “Hub” icon near the right top corner in Microsoft Edge (this is an alternative method to get to the Microsoft Edge clear cache button).
In the hub menu, select the “Clear all history” link.
This will open the “Clear browsing data” screen, where you can select the options to clear form data and passwords as well.
Whenever you’re concerned about privacy issues or others using your personal information to access your data, the Microsoft Edge clear cache button with these options is what you need in order to clear this data.
Sometimes, clearing the stored passwords is not exactly what you need. Almost the opposite. You don’t remember the password for a certain account and you need it because you need to enter it again on another computer or in another program. You know that the password you need is stored in Microsoft Edge but it’s hidden behind bullets like in the example above.
I’ll repeat that screenshot here once again for clarity.
To reveal the stored passwords in Microsoft Edge is not possible when making use of the Microsoft Edge clear cache button, but the good news is that it can be done. The way to do it is described in one of my other computer tips and tricks articles: revealing stored passwords in Microsoft Edge.
I hope this article served you well, please take a moment and leave a comment below if it has. I’d appreciate it, thanks!