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How to Increase Your Browser Cache Size for Better Web Performance

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Most of you have heard of web browser cache and many have had to clear it at times. Did you know that your browser cache can help the webpages that you visit load faster? What exactly is browser cache and how can you use it to improve your web browser’s performance?

What is Browser Cache?

Caching is basically putting something in storage that might be useful later. Your Web browser’s cache stores things like images, HTML, CSS, and Javascript so that when you return to a webpage it will load faster. Most of the time it works really well. Granted sometimes when your browser has cached so much stuff over time things get bogged down or webpages can run into problems. That is why one common troubleshooting step when a webpage doesn’t seem to be working right is to clear your browsers cache. Though that situation can and does happen, overall, caching is your friend. It helps webpages load more quickly.

How to See How Much Cache Your Chrome or Firefox Browser is Using

Before we increase the size of your browser cache it is important to check out how much cache your browser is currently using. It is pretty simple and straight forward to get to this information. I am going to show you how to do it in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox because they are the two most popular browsers on PC. A Google search should be able to provide you with instructions on how to do it with other browsers.

Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Open the menu in the upper right corner of the window.
  3. Point at “History”.
  4. Click “History”.
  5. Click “Clear browsing data”.
  6. Under “Cached images and files” you will see how much Cache Chrome is using.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. In the address bar type “about:cache” (without the quotes) and hit the Enter key.
  3. You will see both the maximum storage for cache and how much is in use.

A Note About Sizes

Another thing that will be helpful to understand is how sizes work. You have probably heard terms like byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, and terabyte. What do they mean?

  • 1 Bit = A binary value of 0 or 1. It is the smallest unit.
  • 1 Byte = 8 bits.
  • 1 Kilobyte = 1,024 bytes.
  • 1 Megabyte = 1,024 kilobytes.
  • 1 Gigabyte = 1,024 megabytes.
  • 1 Terabyte = 1,024 gigabytes.

When working with your browser cache we will be talking about bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes at most.

Why Increase Browser Cache Size?

As I said earlier the purpose of the browser cache is to help pages load more quickly. That is a good thing. There are actually a couple good reasons to increase your cache size.

  • The browser cache helps speed up the loading of webpages.
  • Your browser can bog down if its cache gets full.

Long story short, a larger cache can hold more data and might help keep your browser from getting bogged down by a full cache.

How To Increase Browser Cache Size

This is an easy procedure. Just follow along step by step. Again, I am going to show you how to do it in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox because they are the two most popular browsers on PC. A Google search should be able to provide you with instructions on how to do it with other browsers.

Google Chrome

  1. Place a shortcut to Chrome on your desktop.
  2. Right click your Chrome shortcut.
  3. Select “Properties”.
  4. Select the “Shortcut” tab.
  5. Add “–disk-cache-size=#” where the # is the size in bytes that you want to increase your browser cache to and don’t include the quotes). Also make sure to leave a space between the ” and the –disk-cache-size=#. In the example image I am setting it to 2,147,483,648‬‬ bytes. This is only an example and you can set yours to what you like. I would recommend at least doubling the amount of cache your browser is using after a week or two of use.
  6. Click “Apply”.
  7. Restart Chrome.
Remember that Chrome measures cache in bytes. Now whenever you open Chrome with this shortcut you will be using the cache size that you just specified. If you want you can place this shortcut on the taskbar.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. In the address bar type “about:config” (without the quotes) and press the Enter key.
  3. Accept the warnings if there are any.
  4. Run a search for “browser.cache.disk.smart_size.enabled” (without the quotes).
  5. Click on the toggle switch to disable it.
  6. Restart Firefox.
  7. Go back to the configuration page (“about:config”).
  8. Run a search for “browser.cache.disk.capacity” (without the quotes).
  9. Click the pencil icon to modify the setting.
  10. Enter the amount in bytes that you want your Firefox cache to be. Again I am setting it to 2,097,152‬‬ bytes (don’t include the commas when you enter the number). This is only an example and you can set yours to what you like. I would recommend at least doubling the amount of cache your browser is using after a week or two of use.
  11. Restart Firefox.
Remember that Firefox measures cache in kilobytes.

Takeaways

  • Your Web browser’s cache is a very useful and important feature.
  • Making your cache larger can help you avoid the problems that a full cache can cause.

If your cache ever does cause you problems just clear it and restart your browser.

Go ahead and follow the above instructions and see if it doesn’t improve your Web browser’s performance. If you run into any problems associated with your cache try clearing it.

Until next time have the best day and tech on.

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