Clearing the Cache in Magento 1, Chrome and Firefox

Feeling frustrated?

You did everything right, followed the instructions and the changes are just not showing!

It’s possible that the cache is showing you an old version.

First of to clear up – what is it???

What is cache and why is it used?

People get really confused about what cache is and why it’s used, so

In regular day-to-day terms, a ‘cache’ is a ‘collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden place’. Like you could have an arms (weapons) cache, a cache of food, money etc.

Cache comes 18th century French ‘cacher’ which means ‘hide’.

Now you know the background – in computing it means to store data in a cache memory.

So why is this so widely use? Cache memory is used to hold ‘stored’ data and instructions generally frequently requested so that it can be provided faster. For example, if a web page was visited regularly, both the web server and probably the browser are using ‘cached’ version of this web page, where many of the elements on the web page are not coming every time from the server’s hard drive where the physical code is stored, but rather from a ‘cached’ version so that that web page can be provided at a much faster rate without overloading the server, browser or internet service provider (ISP).

Now that you know what caching means and why it’s used, here’s how you can control it.

Clearing Cache in Magento 1

There are several caches in Magento – the one primarily used is the magento cache and usually this will flush out any issues you are having.

Sometimes however, for example in the case of swatches or images not showing up, you may need to flush the ‘image cache’. Just hit the respective button and it will flush the cache for you. It should take 10-20 seconds.

Okay you’ve done this and it’s showing right in the backend – but the frontend it’s still not changing! The likeliness is that your browser is also caching your website page. Chrome is especially ‘cache’ prone and will show old web pages unless the cache is cleared.

How to clear Chrome cache for a single web page

I found every time I need to clear my Chrome cache, I was doing a whole clear-out of all my cache and my browser’s history went back to zilch – all remembered web pages etc. all gone. This is pretty frustrating so I would hold off clearing my cache unless I really had to. Then I found out you can simple clear the cache for a single page you are working on 🙂

It’s really simple. Do this:

Go to the web page
Hit the F12 Key – this is the developer console used by developers This will open up a panel at the bottom of the page (don’t worry about this)
Go to the ‘refresh’ icon (circular arrow), right click on it and hit the ’empty cache and hard reload’
Press F12 to close the developer console

How to clear Firefox cache for a single website

Firefox is a little more roundabout but it’s still possible.

However firefox goes the extra length not just to clear the cache for the site but totally forget all settings including any saved passwords for the site. So beware 🙂

When in Firefox, click on the 3 stripes hamburger menu in the top right-hand corner – now click on ‘LIBRARY’ – then HISTORY – and then SHOW ALL HISTORY. You’ll get a box showing all your Firefox browsing history. In the top right hand corner, there is a search box – type in the website you want to clear cache for. When it comes up, RIGHT CLICK on it and click on the ‘FORGET ABOUT THIS SITE’ line.

Hope that clarifies something for you. Any questions or if you found this useful, let me know in the comments box below.


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