When you have problems loading a website in any browser, the one troubleshooting action you’ll be advised to take, regardless of which browser you use, is to clear the cache. All browsers maintain a cache, and it’s normally maintained for every single website that you visit. Clearing the cache is a good idea, and often it will fix loading problems, but sometimes, the cache isn’t the problem.
Clear site data in Chrome
The cache is automatically refreshed after a certain period of time. When we force clear it, we’re basically removing files sooner rather than later. There are still some files for websites that Chrome keeps, and they generally are not refreshed. These site-specific files may prevent a website from loading.
- Open Chrome.
- Navigate to the website that won’t load.
- Tap the F12 keyboard key to open the developer console. Alternatively, right-click anywhere and select ‘Inspect,’ or tap the Ctrl+Shift+I keyboard shortcut.
- On the developer console, go to the Application tab.
- In the column on the left, select ‘Clear storage.’
- In the pane on the right, you will see a donut chart. Click the ‘Clear site data’ button under it.
Clear website cookies and cache
The above will clear files related to a website that are normally kept indefinitely. You can use the developer console to manually delete cache files that are specific to the website.
- Open Chrome and visit the website.
- Tap either F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I to open the developer console
- Go to the Application tab.
- In the column on the left, expand ‘Cookies’ under the Storage section.
- Right-click each cookie, one-by-one, and select Clear.
- In the column on the right, right-click Cache Storage.
- Select Clear.
Note: deleting cookies will end all sessions that you have e.g., if you’re signed into a particular account/service on the website, you will be signed out. Data saved by extensions is not removed.
Website data in other browsers
Chrome is not unique in storing files specifically for a website. Lots of other browsers do it though not all of them provide a button to clear it. Most have a single option to clear all data for all websites. That said, most modern browsers are now based on Chromium so the option to clear site data may be present.
Edge, for example, allows you to clear site data in the exact same way. Its web developer console is identical to that of Chrome, and all options that Chrome offers are available in Edge.