How to View and Clear the Cache in the Google Chrome Browser


Google updates its Chrome browser frequently but, as of the writing of this tip, there is no setting for limiting the size of the cache. The size of the cache can become quite large if it is not cleared out occasionally. I only use Chrome as a secondary browser but I was surprised to find recently that the cache had grown to over 300 MB on one of my computers.

Viewing the cache with “about:cache”

There are several ways to view what is in the cache. The browser itself has a trick that can be used. Type “about:cache” into the address bar (without quotes and with no spaces but include the colon). The contents of the cache will then be displayed in the browser window. It may take a few seconds to come up if you have a pretty full cache.

Clearing the cache from the browser

You can clear the cache with a certain amount of selectivity over the time frame with a setting from the Chrome tools.

1. Open the drop-down menu from the wrench icon
2. Click “Options”
3. Click the tab “Under the Hood”
4. Click the button “Clear browsing data…”
5. Remove checks from any boxes referring to data you wish to keep
6. Put a check by “Empty the cache”
7. In the drop-down menu for the box “Empty data from this period”,  choose a time period
8. Click the button “Clear browsing data”

Viewing the cache with NirSoft’s ChromeCacheView

ChromeCacheView is a small free utility that allows you to view and selectively copy entries in Chrome’s cache. It also provides information about the properties of individual entries. It can be downloaded from this NirSoft link.  The application requires no installation and works in Windows XP, Vista and 7.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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