How to Clear Buffers on a PC

by Darla Ferrara
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

A buffer is a division of memory on your computer used to store data. The terms cache and buffer become interchangeable when discussing computer performance. A true buffer will clear itself once the data is accessed. However, a cache needs manual clearing as part of maintenance. Another buffer you may encounter is the print buffer. A print buffer stores information for print jobs. Knowing how to clear a cache and print buffer will help keep your computer running at its best.

Internet Explorer Cache

Step 1

Open an Explorer browser window.

Step 2

Select the “Tools” option located at the top of your screen.

Step 3

Click on “Internet Options” from the Tools menu.

Step 4

Move to the “Temporary Internet Files” section of the dialog box. Press the “Delete Files” button.

Click “OK” to delete the files.

Firefox Cache

Step 1

Open a Firefox browser window.

Step 2

Select “Tools” from the top of the screen.

Step 3

Click “Options” from the Tools menu.

Step 4

Move to the “Advanced” tab in the Options window.

Step 5

Open the “Network” tab on the Advanced Options dialog box.

Select “Clear Now” in the “Offline Storage” section of the Network window.

Print Buffer

Step 1

Click on the “Start” button at the bottom of your desktop, and access the "Search" text box. XP users should click “Run” to open the box. Vista and Windows 7 users can just move to the Search box on the Start menu.

Step 2

Type “control printers” in the Search box and click “OK.”

Step 3

Right-click on the printer icon; this will open an options menu.

Step 4

Select “Open” from the menu that appears next to your cursor.

Click on “Cancel All Documents.” This will clear the spool and eventually the buffer. Some data may still print, but this will stop as the buffer clears.


Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.

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