What Happens if You Clear the Cache on an iPad?

by Lynn Burbeck

Just like Web browsers on a computer, the iPad stores copies of your recently viewed Safari Web pages in a cache. This information is used to load Web pages quickly when you revisit them, without requiring the browser to download all the data and images from a site each time. This data stays on your iPad until it is erased -- even if you clear your browser history after each session.

Reasons to Clear the Cache

A cache may prevent you from viewing the most up-to-date version of the websites you visit, as some of the images and text are pulled from the cache each time you visit a site. Because cache files can be viewed in the Settings menu of the iPad, allowing users to view a list of sites accessed from the Safari browser, you may want to clear the cache for privacy. Storing copies of Web pages on the iPad could cause it to run slowly, according to the TC Geeks website.

What It Means

When you clear the cache of an iPad, it erases your previous browsing history, which gives you a fresh start. You may notice that some Web pages take longer to load after the cache is cleared or you might have to reenter login information, but otherwise, your ability to use your iPad's browser won't be affected. Clearing the cache of an iPad applies only to the built-in Safari browser. If a user downloads and uses a third-party browser, it isn't affected.

How to Clear the Cache

To clear the cache on an iPad, tap the "Settings" icon and select "Safari." Then, select "Clear Cookies and Data." A message pops up to confirm the deletion and to remind you that the information is saved to speed browsing. Alternatively, you can clear individual files from your iPad's cache by selecting the "Advanced" option at the bottom of the Safari menu. Under "Website Data," you can view a list of all the sites stored in the iPad's cache. Delete an individual entry by sweeping your finger across it and tapping the "Delete" button that appears or tap "Remove All Website Data" to delete all entries.

Important Considerations

Clearing the iPad cache closes all the tabs and websites you currently have open in Safari. If there is information you need to save, bookmark the site, add it to your reading list or create a website icon to add to your home screen. All these options are available within the Safari browser by tapping the Share icon.

Version Information

Information in this article applies to iPad devices running on the iOS 6.1. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

About the Author

Lynn Burbeck is a professional writer with over five years of experience writing for the Web. She has published numerous articles for print and online media including "Grit" Magazine. Burbeck holds a B.A. in journalism and political science.

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