Sometimes your website browser can get outdated versions of website pages “stuck” in its memory. This is called a “cache.” This can be especially frustrating if you are working on your website and you make a change, but refreshing the page does not show the change. Before you assume that something is wrong with your methods, or with your website, take a minute to clear your browser cache and see if that solves the problem.

Other times, you may start getting a “Not Found Error 404” message when trying to view a website address that you know is valid. You can check to see if the website is truly down or if it’s just you by going here. If it’s just you, your browser may have an outdated IP address for that website stuck in its cache. Flushing the DNS cache can solve this problem.

How to Flush Your DNS Cache

Here is how to clear your DNS cache. Be sure to type the commands exactly as shown.

Alternatively, you can try simply restarting your computer, which should also clear the cache.

Windows XP

  1. Close your browser.
  2. Open the Start menu.
  3. Go to Run.
  4. In the Run text box, type: ipconfig /flushdns
  5. Press Enter or Return, and your cache will be flushed.
  6. Restart your browser.

Windows 10

  1. Open Command Prompt (Administrator account is not required)
  2. Type: ipconfig /flushdns
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Restart

How to Clear Your Browser Cache

Here are instructions for the most popular browsers on how to clear your cache.

Internet Explorer 8 and 9

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Tools (gear icon) on the right side of the menu bar, then select Internet Options and click the General tab.
  3. Click Delete under Browsing History.
  4. Check the box next to Temporary Internet Files.
  5. Uncheck all other boxes (important!)
  6. Click Delete and then click OK.
  7. Close and reopen the browser.

Firefox 4 and 3.6 (all operating systems)

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Select Tools>Clear Recent History
  3. Select Everything from the drop-down menu next to Time Range to Clear
  4. Check the box next to Cache (click the arrow next to Details if you do not see the boxes).
  5. Uncheck all other boxes (important!).
  6. Click Clear Now.
  7. Close and reopen the browser.

Google Chrome (all operating systems)

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Select Tools (wrench icon) and then Options
  3. On the Under the Hood tab, click Clear Browsing Data…
  4. Check the box next to Empty the Cache
  5. Uncheck all other boxes (important!)
  6. Next to Clear data from this period select Everything.
  7. Click Clear Browsing Data.
  8. Close and reopen the browser.

Safari 5 (all operating systems)

  • Select Empty Cache from the Safari menu (Mac) or Edit menu (Windows).
  • Click Empty.
  • Close and reopen the browser.