Clearing your Web browser's cache, cookies, and history - Why bother? How do you do it?
Note: When Instructional Services announces that a 'patch' was applied to the Blackboard system at NDSU to resolve any current system problems, students should clear the browser cache in each browser and on each computer they use BEFORE opening a quiz or test using Blackboard!
The Browser Cache
When you visit a page or access a file using your Web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, etc.), your browser stores (caches) a copy of it in the browser's cache memory so the browser doesn't have to retrieve the page (and any images on the page) from the remote Web server each time you click the Back or Forward buttons. Normally, caching speeds up the display of previously visited pages, which is good. However, your browser functions more efficiently if you periodically clear the cache, and sometimes it's necessary to clear the cache to 'fix' problems.
Cookies are files stored on your computer that are created by all browsers when visiting Web sites that request cookies to be stored. Cookies usually store different types of user-specific information such as authentication data (userid, password, etc.) shopping cart contents, data entered into a form, and so on. Your browser may be set to automatically clear all cookies, or it may delete them as time passes, but you can also clear the cookies manually to solve problems with certain Web sites and/or other browser issues.
The Browser History
Every browser keeps a history log of each of site you visit so the Back and Forward buttons can function as intended, and if a page is designed to make visited links appear different from unvisited links, you'll be able to see which links you've clicked on in the past. Your browser is usually set to delete this browser history automatically at set intervals, but you may also want to manually clear the history occasionally for privacy reasons.
Adapted from a Knowledge Base article published by Indiana University, University Information Technology Services - http://uits.iu.edu/
Mac OS X
If you don't see instructions for the browser you're using, locate your browser's "Help" menu and search for "clear cache".
Internet Explorer/Firefox: Press the ALT key on your keyboard to display the browser's Menu Bar and the Help menu at the top of the window if it's currently hidden.
Important: After you clear the browser's cache and cookies, close all open browser windows completely before visiting a previously visited page again.