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Core Troubleshooting

How clearing your cookies and cache might save your life or at least your sanity

Robert Wesson

When to clear your cookie and cache: Pretty much any time you experience the JSTOR website
(or any other site, for that matter) acting wonky.

Clearing your cookies and cache is like the aspirin of the Internet. Whether you’re having login trouble, issues with your MyJSTOR Shelf, or you’re sure our site is producing “interesting” errors, a quick emptying of the cookies and cache has a good chance to clear things up. If you do clear your cache and cookies but are still experiencing a pesky problem, please contact us, and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

The first thing you’ll need to do to clear your cookies and cache is determine what browser you’re using. We’ll provide guides below for both PC and Mac users for the most recent versions of the following browsers:

PCs: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer

Macs: Chrome, Firefox, Safari

CHROME

1. Go to the upper right corner of your browser and click on the image to the right of your address bar. It has three short horizontal lines on it, and when you click on it, a menu will pop up.

2. Click “History” from the options listed.

3. Click “Clear browsing data…” located just underneath “History” at the top of the page.

4. Make sure that “Cookies and other site and plug-in data” and “Cached images and files” (the third and fourth options) are checked off. You can choose whatever time period you want, but we usually suggest to just choose “the beginning of time” – you can’t really ask for anything more definitive than that! Then click “Clear browsing data.”

5. There may be a few moments while Chrome works to delete this data. If you haven’t cleared your cache and cookies in a long time (or never have at all!) it will take a bit longer. You will see the same screen while it works, but the options will be grayed out and there will be a spinning blue half circle just to the left of the “Clear browsing data” button you just clicked. Here’s an image of what it looks like mid-spin:

6. When you’re all done, this mini window will go away, and you’ll be left looking at your Settings page. Voila! You did it!

FIREFOX

1. Go to the upper right corner of your browser and click on the image to the right of your address bar. It has three short horizontal lines on it, and when you click on it, a menu will pop up.

2. Click “History” from the options listed.

3. Click “Clear Recent History…” which is the second option down.

4. A new window will pop up that is called “Clear All History.” Choose “Everything” as the time range to clear, and make sure that “Cookies” and “Cache,” the third and fourth options down, are checked off. Click “Clear Now” once you’ve done this.

5. After a few moments, the “Clear All History” window will disappear. This means you’re done!
 

Mac: SAFARI

1. From the Safari Menu, select Reset Safari
2. Uncheck any or all boxes, but leave Clear History selected
3. Click Reset

PC: Internet Explorer

 1. Go to the upper right corner of your browser and click on the image to the right of your address bar that looks like a gear. When you click on it, a menu will pop up. Click on “Safety,” and then “Delete browsing history…”

2. A window will pop up. Make sure the “Preserve Favorites website data” option is unchecked and then make sure the “Temporary Internet files and website files,” “Cookies and website data,” and “History” options are checked. Then click “Delete.”

3. It will take a few moments, especially if you haven’t cleared your cookies and cache in a long time, but you will see a message along the bottom of the screen once it has been cleared that says, “Internet Explorer has finished deleting the selected browsing history.” Then you’re good to go!