Multiple personalities in your browser
As a tester, I often came across problems that weren’t actually problems and it was all down to my browser cache. With these two simple steps, you can be cache free and confident the web page you are looking at is the truth and not a hazard of a cluttered cache.
Firstly, in both Chrome and Firefox, you can have multiple user identities that have their own bookmarks, add-ons and options. Create an alternative user with caching switched off and you win every time.
Steps for Chrome
The following was completed using Chrome v57+
- Open settings and search for user by typing chrome::/settings into the address bar
- Now click on add person and create your new user
- Once the user is added, a new window will open and a desktop icon will be saved
Note: All of the extensions you have for your current profile (assuming you are not using chrome as a guest user) will not be included with the new user and you will have to install them as required manually.
- For testing new pages and not relying on you to remember to clear your cache, I recommend “Cache Killer”. You can have it set to on and it will never cache anything. Of course, this will increase page load times due to downloading all the images every time you open/refresh a page.
Steps for Firefox
Using Firefox version 40.0.3
- Close all open firefox sessions
- In Windows, go to the start menu and enter firefox.exe –p into the search input field
- Click on the app
- This will open the profiles options box
- Create a new profile by clicking the “Create Profile” button
- This will open a wizard where you will enter a name for the profile which in turn creates a unique folder
- Once the new user has been named, the wizard closes and you are returned to the user profile box with the new user added
- Make sure you untick the “Use selected profile without asking at start up”, otherwise you won’t be able to swap profiles easily.
- You will be asked to sign up for a Firefox account. This is entirely up to you whether you do or not. The obvious for doing is to be able to sync across devices and computers.
Note: When you create a new user, all the add-ons you may have had with another profile, will not be installed. You will have to install these manually.
- Now when you start Firefox. You will be presented with the profile box where you can select which user you want to use.
- I recommend adding an add-on to control whether you want the browser cache on or off. The one I have chosen is “Cache Disabler”.