Browsers throw different type of errors while using. Fixing issues like browser lock-ups, slowness, page not displaying or add-ons not responding come with specific solutions. However, the most recommended solutions do fail. “How do I reset my web browser?” is the question you ask when no solutions work to fix your weird browser. In this article, let us explain how to reset your favorite browser like Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari.
Why Reset Your Browser?
In general, resetting is required when there are no options to make your browser work. The problem can occur due to many reasons:
- You may have tweaked browser’s advanced settings unknowingly.
- Installed an extension on the browser or a program on your computer that changed your browser settings.
- Due to malware attack like browser redirecting to a page not requested or unknown toolbars.
Resetting the browser can help to fix basic browser issues. However, you may not fix all problems with a reset.
What Happens When Resetting?
When resetting the browser, it will change all settings and go back to its original state when you installed on your computer. Depending upon your browser, resetting may cost you some data loss. Below are the things generally happens when you reset the browser:
- Programs and extensions added to improve browser functionality will be deleted or disabled.
- All your customized settings like new tab page, startup page, search engine setting and pinned tabs will be reset to initial settings.
- Resetting will delete stored browser data and cookies which will delete logged in sessions and auto login features.
However, resetting the browser will not affect the following:
- Resetting does not affect your stored passwords.
- Your bookmarks/favorites and browsing history will not be impacted.
If resetting the browser does not solve the problem then you may need to uninstall and reinstall the browser.
How to Reset Google Chrome?
The most popular Google Chrome browser allows you to reset all settings to default with few clicks.
- Open the Google Chrome browser on your computer.
- Click the three vertical dots button displayed on top-right to open the browser menu.
- Select the “Settings” option from the menu items.
- On the search box, type “Reset” to find “Reset and clean up” setting options.
- Click the “Restore settings to their original defaults” link.
- Chrome will show a dialog box to confirm the action. Make sure to read the information on the dialog box and click the “Reset settings” button to reset.
This action will reset Chrome by disabling all extensions, erase custom settings, delete cookies, remove custom search engines and remove pinned tabs. However, your saved passwords, recent history, and bookmarks data will not be affected.
How to Reset Mozilla Firefox?
In case you are using Firefox, it also allows you to restore browser settings to default. Unlike Chrome, it has a slightly different procedure. Best part is that Firefox creates a backup folder named “Old Firefox Data” to retrieve any important data from old settings. If everything works fine after resetting Firefox, you can simply delete the backup folder to free up the space.
- Open Firefox browser on your computer.
- Click the three horizontal lines at the top-right corner of the browser to open the browser menu.
- Select the “Help” icon at the bottom of the menu.
- Under the Help menu, select the “Troubleshooting Information” option.
- Alternatively, enter “about:support” without the quotes on the address bar to open the Troubleshooting Information page.
- Check the box that has a heading “Give Firefox a tune-up” and click the “Refresh Firefox…” button (if you want to restart Firefox without add-ons, use the safe mode option).
- On the next pop-up, select the “Refresh Firefox” option. The action will remove all customizations and add-ons and restore the browser settings to default.
- Firefox will restart and shows a message to restore all the windows and tabs or choose the ones you want.
As mentioned, you can retrieve data that is not available after resetting from the “Old Firefox Data” folder on the desktop.
How to Reset Edge Chromium?
Microsoft rolled out a new Edge browser version that runs on the Chromium engine to fix its problems. However, you are bound to face a few hick-ups, especially when on the beta version. The best option to fix the browser is by resetting the browser to its default status. Unlike the old Microsoft Edge browser version, the current Edge Chromium version is simple to reset.
- Launch the Microsoft Edge browser either on your desktop.
- Select the “Settings and more” option at the top-right corner of the browser. Also, you can use “Alt + F” shortcuts in Windows and “Command + Control + Comma” in Mac to open the menu.
- Select the “Settings” option on the menu.
- Select the “Reset Settings” option under the settings menu. On the right side, select the “Restore Settings to their default values” option.
- Confirm the action by clicking the “Reset” button.
Edge browser will reset the new tab page, startup page, search engine and pinned tabs. It will disable all installed extensions and delete stored cookies data. However, saved passwords, favorites, and history are not affected in Edge.
Reset Safari in macOS
Chrome, Edge and Firefox browsers offer same interface in Windows and Mac. Therefore, you can follow the above instructions on both Windows and Mac to reset the browser. However, Apple does not offer any option to reset the default Safari browser in macOS. You also can’t delete and reinstall the app from your Mac. The only option you have is to clear the browser’s history to delete the stored content.
- You can do this by simply going to “Safari > Clear History…” menu.
- Select “all history” from the dropdown against “Clear” option.
- Click on “Clear History” button to delete all stored data across all your signed in devices.
In addition, you can enable develop menu and empty the cache data in Safari.
How to Reset Mobile Browsers?
Most mobile browsers experience functionality issues due to insufficient storage or unwanted bugs. Unlike desktop browsers, mobile browsers share almost similar interface. What varies is the customizations made by the respective device users. However, you will not find simple reset option like desktop interface. You have to clear history and delete app cache to reset the app.
Resetting Browser App in Android
If you are using Android, here are simple steps to reset your favorite mobile browser.
- Go to “Settings” section and navigate to “Apps” option.
- Tap the target browser app to open the information section.
- You can delete storage and cached data under relevant sections.
- The browser will reset to default settings.
If you see the issues are not fixed after resetting, you may need to delete the app (including its data) and reinstall the latest version from the Google Play Store again.
Reset Browser App in iOS
Similar to macOS, Safari browser on Apple’s iOS also does not provide any option to reset or delete the browser app. What you can do is to clear the browser’s cache to delete the history.
- Tap on “Settings” app to go to the settings page.
- Scroll down to find Safari app and tap on it or swipe down to open the search box and type Safari to find and open the browser’s settings page.
- Scroll down on the Safari settings and tap on “Clear History and Website Data” to delete stored content on the browser.
Google Chrome, Edge and Firefox apps also do not provide option to reset the browser. You have to simply delete the app and reinstall from App Store in order to reset.
Though resetting browser can help you to fix problems, you may lose the data. Therefore, follow the above instructions and make sure to read the details on the reset dialog before doing the action. On mobile devices, you have no other options to delete and reinstall the apps like Chrome, Edge or Firefox.