How to Clear Selenium WebDriver’s Cache in Ubuntu

What will you learn?

In this detailed guide, you will learn how to effectively clear the cache of a Selenium WebDriver script running on an Ubuntu system. By following the step-by-step instructions provided, you will be able to ensure that your automated tests run smoothly without being impacted by outdated or stale data.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

When utilizing Selenium WebDriver for tasks such as browser automation, testing, or web scraping on an Ubuntu system, accumulated cache can often lead to issues like retrieving outdated content or experiencing performance degradation. This becomes more evident when scripts are executed frequently or across multiple sessions. The presence of old cache data can influence test results by presenting inaccurate webpage states or slowing down execution times due to unnecessary resource loading.

Our solution involves leveraging Python scripting techniques within an Ubuntu environment to programmatically clear the WebDriver’s cache before starting a session or whenever required during the script’s lifecycle. This approach guarantees that each test begins with a clean slate, thereby enhancing both accuracy and efficiency. While we focus on ChromeDriver in this guide (a popular choice among Selenium users), similar principles apply to other drivers like GeckoDriver (Firefox).


To implement the solution, follow these steps:

  1. Install Required Packages: Ensure selenium is installed.
    pip install selenium
    # Copyright PHD
  2. Sample Script: Develop a Python script that initializes ChromeDriver without caching.
    from selenium import webdriver
    from import Options
    # Set up Chrome options
    chrome_options = Options()
    # Initialize WebDriver with specified options
    driver = webdriver.Chrome(options=chrome_options)
    # Navigate to a website of choice
    # Your automation code here
    # Quit driver after execution 
    # Copyright PHD


The provided code demonstrates how to initiate a ChromeDriver session in incognito mode using Selenium’s Python bindings, effectively bypassing caching issues. Here is a breakdown of key components: – Chrome Options Initialization: Creating an instance of Options() enables configuring browser session settings. – Incognito Mode Argument: Adding –incognito as an argument ensures each session operates without utilizing previous browsing data or saving new cache files. – WebDriver Initialization With Options: Passing configured chrome_options when creating webdriver.Chrome instance enforces no-cache setting.

While not directly clearing existing caches on disk, running sessions in incognito mode offers a simple workaround for avoiding cached data interference.

    How do I clear Firefox (GeckoDriver) cache?

    To clear Firefox cache with GeckoDriver, add -private argument when initializing FirefoxOptions similar to incognito mode in ChromeOptions.

    Can I delete the cache directory manually?

    Yes, you can manually delete your browser’s profile directory contents but ensure no active processes are using it beforehand.

    Does running in incognito affect cookies?

    Running browsers in private/incognito modes does not retain cookies between sessions.

    Is there any performance impact when starting browsers without cache?

    Initial page loads might be slower due to lack of cached resources; however overall test consistency improves.

    Can I specify custom locations for browser profiles?

    Certainly! Both ChromeOptions and FirefoxOptions allow specifying custom user profile directories which can further isolate tests if needed.

    Is it possible to disable images loading alongside disabling cache?

    Additional arguments can be passed into both ChromeOptions and FirefoxOptions to disable image loading which enhances speed further.


    Clearing the web driver’s cache is crucial for maintaining precise and efficient automated testing environments. While directly manipulating disk caches poses challenges like potential concurrency issues with ongoing processes, utilizing features like incognito/private modes provides an effective solution ensuring fresh sessions free from residual data from prior runs.

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