When people complain about problems in accessing password-protected pages or buying something online, which does happen sometimes, the problem is almost always 'cache related' rather than being down to something wrong on the Landlord Law website (although it may not seem that way to you at the time!).

Cache issues are not something which we can 'sort' at our end - as it is to do with how your computer is reading the page. This is what happens.

When you visit a web page, your internet browser will normally keep a copy of it in its memory. Then if you revisit that page within a certain period of time, instead of actually going to the webpage, your browser will show you the page from its memory. This is known as 'caching' and the stored files are sometimes known as 'temporary internet files'.

This is normally good as it means the page will load a lot faster (which is why this is done). However, it can cause a problem if the page has changed in the meantime - you will only be seeing the old version of the page.

Or, if you last visited that page as a 'logged out' member and have now logged in, your browser may still be showing you the 'logged out' version of that page.

In these circumstances, you won't want your browser to show you its memory of the page (or cached version). You will want it to actually visit the page and show you the current version. How do you do this?

How to clear your cache

One quick way which sometimes works is to refresh the page (by clicking the refresh icon - a little circular arrow near to the address bar (usually on the left) at the top of your screen) while simultaneously holding down the shift key.

However, if you are still having the problem you may need to clear your cache - ie remove the temporary internet files and so forcing your computer to visit the real page again.

How you actually do this will depend on which internet browser you are using. The best thing to do is to search 'how do I clear my cache?' The search engine will normally be able to detect the internet browser you are using and will give instructions at the top of the screen.

Note that if you include 'cookies' when clearing your cache this will probably log you out of sites and you will need to log in again.

If the problem persists

Irritatingly some browsers seem determined to throw up the wrong page whatever you do. In that case, the best thing is to use a different browser. So if you are using Chrome, try using Firefox. Or sometimes using an 'incognito' or 'private' tab or window will resolve the issue as the caching does not appear to carry over to the private or incognito page.

You can also try logging into the site with a completely different device such as another computer or your tablet or phone.

However, the temporary internet files will not hang around forever and you will probably find that in a day or so they have gone and you will be able to view the page properly.

Always clear your cache before asking for help

Clearing your cache will normally resolve most problems, so usually, the first thing a computer helpdesk will say to you is 'have you cleared your cache'?

So always do this before you ask for help.

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