A browser is a way to view webpages--well known browsers include Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Browsers do various technical things “under the hood,” and sometimes issues can arise on archived web pages, or within the Archive-It web application (or even elsewhere on the live web!) that are rooted in how a specific browser behaves. Here are some steps to try if a site just isn’t working quite right:
First and foremost, the browser equivalent to 'rebooting' is clearing your cache. When you visit websites, your browser will save pieces, to help load the pages faster if you revisit; the place where all of these pieces are saved is called a cache. Saving these files can sometimes have unintended consequences for other websites, so we always recommend clearing your cache as a first step. How to do this is slightly different in each browser, but Indiana University has directions for multiple browsers here: https://kb.iu.edu/d/ahic. After you’ve cleared your cache, make sure to quit and restart the browser.
Not all browsers are created equal. Browsers work slightly differently, so web pages can behave differently in different browsers. For example, the WebP file format for images is only supported by Chrome, which can mean display issues in Firefox, Safari and other browsers. If you’re having trouble with one browser, test the page in another to see if you can replicate the issue. We recommend using Firefox or Chrome over other browsers.
Lastly, are you using any extensions or plugins? Extensions and plugins are downloadable software that give browsers additional functionality. We’ve seen plugins such as HTTPS Everywhere, and Privacy Badger suppress information needed to render a page or action complete. We’ve also seen services such as LastPass cause hiccups, as they try to populate information where it does not belong. Try disabling extensions and plugins to see if it helps alleviate issues.
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