How to clear cache files on Mac

Cache is basically technical data that is stored when an app, browser, or system performs a task. Cache files serve a vital function as they contain a “shortcut” to a task in order to perform it faster the next time.

Why should you clear cache on Mac?

Cache is meant to help your Mac load sites faster, but sometimes it brings more harm than good. For example, if the website you’re about to visit has been updated ever since your Mac cached its data, your browser will still load the outdated cached version of the site. The outdated cache may be the reason why some websites behave laggy.

Old cache files that remain latent in the system do nothing but pile up, cluttering your system folders. What was initially useful becomes a drag, slowing down your Mac through all the wasted space it is taking up. To make it even worse, undeleted cache data also leads to task conflicts and other system issues.

It’s staggering how much space can, in fact, be occupied by app/user cache on Mac. Wondering how much storage you’ve lost already? Well, it’s different for everyone, but it’s safe to assume several gigabytes at the very least.

Here are the three main categories of cache data:

How to clear all types of cache on Mac step by step

Now, if you’re ready to finally get down to business, we’re going to walk you through both the manual and the automatic solutions to clear your cache.

To play it safe, back up the folders mentioned in the steps below. If everything works as it should, you can later delete these backups. Or you can skip the manual steps and go straight to Quick Tip (the safe and easy method).

1. Clean app cache on Mac manually

To delete the app cache (which is also called the user cache) manually, follow these steps:

App Cache in Finder

2. Delete system cache

System cache doesn’t take much space, and it’s usually files generated by OS. You need to be particularly careful when clearing the system cache manually to avoid erasing vital system files.

To remove the system cache completely, follow the steps above, but this time go to /Library/Caches (without the ~). Don’t delete folders: you can only clear what’s inside of them. When you’re done, just empty the Trash to finish the job.

Quick Tip: get rid of system/app caches in one click

Clearing app caches manually is a tough nut to crack. To do the job in a fraction of the time (and without the risk of losing something important), you can fire up a dedicated cache cleaner app, CleanMyMac X. It will find and clear all your app caches blazing fast.

See how easy it is with these steps:

CleanMyMac X - User cache files in System Junk module

The User Cache Files contain app and browser cache. If you use lots of apps, cache can accumulate quickly and take up a lot of your disk space. 

When the scan is complete, press the Run button to clear the cache and other junk.

Download Free Version

3. Clear Internet cache on Mac

Clearing browser cache has two good things about it: it frees up space for your Mac to run faster, and it removes your browsing history, making sure nobody ever finds your digital trail. Since each browser deals with caches differently, we’ve broken the cache-clearing solutions into three main browsers – Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

If you’re uncomfortable deleting cache manually and prefer a less time-consuming approach, you can skip down to “How to clear all browser cache easily” to remove all your browser caches in one go.

How to empty cache in Safari

In Safari, clearing cache is as easy as it gets. Just go to History and click Clear History in the menu bar. Your cache and website history will be cleared immediately. If you prefer knowing exactly what you’re clearing, you can do that with a few more steps.

To empty cache on Safari with manual methods:

Empty cache in Safari

How to clear browser cache in Chrome

When it comes to Chrome, clearing cache on Mac requires the following steps:

Clear cache in Chrome

How to delete cache in Firefox

And here’s for Firefox users (it’s even simpler than with the previous two). Just proceed with the following:

Delete cache in Firefox

How to clear all browser cache easily

So you decided to ditch the manual way and skip to the automatic method. Congratulations! This is the quickest and safest way to remove the browser cache. Instead of doing it manually through your browser settings, you can gain full control over all your cache and history data with CleanMyMac X. It’s an easy cache cleaner that will do the job like a charm. Follow these steps to clear all your browser caches:

CleanMyMac X - Safari in Privacy module

Download Free Version

A final reason to clear cache on Mac

Cache data works wonders for your Mac and system, but over time, it can pile up and slow down your Mac’s performance, taking up increasing amounts of space.

Hopefully, our guide will be everything you need and more to free up gigabytes of valuable space and reclaim it by clearing the cache.

Best of all, we’ve also revealed how an automatic cache cleaner like CleanMyMac X makes removing cache as easy as a child’s play. Download the free version of the app here.

Let us know how it goes!

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