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 The outdated cache may be the reason why some websites behave laggy.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:
- Browser cache
- System cache
- App (or User) cache
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:
- Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder
- Type in ~/Library/Caches and hit Enter
- Backup the folders if you are worried about something going wrong
- Keep the folders, but go into each one and delete the files inside
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:
- Download CleanMyMac X (it’s free to download)
- Run the app and click on System Junk
- Click on the big Scan button
- When it’s done scanning, click Review Details to see what it has found
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.
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:
- Go to Safari > Preferences
- Select the Advanced tab
- Enable Show Develop menu
- Go to the Develop section in the menu bar
- Click on Empty Caches
How to clear browser cache in Chrome
When it comes to Chrome, clearing cache on Mac requires the following steps:
- Click the Google Chrome settings icon in the top-right browser window
- Choose Settings
- Choose History and click Clear browsing data
- Make sure Cached images and files are checked
- Choose the Beginning of Time to clear all your cache
- Click the "Clear browsing data" button to finish
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:
- Navigate to History > Clear Recent History
- Select Everything from the time range menu
- Click the arrow next to Details and make sure only Cache is checked
- Click Clear Now
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:
- Run CleanMyMac and go to the Privacy module
- See all your browsers listed, select any of them
- Tick items you want to clean
- Finally, click Remove to clear your browser
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 cleaning 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!