How to clear your cache on Mac


Many of your daily computer activities – such as opening programs, logging on email, and navigating websites – are saved as temporary files within your computer. This is called caching, which it calls “helping to reduce Internet data usage and speed up software installations on Mac computers, iOS and iPadOS devices, and Apple TVs.”

When you visit a website, for example, your browser will download data such as images, scripts and login credentials and save it all in a cached folder. When you visit the same site in the future, your browser simply (and quickly) loads data from a folder that has already been created. That way, your computer doesn’t have to take time to download that information again – it can just pull from the cache.

There are a few different types of cached data: user or app data that saves information for certain apps; System cache, which your operating system uses to save process information; And browser cache, which saves your web browsing activity.

Convenient, isn’t it? But this cached information is important every now and then to keep your data secure and free up disk space, which helps your operating system run more smoothly. If you are having problems with some applications, there may be time to clear your cache.

Here’s how the work is done. (Keep in mind: After clearing this data, you may find that when you visit some websites, you’ll need to enter your credentials, even if you didn’t have them before.)

How to clear your user / app cache on Mac

Mac makes it easy to clear your cached data using simple keyboard shortcuts.

  • From your Finder window, hit Shift, Command and G.

  • The “Go to folder” window will pop up. Enter the following command in the search box: ~ / library / cache. You can also access this command by opening the Finder and navigating from the menu to the Go> Go folder.


Picture: Screenshot: Kristin Wong

  • Hit the “Go” button. A folder will open that contains the cached files of your Mac.

  • From this screen, you can browse each folder and manually delete specific cached files by dragging them to the trash (and later emptying the trash). If you know the specific app or process you want to clean up, you can select the folder and move it to the trash.

How to clear your cache on Mac

Picture: Screenshot: Kristin Wong

  • If you want your entire system cache, hit command and A to select every folder, hit and delete the command.

  • A window will pop up confirming that you want to delete the files and asking for your Mac password.

How to clear your cache on Mac

Picture: Screenshot: Kristin Wong

Once you enter your password, the Mac will clear your cache.

How to clear your system cache on Mac

The system cache does not take up as much space as an app or user cache. These are usually files generated by the Mac’s operating system, which means that you should be a little more careful when choosing when to delete. You do not want to accidentally delete important files that keep your system running normally.

If you know what you are doing and the specific system folder that you want to empty, here is how to access your system cache.

  • From your Finder window, hit Shift, Command and G.

  • The “Go to folder” window will pop up. Enter the following command in the search box: / library / cache (without the ~ that you used above). You can also access this command by opening the Finder and navigating from the menu to the Go> Go folder.

How to clear your cache on Mac

Picture: Screenshot: Kristin Wong

  • Take care not to destroy the actual folders, but you can clear their contents by dragging them to = trash. Then, be sure to empty your trash.

How to clear your browser cache

Clearing your browser cache is relatively easy, but instructions will vary depending on which browser you use. Here’s how to clear your cache in Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Google Chrome

How to clear your cache on Mac

Picture: Screenshot: Kristin Wong

  • From the “Clear Browsing Data” window, select the time frame of the data you want to clear. Select “All Time” to delete everything.

  • Check the boxes marked “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files”. If you want to delete this information, check “Browsing History”.

  • Press the “clear data” button.

Safari

  • Open Safari.

  • From the Safari drop down menu, choose Preferences.

  • Navigate to the Advanced tab. Check the box marked “Develop menu in menu bar.” Close the window

How to clear your cache on Mac

Picture: Screenshot: Kristin Wong

  • From the toolbar, choose the Develop Down drop menu and click Empty Cache. If you want to delete your browser history, select the History drop down, then clear history.

Firefox

  • Open Firefox.

  • From the browser’s main menu, select History> Clear Recent History.

  • In the window that pops up, select the time frame of the data you want to clear: last hour, last two hours, last four hours, today or everything. Select “Everything” to delete all cached data.

  • Click the arrow next to “Details”, which will allow you to select the data you want to delete.

  • Click the “Clear Now” button to delete your data.

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