To clear cache on your Mac, follow one of the following methods:
- Use MacKeeper for one-click cache clearance.
- Open Finder, click Go > Go to Folder and enter
~/Library/Caches/. Select system data folders or application folders and move them to Bin.
- Open Safari > Settings > Advanced tab. Enable Show Develop menu in menu bar, then select Develop > Empty Caches to clear Safari cache.
- Open Chrome > Three dots menu > More tools > Clear browsing data. Select Cached images and files, choose a time range, and click Clear data to clear Chrome Cache.
I’ve often encountered frustrating slowdowns and the spinning wheel of doom on my Mac when the cache gets too full. It’s a common issue, but one that’s easily fixed. In this guide, I’ll share some quick methods I personally use to clear the cache on my Mac. So, let’s get started!
Before We Begin
Download MacKeeper to easily clear the cache on your Mac with its Safe Cleanup feature. It helps you clean your internet browsing history, clear caches, remove temp files, and delete leftover files to keep your Mac running like new.
How to Clear Cache on Your Mac
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If your cache piles up, it can start causing performance issues, resulting in your Mac running slow. Below, I’ve shared some quick and easy methods to effectively clear cache on your Mac. I’ve tested all these methods on my MacBook Air M2, 2022, but they should work fine on older systems, too.
1. Clear All Cache on Your Mac With MacKeeper In One Click
Keeping your systems clean and tidy can be a bit of a headache. That’s why I always use MacKeeper for clearing the cache on my Mac. MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup feature can quickly detect and delete all those pesky files clogging up your Mac’s system.
Here’s how to clear the cache on your Mac using MacKeeper:
- Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
- Once done, open MacKeeper and select Safe Cleanup in the left sidebar.
- Click Start Scan.
- Select files from the scan results to remove unnecessary cache items from your system. You can also click the Check All checkbox.
- Click Clean Junk Files.
- You will receive confirmation that the cleaning process has been completed successfully. Click Rescan to scan your Mac again.
2. Clear System Cache on Mac
If you let your system cache grow unchecked, it can seriously slow down your Mac’s performance. And nobody wants a sluggish system. By clearing out the cache files, you’ll free up space on your Mac and give your system a much-needed boost.
Here are the steps to clear the system cache on Mac:
- Open Finder, click Go in the top menu bar, and select Go to Folder.
- A pop-up box will appear with an empty search bar. Type the following path into the search bar and press Enter:
- This will open the Caches folder. Here, select the folder for the system data you want to clear.
- Right-click the files and select Move to Bin.
- Permanently delete the cache from your Mac by right-clicking the Bin icon and selecting Empty the Bin.
3. Clear Browser Cache on Mac
Clearing out your browser cache on Mac can protect your privacy. By removing temporary files or data that might be lurking on your Mac, you can keep your sensitive information safe from prying eyes.
Since the steps to clear the cache vary for each browser, I’ve broken them down into separate sections.
a. Clearing Browser Cache on Safari
Here are the steps for clearing Safari cache on your Mac:
- Open Safari and click the Safari menu item at the top left of your screen. From the drop-down menu, select Settings.
- Select the Advanced tab and check the box next to the Show Develop menu in menu bar option if it is unchecked.
- Go to your menu bar, click Develop, and select Empty Caches from this drop-down list.
- Congratulations! You have successfully cleared your browser cache on Safari.
b. Clearing Browser Cache on Chrome
If you’re a Google Chrome user, follow these steps to clear your cache:
- Open Chrome and click the three dots at your display’s top right corner.
- Select More tools from the drop-down menu, followed by Clear browsing data…
- A pop-up window will appear. Select the Cached images and files option and other data you want to clear. Also, select a Time range at the top.
- Now click Clear data to remove these items from your browser.
- This will successfully clear your browser cache on Chrome.
c. Clearing Browser Cache on Firefox
Follow these steps to clear browser cache on Firefox on Mac:
- Open Firefox and click the three horizontal lines in the top right corner.
- Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
- In the Settings window, click Privacy & Security in the left sidebar, scroll down the right pane, and click Clear Data… under Cookies and Site Data.
- Check the boxes next to Cookies and Site Data and Cached Web Content, and tap the Clear button.
- Your Firefox browser cache will now be cleared.
4. Clear App Cache on Mac
Clearing your app cache can work wonders for your Mac’s performance and storage capacity. It improves your Mac’s speed and frees up some much-needed memory space. And the best part is, it’s super easy to do.
Here’s how to clear your app cache on Mac:
- Open Finder, click Go in the top menu bar, and select Go to Folder from the options.
- Paste this exact path into the folder field:
- Select the folder for the application you want to clear. Right-click it and select Move to Bin.
- Open the Bin and empty it as well.
- Restart your Mac for the changes to take effect.
Types of Cache on a Mac
Did you know that your Mac has not just one, not two, but several different types of cache? Knowing these different types is essential for clearing cache on your Mac.
Here are a few examples of cache types on Mac:
- 💻 System Cache: This includes files your macOS and its processes create to ensure smooth operation. These files are generally used by the system to speed up software and system functions.
- 📱 User (or Application) Cache: These are files created by the apps you use on your Mac. Each app generates its cache files to reduce load times and enhance performance. Like system cache, these can grow over time and might occasionally need to be cleared.
- 🌐 Browser Cache: This is specific to web browsers like Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. When you visit websites, your browser stores information like images, scripts, and other parts of the website in its cache. This makes loading those websites faster on subsequent visits.
Benefits of Clearing Cache on Your Mac
Clearing your cache can provide several benefits for your Mac. Here are a few examples:
- 🚀 Faster Performance: By clearing the cache, you can free up space on your hard drive, which can speed up your slow Mac. When your Mac runs out of space, it may slow down as it struggles to find free space to save new files or run applications.
- 🧱 Improved Stability: Corrupted or outdated cache files can cause Mac performance issues. For example, your Mac may freeze or crash if it cannot find the cached data it needs to run a particular application. Clearing the cache can resolve these issues and improve your Mac’s stability.
- 💾 More Storage Space: As cache files take up space on your hard drive, clearing the cache can free up valuable storage space on your Mac that can be used for other purposes.
- 🔒 Privacy: Your web browser stores cookies and other website data to help load pages faster. However, this data may also contain personal information you may not want to share. Clearing the cache removes this data, helping to protect your privacy.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Clearing Cache on Mac
When clearing your cache, there are a few common mistakes to avoid:
- 🚫 Deleting Important Data: Make sure to double-check what you’re deleting before you proceed. Deleting important data can lead to system errors or data loss.
- 🔄 Clearing Cache Too Frequently: While it’s important to clear cache on your Mac regularly, clearing it too frequently can actually slow down your system. Aim to clear your cache once every few weeks or when you experience slow performance.
- 💾 Not Backing Up Important Data: If you’re clearing the cache for an app or system data, back up important data before proceeding to prevent data loss.
- ❓Not Knowing Which Cache to Clear: As I mentioned earlier, there are different types of caches on your Mac. Clearing the wrong cache can cause problems with your system or applications. For example, clearing the cache for a particular app could cause the app to forget your settings or preferences.
Clear Your Mac’s Cache Like a Pro
Only cache files are not the culprit behind a slow system. Other factors, like outdated software, malware, full hard drive, can also affect your Mac’s speed. Consider the following tips to optimize your Mac’s performance further:
- Keep your macOS up to date with regular software updates to prevent your system from slowing down.
- Run regular virus scans on your Mac to keep your system safe from malware, as it is one of the most common causes of a slow system.
- Having too many files on your Mac can also slow it down. So, back up your files on Mac using iCloud and free up space on your hard drive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is cache on Mac?
Cache on Mac refers to temporary files stored on your system to help programs run faster and more efficiently. These files include user data, images, and scripts from websites and apps, allowing quicker access and reduced loading times during subsequent uses.
How often should I clear my cache on Mac?
You should clear your cache on Mac about once a month to keep it running smoothly. If you notice it getting slow or having browser problems, clear the cache more often. This helps your Mac stay fast and efficient.
Will clearing the cache on Mac delete my personal data?
No, clearing the cache on your Mac won’t delete your personal data like documents, photos, or emails. It only removes temporary files stored by applications and the system, which can help improve performance and resolve issues.
Do I need to clear the cache for every app on Mac?
No, you don’t need to clear the cache for every app on Mac. You can choose to clear the cache for specific apps if you experience slow app performance or if the app takes up a lot of storage space.