Unlike what many tend to think, cache files have a very important function on your device. Their purpose is to ensure that new systems, apps and browsers on your macOS are loading up faster and smoother the next time you open them. However, if you don’t ever clear them out, they can quickly start to pile up and slow your laptop down.
If you are interested to learn more about different types of cache and their purposes, this article explains it in great detail. Otherwise, here are some easy ways to clear your cache and optimise your macOS.
Out of the different types of cache, browser cache files tend to clutter up the quickest, as you are browsing the internet. These files can also be removed with the least amount of risk – in fact, clearing it has more benefits than just emptying some storage space and improving the speed of your mac. Erasing cache also erases your browsing history, which can be a privacy concern, it can fix some 404 or 502 errors caused by cache and sometimes even delete corrupted files (traces of malware) that may be attached to certain cache files.
Deleting browser cache manually is fairly quick and simple, although the process will vary slightly depending on the browser you use. Below are step-by-step instructions for three of the most commonly used browsers.
Clearing cache in Chrome
- Click on the three vertical dots at the top right of your page
- Click on Settings
- In the Main Menu, select Privacy and security
- Click on Clear browsing data
- Select “Caches images and files” with the time range of “All time” and click clear data
Clearing cache in Safari
- Select Safari at the top left of the menu
- Click on Preferences
- Choose the Advanced tab and click Show Develop menu in menu bar
- Now, go on Develop at your top menu
- Select Empty Caches
Clearing cache in Firefox
- Enter the following command into your search bar: about:preferences
- Select the Privacy & Security tab on the left menu
- Click on Clear Data in the “Cookies and Site Data” section
- Select “Cached Web Content” and click Clear
Application cache is another type of temporary file that you can safely delete from your device, although you do need to be a bit more cautious here to avoid removing anything important. It is always recommended to back up the folders before you delete them – if everything seems to work fine, you may get rid of the backup versions too.
To delete your app cache, follow the below steps:
- In your Finder’s Go menu, enter ~/Library/Caches
- Select a folder for a specific app (the name is visible in the folder title)
- Remove the cache files inside the folder – do not delete the folders themselves!
- Empty your Trash folder
System cache are files generated by your macOS and can be essential for the correct functioning of the built-in systems. These files also don’t take up that much storage, so the space that clearing them could free up may not be worth the risk of deleting some vital files in your systems. Therefore, it is recommended to stay away from system cache.
If you’d still like to view the system cache files, here’s how to access them:
- Once again, enter ~/Library/Caches in your Finder’s Go menu
- Find the Cache folder and right-click on it
- Select Get Info – the top right corner will tell you how much storage this folder takes up