How To Clear Cache on Mac? Proven Methods

By Amanda | Posted to Home > Howto, on November 4th, 2021

Summary: From this post, you will learn how to clear cache on Mac to make your computer runs effectively, including browser caches, application caches, and system caches.

Safari won't open on Mac

When you browse web pages, play games, or watch movies on your Mac, the computer loads piles of caches, storing on the hard drive. Accumulating over a long period, such cached files may eat up gigabytes of your disk space. Regularly clearing the cache on Mac could gain back more available storage.

What is the cache file on Mac

Frequently heard of the word cache, but you may not know what it is. The cache is a kind of temporary data saved to speed up the various process.

For example, when you open a web page, it will download images, scripts, and login credentials and save them in a cache folder on your Mac. When you visit the same page next time, the browser will load data from the cache to save time, rather than downloading it again.

Cached data includes files, images, videos, scripts, and other multimedia. In addition to the browser, other apps on your Mac also cache data such as photos and videos editor, games, dictionary, etc. Even macOS caches data to make the computer run smoothly.

Usually, the cache files can be classified into three types, namely browser cache, system cache, and App (or User) cache.

Why should you clear cache on Mac

It seems like a contradiction to clear the cache on Mac since it speeds up to load pages and projects, but it is not. The cache does not always benefit computer users. There are some disadvantages of cache files.

  1. The browser loads up a webpage from the cached files which are outdated. Then you can’t see the information up to date.
  2. The cached files contain a lot of personal information, including your search history, accounts, chat record, and so forth. You may be concerned about privacy security.
  3. Piles up of cache data occupy an amount of your storage, making the Mac run slowly, including cached files of uninstalled applications. Even worse, the warring error "Your disk is almost full" appears on your Mac.
  4. Obsolete cached information leads to some applications crash such as Safari won’t open.

Therefore, any of these situations mentioned above trouble you, try to clear the cache on your Mac to fix it.

How to clear cache on Mac

Given that you have already now the necessity of clearing cache, this part will tell you the detailed steps to delete cache files on Mac.

Not all caches can be cleared on Mac. Some of them are essential to guarantee the normal operations of your computer. So you should be cautious during the process.

How to clear browser cache on Mac

The browser saves a mass of cached data of the page you opened. While, for most pages, you just visit them once. There is no need to keep the data anymore.

Perhaps, you want to remove the cache related to your personal information, delete the corrupted cache which makes the browser work abnormally, erase the outdated cache to load new info...

To clear Safari cache:

1. Open Safari, and click Safari in the top navigation, then choose Preferences > Privacy.

2. Click Manage Website Data, and choose Remove All on the new window, then click Remove Now when asked.

3. Back to the Safari menu, click Safari > Clear History.

4. Click the collapse button to show all period options, and choose clear all history, then click Clear History to erase the data.

clear Safari cache

To clear Chrome cache:

1. Launch Chrome, click on the three dots in the top-right corner, and select Settings.

2. On the left, choose Privacy and security and then select Clear browsing data.

3. Under the Time range, choose how far back you want the data to be cleared.

4. Check the box for Cached images and files and then hit Clear data.

To clear Firefox cache:

1. Run Firefox, from the main menu, open History > Clear Recent History.

2. From the Time range, choose how far back you want the data to be cleared.

3. Select Cache under History.

4. Hit the OK button on the right-bottom corner.

How to clear Application cache on Mac

For the needs of working and entertainment, you have installed plenty of applications on your Mac such as FaceBook, Microsoft Word, Photoshop, etc. All of them create caches on Mac, the project like editing a video even creates more. So, clearing the application cache can release disk storage.

If the cache files corrupt for some reason such as a virus attack, you may fail to launch the app. Then, clearing the application cache help to fix the issue.

1. Open Finder, Click Go > Go to Folder.

2. Type in ~/Library/Caches and hit Enter.

Then, you’ll see the user caches for all your apps.

clear Applications cache

3. Go into each folder, select and drag the files to the Trash. It is not recommended to delete the entire folder, just the files inside it.

4. Empty the Trash.

How to clear system cache on Mac

The Mac operating system also generates caches. Before you move to clear the system cache, you’d better back up your Mac. In case that you delete some important files that make the Mac work normally, you have a chance to get them back.

1. Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Type in /Library/Caches and hit Enter (without ~ this time).

3. Keep the folders, but go into each one and delete the files inside.

4. Empty the Trash.

Final Words

With the methods in this guide, you can clear caches on Mac with ease. And it is generally safe to delete cache files unless you accidentally delete important files of macOS. If you find your Mac runs abnormally after clearing cache, use backup or iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover files.