How to Clear Cache on Mac
Cleaning your Mac’s cache and temporary files is essential if you want to maintain good performance on your iMac or MacBook over time. We will show you several functional techniques to achieve this namely the manual method and then the automatic method. You are free to choose in the end, the one that suits you best.
In addition to reading, we invite you to read our tutorials to Clear the Safari cache on Mac or the other one that will help you repair Macros Sierra’s permissions (10.12) .
How to Clear Cache on Mac
You’ve probably heard the term “cache” for your Mac, but you may not know what it is. Cache files are sort of temporary data used to speed up processes. For example, Safari downloads images from a cached web page so you do not have to download them again the next time you visit the same site.
Good idea, is not it? Overall yes, it is an excellent approach. But over time, cache files accumulate. Even if they are only “temporary”, nobody removes them from the trash. These cache files tend to take up a lot of storage space and ultimately slow down your Mac, while they are supposed to speed it up. In the rest of this article, you will discover the main types of cache files and the amount of space you can free by deleting them.
Ready to recover space on your Mac? Let’s go !
On Mac, there are three types of caches that you can clean: user cache, system cache, and browser cache. This article is about cleaning these three types of caches.
There are two ways to empty your Mac’s caches. You can clean them manually in several stages, or remove in seconds with using a cleaning utility like CleanMyMac X .
To immediately empty the caches of your Mac, we recommend that you choose the simplest solution:
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- Select System .
- Click Analyze, and then click Clean.
And that’s it, you’ve deleted all cache files! CleanMyMac X works on all operating systems, including the latest version of macOS Sierra. You can download CleanMyMac X for free here to try for yourself.
However, if you want to clean everything manually, follow the procedure below.
Manually delete user caches on a Mac
Space potentially recoverable by removing unnecessary files: up to 70%.
The user cache is the bulk of unnecessary Mac files on your system. A good cleaning of the user cache can free up gigabytes of space while speeding up your Mac.
To clear the user cache, perform the following steps:
- Open a Finder window and select “Go to Folder” from the Go menu.
- Type ~ / Library / Caches and press Enter to access the folder.
- Optional : You can select and copy the entire content to another folder, in case the operation goes wrong.
- Open each folder and delete everything you find.
Note: We recommend that you delete the contents of these folders, but not the folders themselves.
You can now repeat the above procedure by replacing …
~ / Library / Caches with … / Library / Caches
Once you have finished clearing these caches to free up space on your disk, consider emptying the trash . To do this, click the Trash Dock icon while holding down the Control key and select Empty Trash. Then restart your Mac so that it can create new cache files.
If you do not want to take the risk of manually deleting the user cache, a specialized cleaning app like CleanMyMac X can do it for you. It only removes files you do not need and can detect up to seven times more temporary cache files to be deleted in the entire system.
Manually clear the system cache and application cache on your Mac
Potentially recoverable space by deleting unnecessary files: up to 10% (manual methods) or 15% (with a cleaning tool).
We will then look at the system cache files. These hidden cache files are primarily created by the apps running on your Mac.
What is an application cache? To put it simply, this is a folder containing media downloaded by the apps you use. The app runs faster and does not need to load these media every time you open it. But do you really need these files? It is discussed. On the other hand, one thing is certain: the cache of your apps takes up space on your disk and can be cleaned up.
You can remove the application cache in the same way as the system cache: go to ~ / Library / Caches , and then delete the contents of the folders with the name of the app.
Pay attention ! All app caches can not be removed without problems. Some developers store important user information in cache folders. It is therefore wise to always save a folder before deleting it. If you do not see any problems, you can then delete the backup.
To avoid problems, use CleanMyMac . Thanks to a specific knowledge base, this app knows how to safely remove apps cache. In addition, it deletes more unnecessary files than manual methods.
How to Clear Cache on Mac DNS Cache
Another example of a system cache is the DNS cache. These are old cache entries that translate Internet domain names (example.com) into IP addresses on your Mac. Regularly clear the DNS cache so that all websites work properly.
To manually flush the DNS cache:
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder; say cache flushed
Note: If you are using OS X 10.10.0-10.10.3, follow the instructions below:
- Open the Terminal by typing “terminal” in Spotlight.
- Enter the following command in Terminal:
sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache; sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches; say flushed
- Enter the administrator password to run the command.
Manually remove the Internet cache (or browser cache)
Potentially recoverable space by deleting unnecessary files: up to 15%
We all love surfing the web, but every time we visit a site, the browser cache swells a little more. Clearing the browser cache not only frees up space, but also clears browsing history to protect your privacy.
The browser cache temporarily stores certain web site data (images, scripts, etc.) to speed up navigation when you next visit the same site. If data privacy issues you
if you want to hide the pages you have viewed, you can empty the Internet cache (or browser history). In addition, resetting the browser cache can potentially get rid of 404 and 502 errors, and other errors due to a damaged cache.
Each browser stores its cache in a specific location, so the cleanup process varies from browser to browser. For example, the Chrome cache is in the settings, the Safari cache in the privacy options, and the Firefox cache in the History tab.
Here is a quick overview of how to remove the browser cache on a Mac.
Empty the browser cache under Google Chrome
Here’s how to manually clear the browser cache in Chrome:
- Click the 3-dot icon in the top right corner of the Google Chrome browser.
- Choose Settings.
- At the bottom of the menu, choose Advanced Settings .
- Click on “Clear navigation data”.
- Deselect all except Images and cached files.
- In terms of Period, choose All Periods .
- Click the “Clear Data” button.
How to clear the Firefox cache on mac
Here is the procedure to manually empty the cache in Firefox:
- Click on the hamburger icon in the upper right corner and then on Preferences
- Select Privacy & Security on the left sidebar
- Scroll to the menu item in the “Cached Web Content” section
- Now, click Empty Now to remove the Firefox cache
- Close / exit all browser windows, and then reopen the browser.
In the same menu, check Edit Automatic Cache Management and limit the cache size to MB.
You can choose the default value of 350MB, sufficient for the needs of most users.
Clear Cache on Mac the Safari browser cache on MAC
With Safari, the procedure is a little more complex than with other browsers. You can clear the cache at the same time as the browser history by selecting History – Clear History from the menu bar.
If you want to perform a more precise cleaning, here is the procedure to clear the cache of a Safari browser:
- In the menu at the top, select Safari.
- Click Preferences .
- Choose the Advanced tab .
- Enable the Show Develop menu in menu bar .
- Then click on Development in the menu bar.
- Select Empty caches.
Remember to close the browser and restart it after emptying the cache. Blanking the cache may take a while. You can try to flush the local DNS cache to speed up the process.
Manual methods remove most unnecessary files from browsers, but if you want to get rid of unnecessary files from all browsers simultaneously, there is a faster and safer way to clear your Internet cache.
Clear Cache on Mac in one click
Instead of searching for cache files all over your Mac and deleting them manually, you can clear user caches on a Mac using CleanMyMac X. With this solution, deleting cache files is easy.
To get rid of cache files with CleanMyMac X:
- Download CleanMyMac X for free , then open the application.
- In the left menu, select System .
- Tap Scan at the bottom of the CleanMyMac X window.
- Then tap Clean.
That’s all ! If you want to delete only cache files and nothing else, click View details before clicking Clean. Deselect everything except System Cache Files and User Cache Files , and then click Clean .
The easiest solution to erase all navigation data
Instead of juggling browsers and limiting yourself to the cleaning options they offer, you can take control of cleaning with this simple method:
- Open CleanMyMac and select the Privacy module .
- Click on the desired browser.
- Make your choice in the list of caches and other data related to confidentiality.
- Click Delete to clean your browser.
Cleaning your Mac has never been easier. Download CleanMyMac X and try it for free to enjoy a faster and cleaner Mac, without the risk of deleting anything important.