Cache stores data so that future requests for that data can be served to the user faster than a normal request any other time. The data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation or a copy of data stored elsewhere. So, if the data you see is not updated, better to actually clear the cache and refresh it.
For example, let us say, when you open an application, there's definitely a lot of information that's shown all the time, and most of the time, they don't change at all. So, it's redundant to actually fetch that information all the time, and saving it in the cache is the way to go.
Is it OK to delete cache files on Mac?
The main reason someone clears cache would be to free up some consumed storage, which obviously has an impact on the device's performance. But if an application is not working fine and you think clearing cache would fix it, you might be wrong because that's not how it works.
Clearing cache does not fix problems that might not have anything to do with cache. It might be because of a million other reasons like update gone wrong, installation issue, malware, and the list goes on.
Cache Types in Mac
There are three different types of cache when it comes to the mac operating system. They are
- System Cache
- User Cache
- Browser Cache
I'm sure you are aware of what Browser Cache is. The other two are pretty much similar things that it focuses on two other things and entirely related to your computer storage and applications.
How to clear the cache on Mac?
Here's the steps to actually clear all the cache in the three different types of Caches.
A. Clear System Cache
System Cache and User Cache pretty much follow the same steps but just that they access different folders at the end. The main problem with System Cache is to different which is which. So, it's always a better option to actually use a separate third-party app to get this done.
And Boy do I have the best suggestion for that. CleanMyMac is the best to do it. It supports all the new versions of macOS and works just fine without any hassle.
- Download and Install the app from the official website.
- Once it's installed successfully, Open the application CleanMyMac.
- Choose System Junk in the options.
- Click "Scan", and once scanning is done, choose “Clean” to remove all of them.
B. Clear User Cache
User Cache constitutes about up to 70% of the total cache in an average system. So, its super crucial to clear this often to make sure of the smooth functioning of your Mac Device.
- Open the Finder Window either through Spotlight or through the Dock at the bottom.
- Once the Finder window is visible, you could go to Go Folder at the top.
- Under Go Folder, Chose Go To Folder.
- In the Window that appears, type in ~/Library/Caches and hit Enter.
- One way to be safe about this is to make a backup of the Caches folder. This is just to ensure that when you delete if something stops working, you could actually paste the backup into the Library.
- A good suggestion is to delete the contents of the folders in the Caches folder and not the folder itself. This is just a suggestion and not a necessary component. There might be hundreds of folders depending on when you have actually cleared the cache.
Do the same steps in the /Library/Caches path as well.
C. Clear Browser Cache
I'm sure you do this often to have a seamless web experience. Just in case if you aren't aware as to how to clear cache in your browser, here's a quick tutorial.
- On your Mac computer, Click open the Google Chrome app via App Launcher or Dock menu.
- At the top right corner of the Chrome window, click More which is a vertical three-dot icon.
- Click More tools and then Clear browsing data.
- At the top, choose a time range from Last Hour, Last 24 hours, Last 7 days, Last 4 weeks, and All Time. It's wise to choose according to your wish. For the purpose of this article, I have chosen to delete everything by selecting All time.
- After that, you will find next to "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files" checkboxes. Please Enable Them by checking the checkboxes.
- Click Clear data and its done.
This process is irreversible so be careful when you do it. But then browser cache is not them important, so you can ease your mind. Also, you might be asked to sign in to the saved sites again but your saved passwords will be in tact.
- Open Firefox and click on the Menu button and select Options under that.
- Select the Privacy & Security tab and navigate to the Cookies and Site Data part.
- Click the Clear Data button which in turn opens the Clear Data dialog box on the screen.
- Cookies and Site Data and Cached Web Content should both be enabled to make sure all cache is removed from the Firefox browser.
- Cookies and Site Data refers to login data and site settings.
To clear browser cache in the Safari browser, do the following steps.
- Open the Safari app from the App Launcher or Spotlight.
- Choose Safari Menu at the top left corner and Choose Preferences.
- Go to the Privacy tab and make changes according to the info given below.
- Prevent cross-site tracking will make sure all the Cookies and website data are deleted unless you visit and interact with the trackers’ websites.
- Select “Block all cookies”.Websites, third parties and advertisers can’t store cookies and other data on your Mac. This may prevent some websites from working properly.
- Deselect “Block all cookies”. Websites, third parties and advertisers can store cookies and other data on your Mac. This is how you will enable Cache in the first place.
- Choose Manage Website Data, select one or more websites that you want to manage, then click Remove or Remove All. Obviously if you choose to Remove the data, it may reduce tracking, but might also forces you to log you out of websites..
- See which websites store cookies or data: Click Manage Website Data.
That's how to clear cache in a mac computer.