How to Delete Cache on Mac: Detailed User’s Guide

Life is full of fleeting moments and temporary things. However, short-lasting moments, emotions, and feelings do not matter any less by virtue of being temporary. The transitory quality of life itself doesn’t diminish its importance. There are some temporary things, though, that fail to be ephemeral ghosts and instead decide to live in perpetuity. At this point, they become annoying. A case in point is cache files on a Mac. Cache is meant to be stored on a hard drive of your computer for a short period. The temporary files are used by a browser and Java to improve the loading of frequently accessed web pages. When browsing the Internet, the files requested by the browser are stored in the system memory. If you click the Back button and return to a previous page, the load time decreases because the browser retrieves many necessary files from its cache. Sounds great, right? The question is: “Do I have to keep those files on my Mac?”

In an ideal world, cached images, site preferences, and other tracks left by websites on your Mac should be temporary. But that’s a world in which everything works as it should. Unfortunately, browsers are never set up to automatically delete cache files by default. Thus, temporary files become permanent. While in theory, there’s nothing wrong with having files that improve load speeds, in practice, their overabundance slows down your browser. In addition, cache files reveal your web surfing habits, thereby compromising your privacy. For these reasons, you might want to clear cache on your Mac. Read on to find out how it can be done.

clear cache on mac

How to Clear Browser Cache in Mac

If you have a recently-purchased iMac or MacBook Air and ask “Do I have to clear browser cache on my new machine?”, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. The thing is that Java and your web browser create temporary data with astonishing speeds. Therefore, regardless of whether your Apple computer runs under OS X Sierra or macOS High Sierra, whether it is old or new, you have to regularly clean temporary files. If you want to know what does temporary data repository of your system look like after browsing the Internet for just a few days, navigate to your browser’s cache folder and open it. It’s a mess, isn’t it? With even moderate website browsing, the folder gets inflated pretty quickly. Luckily, every browser has a keyboard shortcut that will help you to flush cache files down the proverbial drain. The following sections of the article will show how to clear cookies and cache on Mac for the most popular browsers.

How to Clear Cache Safari Mac

It is a bit more difficult to empty the Safari’s cache than that of any other Internet browser. However, I’m sure you will be able to quickly remove the cache files on your own. (Do I even have to be so obvious and redundant? Of course, you will!) Here’s how to delete cached data from Safari:

  • Click Safari in the top menu;
  • Go to Preferences;
  • Select the Advanced tab;
  • Open the Show Develop menu and proceed to the Develop section;
  • Select the Empty Caches option.

When I cleared my browser’s cache, it took quite some time. Therefore, be patient and wait until all temporary files are gone. Then, either reset or restart the browser.

Clear Cache Chrome Mac

Now that we are done with clearing cache in Apple’s native browser, it’s time to move to the browser developed by Google. Have you wondered “How do I make my Chrome browser faster?” If so, then you should try to delete its cache files. The browser’s cache folder acts like a magnet for site preferences, images, and other temporary data. If you are a heavy Internet user, you shouldn’t forget to regularly empty the cache folder. Here’s how to do it for Google Chrome:

clear browser cache
  • Go to the browser’s Settings;
  • Click the Advanced tab;
  • Check the box next to the Cached images and files option (you also might want to check the box next to the Cookies and other site data option);
  • Set the time range to All Time;
  • Click the Clear Data button.

After the cache is cleared, you should reset or restart the Chrome.

How to Clear Cache in Firefox Mac

If you are wondering “How do I return fire to my Firefox?”, chances are that the browser’s cache isn’t empty. Have I guessed it right? If so, read on to learn how to delete the temporary data, thereby speeding up the browser.

  • Click the triple bar to access the Firefox menu;
  • Go to Privacy & Security;
  • Open the Cached web content section and click the Clear Now button;
  • Restart the browser.

How to Empty Cache on Mac: Software Approach

Hopefully, the above methods helped you to clean cache on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. If not, and you still find yourself asking “How do I empty cache on my computer?”, here’s my friendly advice: install a professional cleaning utility. “What is it and what does it do,” you ask. The app will regularly scan the hard drive of your Mac and notify you when something can be cleaned. This includes not only browser data but also leftovers of previously uninstalled apps and other digital detritus. There is no shortage of such utilities on the Internet and Apple App Store.

How to Clear DNS Cache Mac

It should be kept in mind that every Mac has a temporary local database maintained by its OS – a DNS cache. This type of caches is stored on your Mac’s drive and is needed to speed up the browsing process even further. However, if the file is overblown, you might want to flush it. Here’s how to delete a DNS cache in OS X Sierra or later:

  • Launch the Terminal;
  • Enter the following command verbatim: macbook$ sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder;sudo killall mDNSResponderHelper;sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
  • Press the Enter button.