Whenever you launch an app or visit a website on your computer, your computer stores temporary data about those activities inside of a cache. The goal is that by being able to quickly reference this data, it will help make websites and apps launch faster, but over time, these old files might become irrelevant.
It might also become corrupt, which means that you could run into problems when you try to load websites where sometimes these pages won’t load correctly or not at all. While there are plenty of other reasons why apps or sites don’t load properly, a quick and easy potential solution would be to simply clear your computer’s cache. It can also help free up some space in the process, and if you’ve used your computer for years without clearing out the cache, this could lead to several gigabytes worth of files you could end up reclaiming.
However, before you proceed, keep in mind that unlike clearing your browser cache which is typically sandboxed and limited to just your browser, your computer’s cache could contain important and critical files to ensure the smooth running of your Mac. Deleting some of these files could result in some system errors, so make sure you’re 100% certain on what you’re deleting before doing so.
Before You Proceed
It’s a good idea to ensure you have backed up your system before proceeding. This is in case you accidentally delete something you weren’t supposed to and now your computer’s not functioning the way it should. Make sure you have the latest backup possible in the event you need to restore your system.
Deleting System Cache On macOS
- Open Finder
- Press Shift + Cmd + G and type in /Library/Caches
- Click on Go
- Look for the folder/files you want to delete and delete them individually
- Make sure to empty your bin when you’re done
Deleting Application Cache On macOS
Unlike deleting system caches that could potentially ruin your system, application caches are slightly safer in that regard. These are essentially files created by the apps you use, and deleting the cache here could help you fix certain apps that aren’t functioning properly.
They’re also a good way of freeing up disk space, especially if you work with high-resolution files or play a lot of games, where some game data you no longer need are just sitting there taking up space that could otherwise be used for something else.
Even then, it’s still a good idea to backup your files or make a copy of the folder and its contents before you delete it, just in case you need to restore it later on.
- Open Finder
- Press Shift + Cmd + G and type in ~/Library/Caches (note the ~ is important)
- Click on Go
- Go through the folders and files and choose what you want to delete
- Make sure to empty your bin once you’re done
Using Third-Party Apps To Clear Cache
If you’re uncomfortable deleting your computer’s cache manually and don’t want to run the risk of accidentally deleting something you might need, there are several third-party options to consider.
This includes CleanMyMac X and Avast Cleanup. Both of these tools can help you clear your Mac’s cache, but the added bonus is that they come with a ton of other features like malware detection, a one-stop-shop for uninstalling apps, improving privacy, and general OS optimization, so they could be worth checking out if you want additional features too.