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How to Clear up Cache Files on Your Mac

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22 / 09 / 2017

How to Clear up Cache Files on Your Mac

Cache files tend to affect a computer’s performance, so clearing them on a regular basis is a must-do. Once you know how to clear your cache files (and clear them regularly), your operating system has a much better chance of running like clockwork.

You must have heard the “Clear Your Cache Files” troubleshooting tip a hundred times. Cache files are specific files stored on every single Mac. Now we’ll shed some light on what they do.

So, the cache (pronounced as “cash”) is where macOS temporarily stores frequently accessed data (such as extensions and icons). Storing data in cache helps your Mac be more efficient as it can access the information it needs quicker. However, sometimes a large amount of accumulated cache may lead to file corruption, application conflicts, and unexpected crashes.

Browser cache is the most common type of cached data. Internet browsers store a copy of web pages you visit and use that data to quickly load the page when you visit it again. As a result, clearing cache for most people is limited to clearing browser data when a webpage won’t load.

This is only one example of cache stored on your Mac. Here are the most popular types of cache:

Proxy cache stores the content on the network server. While the browser cache saves files directly on your computer, the proxy cache saves them on a web server.

Disk cache keeps the recently processed information as well as the data that might be accessed. Some disk caches accumulate the data based on how often this data is read.

Flash cache is temporary data often written in the solid-state drive (SSD) storage. Flash cache helps to proceed data requests faster than if it was located on a hard disk drive (HDD).

Application cache is used by both native and third-party applications to store temporary information (like a recently visited webpage) and speed up its loading time.

Overall, caching is a good thing – it makes applications run a little faster. However, a software bug or issues with any piece of cached data may lead to app slowdowns or crashes. That’s why it’s recommended to clear the cache folder from time to time.

We recommend you follow these instructions to clear cache files from your Mac:

1. Go to Finder (click the blue smiley-face icon on the Dock).

2. Find the Go button in the menu bar at the top of your screen.

3. Select Computer from the drop-down menu.

4. Select and double-click the system drive.

5. Double-click the Users folder.

6. Double-click the folder with your username.

7. Go back to the menu bar at the top of the screen and open the View option. From the drop-down menu click Show View Option, as shown in the picture below.

8. Another menu will appear. Check the Show Library Folder to see it (by default it’s hidden in macOS).

9. Open the Library folder.

10. Find the Cache folder and drag it to the Trash.

11. Go to Finder at the top of the screen and select Empty Trash. This will remove all cache files.

Clearing cache is one possible way to prevent computer lags and make apps work faster. But clearing out the whole cache folder on a regular basis is not recommended. The thing is, most apps manage their own cache fairly well. Deleting cache for no good reason may result in slow loading times until each app recovers cache.  

Use this tip to check if an app crashes after clearing the cache manually. Move the Cache folder to the desktop instead of putting it in the Trash. Next, launch the app and check if there are any crashes or unwanted actions. If the app works perfectly, you can go ahead and empty the Cache folder.

In case these instructions seem too difficult for you, or you don’t know when it’s necessary to clear cache, there’s another solution. Try a special app like MacKeeper, armed with powerful cleaning tools to simplify removing cache and junk files. Just a few clicks replace the clearing cache files routine. Save your time and enjoy your optimized Mac!

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