How To Clear Cache on Mac: Step-by-Step Guides

Clearing the cache on your Mac can help your device run faster and free up storage space. We’ll show you how to do it in our detailed, easy-to-follow guides.
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Your system, browser, and apps cache certain data to make your experience smoother. However, the cache builds up over time and can cause lag, freezing, and crashes. Some of the cached files can also become dangerous in the wrong hands.

Clearing the cache will boost your device's performance and security. You can add an extra layer of privacy by using a reliable VPN service. Keep reading to learn how to clear cache on Mac and why you should do it regularly.

In this article
What is the cache on your Mac?
Why should you clear your Mac cache?
How to clear cache on your Mac
What happens if you don’t clear your Mac cache?
How to clear cache on Mac FAQ
Conclusion: How to clear cache on Mac

What is the cache on your Mac?

Cache refers to the temporary files stored on your computer. They can include cached images, videos, scripts, and more. Cache helps load things faster when you reopen sites and programs. For example, when you revisit a website, your browser can pull the web page resources from the cache instead of downloading them again. The same goes for your apps and macOS.

We have three main types of data a Mac will cache:

  • System cache files can include recently accessed files, data stored in memory to reduce disk access times, and frequently used system libraries.
  • Application cache usually records temporary files, medial files, or user preferences.
  • Browser cache can store copies of web pages, images, scripts, and other resources.

Why should you clear your Mac cache?

Since cached data can help your Mac run apps and load websites quicker, why should you clear it? Here are some of the main benefits:

  • Improving performance: The accumulation of cached data makes your Mac go through a lot of files before finding what it needs. Outdated files can also freeze your apps and browser by causing conflicts.
  • Freeing up storage space: If you use your Mac frequently, cached data can quickly take up a lot of space. Deleting the cache frees up that space.
  • Improving stability: Some of the temporary files can become corrupt. These problems can cause problems with your server and apps. You're preventing many crashes and glitches each time you clear your cache.
  • Enhancing your privacy and security: Hackers can use cached data to mount an attack against you. Deleting exploitable content will protect your Mac.

How to clear cache on your Mac

Before you clear the cache on your Mac, we recommend backing up important files. Close all open applications to avoid data loss and interference.

Clearing the cache on your Mac is safe and simple. In the following sections, we’ll show you how to delete macOS cache and clear browsing data and app cache.

Clearing macOS system cache

Here’s how to delete your macOS system cache:

  1. Go to Finder > Go > Go to Folder.
    Mac dropdown menu.
  2. Type ~/Library/Caches/, then click Go. The window may open, allowing you to select the option and double-click.
    Window on a Mac searching for Library/Caches.
  3. Your system caches will appear, and you can choose which ones to delete.
  4. You can open each folder, drag the items to the Trash bin, and then empty it.

Clearing app cache

You don’t have to delete all your Mac application caches. However, if you’re concerned about app functionality, you can only delete individual app caches when they start causing problems.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Finder > Go >Go to Folder.
  2. Type or click on /Users/[Username]/Library/Caches and click Go.
  3. This will bring up all the caches for your applications. You can go into each one to choose the files you want to delete.

Clearing Safari browser cache

If you use a Mac, Safari is likely your internet browser. Clearing browser cache in Safari is quick and easy:

  1. Open Safari and click on Preferences or Settings.
  2. Click the Privacy tab at the top of the box.
  3. Click Manage Website Data.
    Mac Settings under the Privacy tab.
  4. Click Remove or Remove all.
  5. Go to Safari and select Quit to save the changes.

What happens if you don’t clear your Mac cache?

As mentioned, accumulating cached data can cause sluggish performance, glitches, crashes, and low storage space. Some other serious issues can also occur.

  • Exposure of personal information: Cached files can contain your private data, including login details, browsing history, and other sensitive info. Hackers can access and exploit this data.
  • Tracking and profiling: Criminals can sell your cached data to third parties to track your shopping habits and other browsing activity.
  • Vulnerability to exploits: Outdated cache data may create security vulnerabilities hackers can use.

We recommend installing a good VPN if you’re worried about your online privacy and security. It will encrypt your traffic and hide it from any prying eyes. Furthermore, nobody can monitor your online actions and trace them back to you as an individual.

What are the best VPNs for Macs?

If you want to boost your overall privacy and security, using a VPN is a must. It will secure your browsing, prevent tracking, give you more anonymity, and allow you to access restricted content securely.

Take a look at our top VPNs for Mac users:

  • NordVPN has 6,200+ servers and the best balance of speed and security. With its advanced features, it can block ads, trackers, malicious sites, and even malware. Its specialty servers guarantee an excellent torrenting experience and can unblock popular streaming platforms worldwide.

    Get NordVPN | Read NordVPN Review

  • Surfshark is the fastest and most affordable VPN on our list. It supports unlimited simultaneous connections, which is ideal for large households. It can also block malicious content and has a unique feature dedicated to unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites.

    Get Surfshark | Read Surfshark Review

  • ExpressVPN is fast and secure, with servers in 105 countries. It has some unique advanced features, including a proprietary VPN router called Aircove. It’s the most beginner-friendly VPN service on our list.

    Get ExpressVPN | Read ExpressVPN Review

How to clear cache on Mac FAQ


How do I empty the cache in Mac Safari?

You can clear browser cache in Mac Safari by going to the Privacy tab and clicking Manage Website Data. From there, you can choose which files to delete. You can also disable cookies in Safari to make your browsing more private.


Does your Mac clear cache automatically?

No, Macs don’t clear user cache folders automatically, so you’ll have to choose what to keep and delete. To do this, follow the simple steps in our guide on clearing the cache on the Mac.


Will clearing cache make my Mac run faster?

Clearing the cache can make your Mac run faster. It removes unnecessary files and frees up more disk space, so your websites can load faster, and the system won’t get bogged down with outdated data. It can help remove false Apple security alerts that compromise your financial and personal information.


Does restarting my Mac clear cache?

Restarting your Mac will clear out some temporary cache held in RAM. You can still clear the cache when troubleshooting an issue or if your device has performance problems.


Is it safe to delete files from the Mac Library?

Deleting files from the Mac Library is generally safe, but we recommend using caution. If you aren’t sure about a file, it’s best to leave it alone. Otherwise, deleting cache data can make your Mac run smoother and faster. If you have concerns, you can use a tool like CleanMyMac X for optimization.

Bottom line: How to clear cache on Mac

We’ve discussed the three main types of cache: system, app, and browser cache. In a few quick steps, you can delete unnecessary files on your Mac and boost its performance and security.

In addition to clearing the cache on your device, we suggest using a reliable VPN service for extra privacy and security. There are plenty of options to suit your individual preferences and make your Mac experience even better.

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Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer specializing in technology, with three years of experience. With a B.S. in Computer Science and a background as a technical analyst and security specialist, she covers a range of topics like data security and parental control software.