Cache is one of those things that helps your device but left unchecked can eat up valuable resources and hard disk space. It is good practice to get in the habit of deleting cache regularly. This will put your Mac under less stress enabling it to run faster and more smoothly. Given cache can be potentially harmful, what exactly is cache and why does it exist?
What is Cache and Why Does it Exist?
Cache is data files that are generated when you open apps and visit websites. These data files enable webpages to load faster, and apps to run that little bit better. Over time, the cache data files accumulate to the point where they start using too many resources.
Problems can also occur when apps and webpages update, and the cache files are out of date.
So cache files help your device run smoothly and operate faster. You just need to do a little maintenance to keep the cache files from becoming a hindrance.
In essence, there are three types of cache file:
- System cache
- User cache (including app cache and DNS)
- Browser cache.
Let’s look at how to keep your system smooth and fast by deleting cache files.
Although there are three types of cache files, it is a good idea not to go down the rabbit hole and delete system cache. These files tend to be very small, and it is all too easy to delete something important. Should that happen, you’ll be wishing for the good old days when all you had to worry about was a slow-performing Mac!
Now we’ve got that out of the way let’s look at deleting user cache. Go here for more information on system cache.
Deleting User Cache
User cache is generated every time you use your Mac. Here’s how to nerf it!
- In Finder, select Go to Folder.
- Type ~/Library/Caches and hit Go.
- In the list of folders, go into each one and delete the cache files. As it is easy to delete something you need to keep, it might be an idea to take a copy of the folders. Once you’re certain everything is running smoothly after the great user cache purge, you can delete the backup folder.
- After you delete the cache files, go to Trash and empty it. No point in these redundant cache files sticking around.
Deleting Browser Cache
Browser cache is generated when you open and use a web browser. Deleting them is different for each browser so here’s how it’s done for the big three.
- Go to preferences and select the Advanced tab.
- Tick Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
- Go to Develop and select Empty caches.
- Close all windows and restart.
- Type chrome://settings and select Privacy and security and then Clear Browsing Data.
- Tick Cached images and files only
- Under Time range select All time.
- Click the Clear Data button.
- Type about:preferences in the search bar.
- Select Privacy & Security
- Click the Clear Data button. You’ll find it in the Cookies and Site Data section.
- Tick Cached Web Content and click Clear.
Keep cache fresh and you’ll have a great computing experience.