You may have heard of the term ‘cache’ before but never fully understood what it means.

Basically, cache files are data that are stored temporarily on your computer to help speed up certain processes. For example, your browser downloads images of a webpage in a cache, allowing you to have a faster browsing experience the next time you visit.

There are a lot of reasons why you’d want to eliminate old cache files in your computer. Two main reasons include:

·         Fixing problems with slow-loading web pages that use outdated content

·         Removing stored personal data for websites and apps

With that said, we’ll teach you how you can reclaim valuable space on your Mac or Windows computer below.

 

How to Clear Cache on Your Mac

On your Mac, you have at least three types of caches you can clean every once in a while. These are the system, user and browser caches.

Emptying User Cache on Mac

One user cache folder on your Mac computer can take up a lot of space that you could use for a better experience. And this is just one folder out of the many you have.

To clear your user cache, you need to:

  1. Open a window in Finder and choose “Go to Folder” within the Go menu.
  2. Type in ~/Library/Caches and press enter to proceed.
  3. Open each folder in there and clear everything out. It is recommended that you remove only what’s inside these folders and not the folders themselves.
  4. Be sure that you also clear your Trash once you’ve emptied out these caches.

Removing System and App Cache on Mac

System cache files are main created by the applications that operate on your Mac. This can be any type of media obtained by the apps so they can work faster and not load up each time you open them.

Deleting the app cache on your Mac can be done similar to your user cache by heading to ~/Library/Caches and delete everything inside folders that contain the app name.

Clearing Browser Cache on Mac

Lastly, we also want to remove browser cache to help give us a better browsing experience online. Here’s how you can do it:

For Chrome users, select the 3-dot icon located at the top right corner of your browser and choose Settings. From the bottom of the menu, select Advanced and click “Clear browsing data”. Deselect everything except for the Cached images and files. As for the time, choose “All time” and click the “Clear data” button.

In Firefox, you can click on the hamburger icon found on the top right corner of the browser and choose “Privacy & Security” on the left. Scroll down and select “Cached web content” and click “Clear Now” to remove Firefox cache.

 

How to Clear Cache in Google Chrome

Here’s how you can clear your browser cache using Google Chrome on a Mac.

You can use the shortcut by pressing the keys Shift, Cmd, and Del at once. You will see a new browser tab come up with a popup window. From the drop-down menu, you can choose the time range to remove the cache. It’s possible to choose the following: past hour, past day, past week, last 4 weeks or the beginning of time. Click on the checkbox next to “Cached images and files” and click the “Clear Browsing data” button when done.

Users can also do it via the main menu by clicking on Chrome and then selecting the “Clear Browsing Data” option. From there, a popup window will appear and you can follow the same instructions mentioned above.

 

How to Clear Cache in Safari

You can delete your browser cache in Safari via a keyboard shortcut or by going through the developer menu. The fastest way to do it is by pressing on the Cmd, Alt and E buttons.

Clearing your cache through the developer menu takes more steps.

First, choose “Safari” from the main menu and click on “Preferences” from the drop-down. A popup will appear from which you should click on the “Advanced” tab. Select the option “Show Develop menu in menu bar” located at the bottom. From here, you will see a new item in the main menu labelled “Develop” and you can choose “Empty Caches” from the submenu.

 

How to Clear Cache on Your Windows 10 PC

Windows 10 also stores huge amounts of cache to make the system run faster and be more responsive than the older versions. Although this can be efficient if you have a lot of space, it can slow down your PC if you don’t.

Emptying Temporary Files in Windows 10

Click on your Windows start button, choose Settings and click on System. Select Storage found on the left side and click on “Change how we free up space automatically”. Hit “Clean now” and wait for some time until the system cleans all temporary, unused files in your computer.

Another way to delete temporary cached files is by clicking on the Windows icon and select “Run”. In the field, type in %temp% and hit enter. You can then remove all of the files found in the folder.

 

How to Clear Cache in Google Chrome

There are two ways you can clear your cache in Google Chrome for Windows: through a shortcut and manually.

With the shortcut, you need to press the keys Ctrl, Shift and Del all at once after which a new window appears. From here, you can choose the time period you want to remove cache data from via the dropdown menu. You can select between the last hour, day, week or all. Click the box next to “Images and Files in Cache” and then submit your selection by hitting the “Delete Browser data” button.

The manual approach will require users to click on the “Menu” or the three stacked dots button located on the upper right corner of the browser and then select “Settings”. Choose “More Tools” and then click on “Delete Browser data”. From there you can follow the steps mentioned earlier to remove the cache data accordingly.

Removing Unnecessary File Caches in Windows 10

This cache stores all files related to your local and downloaded apps to give a speedy response. To clean this sector, click on Start and search for “Cleanmgr”. Cleanmanager is used to remove unnecessary files on your hard drive. From there you can choose the various hard drives you have installed and which ones you want to have cleaned.

 

How Often Should I Clean My Cache?

How often you should clear out your caches will depend highly on your present situation. If you have trouble with ads and apps that track your location, then you might want to empty your cache regularly. You also may want to empty your cache consistently if you have others access your computer or simply want to give it a high level of privacy.

Generally, you will want to remove cached files whenever you’re having trouble with your system. How often you do this will depend on your needs. However, some people believe that they should clean theirs at least once a week as anything more than that becomes useless clutter that takes up space and serves no purpose.

For those who visit websites that are known to have a questionable reputation, you might want to clear your cache on a daily basis just to be safe.

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