In this article, we will learn How to Clear Cache on Mac and Recover a LOT of Storage Space. You’ve probably heard of the Cache of Macs (and other computers) on occasion, but do you know what it is?
Cache files are temporary data that computers save for speeding up specific processes. For example, browsers save static files of the web pages you visit and then do not have to download them again if you re-enter that website, and some applications save other types of information seeking to be more agile.
In principle, the idea of cache files is perfect. The problem is that these files accumulate and can take up a lot of storage space on hard drives or SSD drives, which can cause slowdown on a Mac instead of the effect they should cause.
Fixing this problem is as simple as performing regular maintenance on computers and clearing the cache periodically.
There are three different types of cache that can be a space problem on any Mac: user cache, system cache, and browser cache.
The following article will explain two ways to clean all these cache types: one practically automatically relying on a cleaning software such as CleanMyMac X and another completely manual.
Delete Mac cache quickly and easily: CleanMyMac X
Using CleanMyMac X to clean the cache of a Mac is an excellent idea since you will be able to recover a pile of storage space, and also you will not waste a lot of time doing countless steps to do the cleaning manually.
The steps you need to follow to clear the cache of a Mac with this app are:
- Download, install, and run CleanMyMac X on your Mac.
- Click on the System Junk option and start the process by clicking on Analyze.
- Click on the Clean button.
This is it. After taking these three steps, the software will delete all cache files and other unneeded items that take up storage space on the computer. Depending on the use of the computer and the time that cleaning is not done, the space that can be recovered can be very important (more than 12 GB on my Mac at the time of writing these lines, as you can see in the screenshot of CleanMyMac X, but on computers where a cleaning had never been done I have seen figures of more than 120 GB).
Clear user cache and apps on Mac manually
The user cache is the one that takes up the most space on Mac drives. In this section, it is usual to free up several gigabytes, which improves the system’s overall speed.
To clear the user and application cache manually, you must do the following:
- Open a Finder window and click on the Go – Go to folder option.
- Type ~/Library/Caches and press enter to access it. Optionally you can copy all the contents to another folder in case something happens when performing the following steps, in some cases app developers save important information inside the cache folder and having a backup can solve possible problems in the future.
- Enter each of the folders and delete their contents (it is not advisable to delete the folders directly, only their contents).
Repeat the previous steps, but in the second step, type the path /Library/Caches.
After all the steps are complete, empty the Recycle Bin to recover the storage space. It’s also wise to restart your Mac so that macOS can start creating the cache again successfully.
Clear the cache of browsers
Seeking to make the experience of browsing Interner more satisfying, browsers cache information to, in theory, speed up the loading of web pages.
This information is helpful on the sites you visit regularly, but not on sites you accessed once looking for something concrete and have never returned. All that information is stored on the storage drive of the Mac, taking up space and causing the entire system to suffer.
In addition, for privacy reasons, it is also advisable to delete the browsing history along with the cache. After all, no one likes that other people can see the pages you have accessed from your computer.
The way to delete the cache memory in each browser is different, so below, we explain the steps to clean it in the main ones: Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.
Delete cache files in Safari
Deleting the cache in Safari is as simple as clicking on the History menu and choosing the Clear History option. The problem is that this option will clear the cache and the history and, although recommended, you may not want to do that.
To be able to empty the Safari cache and not delete the history, you must do the following:
- Click on Safari – Preferences in the menu bar.
- Go to the Advanced tab and check the Show development menu in the menu bar check box.
- Now click on Development in the menu bar and click on the option Empty cache memories.
Delete cache files in Chrome
Chrome has a powerful option to delete temporary files, history, cookies, and other temporary information generated by the browser. Thanks to it, you can choose what you want to delete and what you want to keep easily.
The steps you need to follow to clear the history are as follows:
- Click on the icon with the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and choose the Settings option.
- Click on the Show advanced settings option at the bottom of the window.
- Click on the Delete browsing data button.
- Mark the contents you want to delete (Cached files and images if you only want to clear the cache) and click on Clear browsing data.
Delete Firefox Cache
In the case of Firefox, the steps to follow are as follows:
- Click on the History menu and choose the Option Clean recent history.
- In the new window choose the All option from the drop-down menu.
- Click on details and leave only the cache option checked.
- Click on the Clean Now button.
This is it. With these steps, you will remove the cache of the main browsers. If you are a user of others, the steps to follow will be similar to any of these three, but if you do not find it, you can leave a comment, and we will try to give you a hand so that you get it.
Finally, in all cases, it is advisable to close and open the browser so that the process is 100% complete and then avoid any problem.
Free up deleteable space
In addition to the cache and temporary files of the first point, Macs also generate other types of files that can be deleted without consequences, but that the system saves until the free disk space or SSD memory is very little.
The problem is that doing it this way can have inevitable negative consequences, and one of them is that it is not released when you need it, so being able to delete these files manually is an advantage.
To do so, it is necessary to resort to specialized software, and once again, the best option, at least for my taste, is CleanMyMac X.
To free up the deleteable space, you must do the following:
- Launch CleanMyMac and access the Maintenance feature.
- Select the Free up deleteable space option and click on the Run button.
After these steps, the software will get to work, and after a few minutes (it will take more or less depending on the amount of data you have to clean), it will inform you that the process is over and the space has been free on your Mac. As you can see in the screenshot above, in my case, it has been able to release just over 7 GB, but minutes before, I had released just over 30 GB (look at the last run date at the bottom of the screenshot).
Another perfect way to recover storage space on Mac and that few people know.
Manual or automatic cleaning with the help of software?
Here everyone will have their opinion and will perform this important task as they prefer. I am left with the option to use CleanMyMac X, as I save a lot of time and do other more satisfying things. In addition, the software has other handy functions for day-to-day, such as the uninstaller or the application updater.
And you? Do you prefer the manual or automatic route?