This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.
Cache and cookies are files that are being created on your Mac every time you browse a new web page or open up a new application. They are there to make your browsing experience as smooth as possible, by loading pages much faster or remembering your browsing preferences.
However, after a while, cookies and cache files can start piling up and using your Mac storage space unnecessarily and slowing it down. Clearing them up from time to time is, therefore, a good idea – here are some ways to do that.
Browser cache and cookies
Every web page you visit will add new cache and cookie files to be stored on your Mac. Browser cache stores such files as images, video, audio or script, whereas cookies are about saving the user preferences on the site, for the next time you visit. Clearing them out will not just empty up some space but will also get rid of your browsing history, which is beneficial in terms of your privacy and data security.
Cleaning browser cache and cookies is very simple, however, the process might differ slightly from browser to browser. For instance, on Chrome you would go on Settings > Privacy and Security > Clear Browsing Data. You will be presented with a choice of the files you want to clear (browsing history, cached files, and cookies). Select all as well as “all-time” as your time frame. This is slightly different in Safari: Click on Safari > Preferences > Advanced and tick the box “Show Develop menu in menu bar” if it’s not already selected. Now go on Develop > Empty Caches.
User cache serves the same purpose as browser cache, but instead, they are located in a folder on your Mac and include cache files from apps and DNS. This type of cache tends to use up your storage space the most – we’re talking several gigabytes. The easiest and fastest way to clear up user cache is by using dedicated apps. However, you can do it manually too. Here’s how:
Go on Finder > choose “Go” in the menu > click on Go to Folder > type in “~/Library/Caches”. This will take you to the folder where all caches are stored. You can then go through each individual folder on it (you will be able to see app names on the folders) and delete them. It is recommended to remove only the contents of the folders but not the folders themselves. Once you cleared all the user cache, don’t forget to empty your Trash Bin too, as all of your deleted files will still be stored there.
System cache is the last type of cache you may be wondering about clearing up. System cache is normally generated by the built-in macOS services and is responsible for ensuring that all of your Mac processes are functioning correctly. These files typically don’t take up that much space and they can be essential for certain systems to work, so it’s generally recommended to leave them.
If you are interested to see where the system cache is stored on your Mac, however, the process for this is the same as described above for app cache – just select the “System” folder in your “Caches” instead.