For macOS, it’s common to use part of the user’s hard drive for everyday operations. Your web browser constantly downloads new data, which it subsequently saves to speed up loading in future sessions. Applications such as video editors and iTunes (the Music app) also store a cache of exported files and album art.
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However, one may be surprised to find out how much space on the hard drive you can recover by deleting unnecessary files if you know where to look for them. At the same time, such manipulations with disk space should be carried out with caution.
Below we will describe in detail how and why to clear the cache on macOS. In addition, we will consider several applications to facilitate this process.
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What is a cache and why delete it?
The cache is basically a temporary file created by the operating system and the applications used. For example, these can be temporary files, such as images and HTML documents created by a web browser, messenger clients (Vkontakte, Twitter, Viber, Skype, etc.).
If the user edits a lot of photos and videos, he may notice that the editor program also saves temporary data that is placed on the hard drive. In addition, video editors with the function of displaying applied effects during editing do not always delete such files at the end of work.
The cache of most applications is too small to pay attention to. System components, such as Spotlight, Contacts, and Maps, create relatively small caches that will not allow you to free up a lot of hard disk space, even if you delete them.
One important point to note here: it is not necessary to delete caches at all. If you do not need to urgently free up space on your hard drive, and at the same time you constantly use many different applications and files, it is better to leave a cache to increase the speed of the Mac. In addition, many applications clear their cache on their own or have the option to manually clear.
Delete cache button in Tweetbot app:
Button to delete cache in VK Messenger application (Official Vkontakte client for Mac):
However, in addition to the desire to free up space, there may be other reasons for deleting caches, in particular:
- Fix problems with web pages loading outdated data.
- Deletion of personal data stored on websites and applications.
- Force removal of obsolete cached information in the application.
Important! back up your files first.
It is recommended that you regularly back up files on your Mac, either using the Apple’s Time Machine application, or using a third-party tool or online backup services. Starting to clean up the Library folder, there is always a risk of breaking something important.
Although most applications do not usually store critical information in the cache, it is possible that deleting a file will lead to unwanted data loss and malfunctioning of the program. Having a recently made backup, you can easily restore folders with a cache if something still goes wrong.
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How to Clear Safari Cache on Mac
Clearing the cache in Safari is very simple:
1. Launch the Safari browser and go to the menu bar along the path “Safari” → “Settings”.
2. Open the tab “Additions” and check the box next to “Show the Development menu in the menu bar”.
3. Close the window “Settings”then select the menu “Development” in the menu bar.
4. In the menu “Development” select “Clear Caches ».
Note: This method is somewhat more radical than simply clearing the history, available through “Safari” → “History” → “Clear the history”. At the same time, clearing the cache in development mode does not delete personal information, except for that stored in temporary files (history, bookmarks, folder “Downloads” etc. will not be deleted).
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Clearing Mac System Cache (macOS)
In order to clear your account cache, do the following:
1. Launch Finder, then click “Transition” → “Go to folder” in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
2. Enter the line in the field that appears ~ / Libraries / Caches and press OK.
3. Select the files and folders that you want to delete and drag them to the trash. Do not worry, delete the entire contents of the folder Caches will not lead to anything bad.
4. Restore the free space by right-clicking on the basket in the Dock and selecting “Empty trash”.
If you want to delete the caches associated with another user account, you need to go to the cache directory of that user. You can do this by changing the location of the folder in the second step to / Users / Username / Libraries / Caches – replacing “Username” The name of the corresponding user account.
To clear the system caches that are shared between multiple accounts, go to / System / Libraries / Caches.
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Mac Cache Cleanup Applications
You can, of course, spend time deleting caches manually, but why, if there are applications that do this for you. The beauty of these applications is that they tend to do a lot more than they expect. Such programs also do a great job of freeing up disk space.
Onyx – A powerful free tool that provides easy removal of caches. Download the version for your operating system, and run the application. Let the program analyze your boot disk, and then go to the tab “Service”. Specify what you want to delete, and then click “Run”.
Ccleaner – not having such wide functionality as OnyX, a tool for cleaning caches. Download and install the application, then click “Analyze”so that CCleaner detects as much potential free space as possible (including caches). Then you can click “Run Cleaner” to delete selected objects.
CleanMyMac – A powerful program that allows you to clear the cache in one click. This tool will delete caches and find other junk files on macOS, such as obsolete backups and simply large files.
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As a rule, cleaning the cache is generally not worth it.
If your disk space is not clogged, or if you do not intend to delete the cache of a specific application, these files on a Mac are best left alone. There are many ways to free up space on macOS without having to delete caches.
For example, you can move libraries and device backups to another location, delete unnecessary large files, or add more disk space to your MacBook.