How to Delete Cache Files on Mac OS Completely in 2021 [Updated]

How to Delete Cache Files on Mac OS Completely in 2021 [Updated]

Have you noticed that your Mac or MacBook doesn’t work as fast as before? Doesn’t your web browsing seem so smooth? Probably, the cause for this is the cache that slows down the work of your Mac and keeps you away from positive emotions. The good news is that everything can be fixed. 

So, today I will tell you a few tips about how to delete cache files on Mac in 2021 and make your Mac fly again!


What Is Cache?

Cache or cached files are all temporary pieces of data downloaded from the web and stored on your Mac. If you visit the same website, you won’t wait long until it downloads but will get the results at once. It happens thanks to the cache. However, we visit so many resources daily that our Macs get full of files that we rarely use once again.

The cache may contain any multimedia files images, audios, videos, scripts, and other files. All this takes free space on your Mac’s hard drive.

In general, there are three types of cache files:

  • System cache.
  • User (app and DNS) cache.
  • Browser cache.


What Does Happen After Clearing Cache?

Imagine yourself carrying a heavy backpack. You go slowly, as you feel its enormous weight. Once you put it on the ground, you’ll be able to walk faster and even run! That’s what happens to your Mac when you clear cached data.

You delete everything you don’t need and free more space on the disk. However, be careful! The cache also stores your personal data on sites or in apps, so I wouldn’t recommend deleting this information if you don’t remember your passwords and credentials to your favorite web resources. If you want to remove your personal data from third-party websites, then okay, go on! ;)

Anyway, clearing cache will not only help you make your Mac faster but refresh outdated online content and even troubleshoot some possible issues!


How to Delete Cache on Mac

Finally, when you know which things will be removed by clearing cache, let’s go further. The first thing to keep in mind is that you can’t delete the cache that is being used at the moment. If you do, this will completely erase your progress in some web apps where you work.

On the contrary, outdated files should be removed to increase Mac’s performance. If you don’t use some app for months, why store its leftovers? 

So, I prefer the fastest way to clearing the cache on my Mac, while there is an option to delete it manually. I’ll tell you about the second option later, though I try not to do that, as one can accidentally delete something important.


The Simplest Way to Clear Cache on Your Mac

I would recommend using a special cleaning utility, as it knows what and how to remove without any harm. I commonly use CleanMyMac X (free for download). This app runs on any macOS (even the latest one) allows users to get rid of outdated files, temporary files, app leftovers, and other things that slow your Mac down. It will help you to safely delete all cache from Mac, as well as to clean up your Mac. CleanMyMac X offers two options for removing junk (including cleaning the cache) on your Mac. 

Smart Cleanup: before you use this feature, you can go to the application configuration to choose the modules that will participate in the smart clean-up. To start a scan, you need to:

  1. I launch the app and select ‘System Junk’.

  2. Next, I select ‘Scan’ and after it finds all the junk, click ‘Run’.

  3. Once the process is completed, CleanMyMac X displays how much space is freed, how much space has been freed since you started using the app.

CleanMyMac X can provide high-quality cache clearing (clears correspondence history and browsing history) with the help of Privacy:

  1. Click "Privacy" under the "Protection" menu. And click "Run".

  2. Select the browser and/or messenger where you want to clear history, specify what you want to be removed.
  3. Click Remove.

If you use CleanMyMac X, you can always be sure that removing all the cache files will help your Mac run faster. It also guarantees that no one will know what sites you have visited or read your correspondence in the messengers. Needless to say, CleanMyMac X will ensure a quick and easy cleaning of your Mac that will save you trouble and time. 


How to Clear Local Cache Files on Mac Manually

First and foremost, I don’t recommend deleting the system cache, as this may affect your Mac’s work. Moreover, these files usually don’t take much disk space, like other types of cache do.

Many Mac applications cache their data to the local disk to accelerate performance. In the case of cache data damage, your Mac can start running more slowly, applications might not run properly, and eventually (in very rare cases), it may become impossible to run applications. If at least one of these problems is familiar to you, you might want to clear local cache files on Mac.


User Cache

Do you remember that there are several types of cache? Let’s start with deleting the user cache:

  1. In the Finder’s ‘Go’ menu, choose ‘Go to Folder’.
  2. Specify ‘~/Library/Caches' and press Enter.
  3. Check what’s in the folders, copy what you need to keep on your Mac, and delete unnecessary files. Keep the folders themselves and delete only their contents. There are 4 folders of user cache:
    - Caches. Here you will find temporary files from websites and applications.
    - Preferences. These are the customized settings of applications. If some of them are corrupted and buggy, find the name of the app and delete this file (make sure it ends with ‘.plist’.
    - App support. App data, like saved games, is stored here even after the app was deleted.
    - Containers. These are exchange buffers for apps. This folder is commonly emptied automatically after you restart your machine. 
  4. Empty the Trash bin.
  5. Restart your Mac and experience its efficient functioning!


Delete App Cache on Mac

This cache is quite heavy for any Mac, as it contains media from apps like Spotify or Steam. To remove it:

  1. In the Finder’s ‘Go’ menu, choose ‘Go to Folder’.
  2. Specify ‘~/Library/Caches' and press Enter.
  3. Find folders with relevant names and delete them. However, be careful, as some apps store important files in the cache.

That’s why I don’t do this manually and use CleanMyMac X this app knows what is critical and what can be removed with no harm.

How to Delete Browser Cache

Every modern Mac user loves web surfing. So, clearing browser cache from time to time is a quite healthy habit. You will be surprised that your browser performance can be so exceptional without all those images, scripts, and other files stored on your Mac.
What’s more, the corrupted cache may cause errors on some websites, so why not secure yourself from possible troubles?


How to Delete Safari Cache Files on Mac or MacBook Pro

If you use Safari, you may delete the entire browsing history together with the cache. Anyway, if you want to keep something, follow this instruction:

  1. Choose ‘Preferences’ in the ‘Safari’ menu.
  2. Go to ‘Advanced’.
  3. Enable ‘Show Develop menu’.
  4. Find the ‘Develop’ tab in the menu.
  5. Click ‘Empty caches’.
  6. Quit Safari and restart it.

That’s it! Your browser cache is now deleted, but you’ll have to enter logins and passwords to all the websites once again.

For more effective cleaning of the cache, we recommend that you manually delete the cache located on your Mac, as the browser can't always clear it completely. You can do this using the method described above in How to Clear local cache files on Mac.


How to Delete Google Chrome Cache Files on Mac

If you are a Chrome user, follow these steps:

  1. Enter ‘chrome://settings’ and press Enter.
  2. In Settings, go to ‘Privacy and Security’ and select ‘Clear browsing data’.
  3. Choose what you would like to clear. I’d say most of you would select ‘Cached images and files’.
  4. Click ‘Clear data’.


How to Delete Firefox Cache Files on your Mac

Mozilla Firefox users can clear cache by doing as follows:

  1. Enter ‘about:preferences’ in the search bar and press Enter.
  2. Select ‘Privacy & Security’.
  3. If you need to remove cookies, select ‘Clear data’ in ‘Cookies and Site Data’.
  4. If you want to remove only media, select ‘Cached Web Content’ and click ‘Clear’.

I personally try to save as much time as possible and clear the browser cache using CleanMyMac X (it’s free for download). I go to the ‘Privacy module’, select the browser, which cache to delete, and click ‘Remove’. Voila! Three clicks instead of dozens of them!

By the way, they offer a free trial, so you can have a test-drive before purchasing. My test-drive resulted in getting the app, as it’s super-useful and efficient.