They say it pays to be organised and this is especially true when it comes to your Mac. Keeping the cache as streamlined as possible ensures your Mac works as it should, and isn’t hampered by pesky cache files clogging up the smooth running of your device. So what is cache?
Cache Files – What are they?
Every time you visit a site or run an app on your device it creates cache files. This isn’t because it has a mean sense of humour, no. It is because cache files help your device run that little bit faster as they reduce loading time.
Sadly, cache files pile up, become outdated, and eventually will slow down and sometimes crash your Mac. The secret is to clear them out periodically so they don’t harm your system.
There are in essence three types of cache:
- System cache
- User or app cache
- Browser cache
Let’s look at how to purge these cache files to keep your system up and thriving.
Deleting System Cache
System files are generated by your device. Removing unneeded files can reclaim 10% of hard drive space. So:
- Finder and enter /Library/Caches in the Go menu.
- You’ll be presented with a list of files. If you right-click Caches you can discover how much hard drive space they take up.
If it is small you may want to ignore this as it is easy to delete a system file and mess up your system.
Deleting User or App Cache
App cache is created when you open an app. It allows the app to load faster but as stated can clog up your system if left unchecked.
- Finder and enter ~/Library/Caches in the Go menu.
- From the list of folders go into each one and delete the files. Be warned that some of the user information should not be deleted.
When you’re finished you should have freed up some considerable hard disk space.
It is good practice to make a backup before you delete app data.
Every time you visit a website your Mac will create browser cache to help the website load faster. Issues occur should a site update or you simply clog up the system with so much cache that your machine runs slow.
Deleting browser cache is browser-specific. Generally, it involves tracking down history and cache files and opting to delete them.
- Go Safari then Preferences
- Select the Advanced tab and check Show Develop menu in the menu bar option.
- Developer option should appear, select it.
- Choose Empty Caches
- Restart the browser.
- Open Chrome then Settings.
- Select Privacy and Security and select Clear browsing data.
- Untick everything except Cached images and files.
- Under the Time Range dropdown, select All time.
- In the search bar enter: about:preferences.
- Select Privacy and Security.
- Under the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data.
- Check Cached Web Content and then the Clear button.
Your Mac is an amazing machine. Keep the cache to a minimum and it will run smoothly for years to come. For more tips and tricks go here.