In this article, I’m going to show you how to clear my cache and cookies on a Mac. Before then, let’s start with this: caches and cookies aren’t bad. They’re good.
But it gets to a stage when they accumulate and become so much that they appear to do more harm than good. This is when they need to be flushed.
But, what exactly are caches and cookies?
What good do they do, and how can you flush them when they become too good?
These questions and more are what this article is written to answer. At the end of this piece, you’ll understand the significance of cache files and why you need to clean them occasionally.
What are cache and cookies on a Mac?
Actually, cache files and cookies aren’t unique to a Mac. They exist on Windows computers too, and even your iPhones and Androids.
When you visit a website on your browser, your browser caches some information from the website. When next you’re making a connection to that website, your website won’t have to reload the cached items, making the websites load much faster.
But it doesn’t only happen with websites; in fact, caches are stored across all the software on your Mac.
If that explains caching, what about cookies?
Well, cookies are similar to cache files, just that they store a different kind of information. While caches store things to make it look snappier on your next visit, cookies are responsible for recognizing that you are actually you.
When you log into a service (Facebook, for example), Facebook stores a cookie file on your browser to remind itself that you’re logged in.
That’s why you don’t need to enter your username and password every time you’re logging into Twitter.
You are welcome.
Should I delete cache files on my Mac?
Given the explanation above, you might want to ask: “why should I clear the cache and cookies on my Mac?
There are a lot of genuine reasons why you might want to clear your cache files or empty your cookie jar (or both). However, you shouldn’t just empty the cache just because you want to; remember, they speed things up on your Mac.
Below are the most common reasons why you might want to take the bold step to purge the cache on your Mac.
Troubleshooting a problem
While your Mac is good at determining what to cache, and what not to, it isn’t perfect. Sometimes, your Mac makes blunders, caching things you don’t want.
This might lead to unexpected problems that might prove impossible to solve. Purging your cache and cookies to the rescue.
Have you ever had an intruder use your Facebook, or check your email without your permission, just because you forgot to log out?
Facebook has grown less private over the years, and now, almost everyone who could access your Mac can access your social accounts.
However, if you cleared your cache and cookies after every Facebook session, it would take a wizard to log into your accounts without your permission.
When your Mac accumulates cache files and cookies over time, they grow excruciatingly large and start to threaten your storage space.
Some people gain as much as 20GB of storage space just by deleting cache files. That’s just how much storage you need to install Windows!
If you’re running low on space, you should remember that you can get some extra space by clearing your cache.
How To Clear My Cache And Cookies On A Mac
Now that you know what cache and cookies are and why someone would want to eliminate them in the first place, here’s what you’re looking for.
In this section, I’ll show you the different ways by which you can clear the cache and cookies on your Mac, saving storage space.
Clearing system cache on a Mac.
Before you even clear your cache files, you should know the difference between System Cache and Application Cache.
System cache is the cache stored by your Mac and other built-in macOS services to make them run faster. You shouldn’t purge your system cache frequently, as this can hit performance.
Clearing it once in a while shouldn’t be that bad, and here are the exact steps you should take to clear your system cache on a Mac.
- Open the Finder Go menu.
- select “Go to Folder” and type in /Library/Caches.
- Press “Enter” to navigate to the folder where your Mac stores all the cache files.
- Highlight everything (inside of this folder), copy them and paste them into another folder. Then delete everything inside of the folder.
- Try using your computer as normal. If nothing goes wrong, you can finally delete the files in the folder you pasted them to earlier.
- Note that you shouldn’t delete the files out rightly in case something goes wrong with your Mac after deleting the cache.
Clearing Application Cache on a Mac
Note that after clearing your App Cache, you might have to endure slower processing for some basic tasks on your system.
- Open Finder’s “Go to Folder” and go to the ~/Library/Caches.
- There are many different folders in here, and you shouldn’t delete any of the folders. Just navigate into the folders individually and delete all the files in them.
- Empty your trash and restart your Mac.
- Clearing browser cookies on a Mac.
- Clearing your browser cookies can be very tricky especially if you use multiple browsers. If you use a Mac, I will assume that you’re using Google Chrome or the built-in Safari. This tutorial will only cover the steps for both browsers.
For Google Chrome
- Open the Chrome browser on your Mac and go to Settings from the menu.
- Scroll down and click on “Clear Browsing Data.” You’ll find it under “Privacy and Security.”
- Select “Cookies and other site data,” and click on “Clear Data.”
- Select Safari from the top menu bar and click on “Preferences.”
- In the “Advanced” menu, select “Show Develop menu in the menu bar.”
- From the top menu bar, select Develop and click on “Empty caches.”
- Restart your computer.
READ MORE: 8 Tips to Optimize Mac’s Performance
And that concludes how to clear my cache and cookies on a Mac. This isn’t an activity that you should do very frequently if you want a smooth computing experience, but it’s not something you should ignore either.
Purging your cache once every few months saves a ton of space, so you won’t have to run around looking for your external hard drive just to download a movie.