How-to Guides

How To Clear Cache On A Mac And Speed Up Your Computer

One of the first things to try when your computer is running slow is to clear the cache. It's simple enough to do with Windows, but how can Mac users clear their cache?

What is a Mac Cache?

A computer cache is the same thing on Mac and Windows. It can be considered like a "memory." Memory is an area of your computer's hardware that can store temporary data and instructions for future use. A cache is a temporary storage space for instructions before they are actually executed.

Programmers can implement a cache in software or hardware, but it typically refers to software implementations. For example, the internet browser uses a cache where the history of visited websites is stored if the browser needs to re-visit them again later.

A typical cache is small in size. In fact, it may not take up much memory or disk space. However, a well-written cache application can make the computer run more efficiently and make your processor more productive when executing tasks in the background.

How to Clear Cache on Mac?

You can clear the cache by going into System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > clear browser cache. This will remove all of your history/cookies from the browser. Be careful about clearing this setting because you might lose some of your data when you do so.

Another way to clear cache is with a third-party utility that will allow you more control over the cache is cleared. For example, ProSoft Engineering has released a utility called Cache Cleaner. This utility will clear not only the browser cache but it can also clean the mail client cache and clean the system caches.

You can download it from here: http://www.prosofteng.com/cachecleaner.html.

One final tip: Your computer may slow down as more and more files are saved to your disk drives because of the additional data storage that becomes less efficient as you reach full disk usage or simply because of how data is stored on your HDD or SSD. In this case, consider backing up your files to an external hard drive or, even better, a NAS (Network Attached Storage device), which will allow you to restore the files on a backup device in case of disaster.

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