By Gina Barrow, Last updated: August 27, 2019
Caches are temporary files and data stored inside the hard drive and used to speed up processes especially on downloading images. This is very helpful when browsing, for example, a Safari browser and a webpage. The images inside the website are stored so when you re-visit the site, the images are already downloaded for faster site opening rather than waiting for few seconds and wait for the images to completely download.
However, these caches build up over time. Although they are temporary files, no one's gonna throw these temporary files for you unless you do it yourself. These files will begin to take up more storage space and instead of its basic function to speed things up, they rather slow your system down.
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Thus, we will discover how to clear cache on Mac and boost your device's performance.
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Part 1. How to Clear Cache on Mac All at One Time
Doing all these steps manually can be exhausting especially when you are not really familiar with most of it. Aside from that, it takes a lot of your time just by clearing caches when you can simply use a program that automatically detects all the caches inside your Mac.
FoneDog Mac Cleaner has all the solutions you need to speed up and boost your Mac's performance. This program offers comprehensive tools to scan and determine the health status of your device, and quickly removes all the junk files.
How to Clear Cache on Mac Using FoneDog Mac Cleaner?
- Download FoneDog Mac Cleaner
- Choose the module 'Cleaner' on the menu
- Select the best option, like System Junk, and click the 'Scan' button
- Review all the items displayed after scanning and delete
- Clearing cache is complete!
You have probably saved a lot of time clearing caches on Mac using FoneDog Mac Cleaner!
Part 2. How to Clear System and App Cache on Mac
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System and app caches are hidden files that are usually created by apps stored on your Mac. Meaning, all the temporary files including the media contents are stored inside the system and app files. Some people still argue if clearing both are necessary but then, there's no harm if you try it and if it helps to boost your Mac's performance, then why not?
Open ~/Library/Caches and remove the contents of the folders with the app name.
Remember: Not all app cache is safe to clear. Some app developers keep significant user info on cache folders so backing up is highly advised!
One of the common examples of system cache is the DNS cache. These are old cache records that interpret internet domain names into IP addresses.
- Open Terminal by typing “terminal” into Spotlight
- Type this into Terminal: sudo dscacheutil -flushcache;sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder; say cache flushed
- Enter your admin password to execute the command
Note: if you use OS X 10.10.0-10.10.3, use: sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache;sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches; say flushed
Part 3. How to Clear User Cache on Mac
Next type of cache we will clear is the user cache. This type of cache is the main culprit for the slowing down of your system. It mainly contains all the junk files.
Here are the steps on how to clear user cache on Mac:
- First, open Finder and choose the “Go to Folder” from the Go menu
- Type: ~/Library/Caches and press enter
- Backup Tip: You can also highlight and copy all the files to a different folder in case something happens
- Open each folder and clear out contents
Note: Please remove only the contents of these folders, and not the folders themselves
If you want to clear Library Caches, you can do the same steps but replace it with: /Library/Caches (please see the difference)
Part 4. How to Clear Browser Cache on Mac
If you love surfing the internet on your Mac, well you might accumulate a lot of browser caches. Browser caches are also temporary files that store web info especially media files for better and faster access. Over time, they consume at least 15% of the total space of your system so it is necessary to clear them from time to time.
However, each popular browser has different cache setting so you must be familiar with how to navigate:
How to Clear Chrome Cache on Mac:
- Click the 3-dots on the upper right corner of your Chrome or the Control and Customize area
- Go to Settings, and click Advanced
- Click Clear Browsing Data
- From here you have three options: Browsing History, Cookies and other site data, and the Cached Images and files. You can deselect the first two to clear the cached images and files only. However, if you are concern about your privacy, you may include clearing the other two. This will then reset your browsing activity and will require you to sign-in to most of the accounts you visited.
- Select All Time for the frequency
- Click Clear Data
How to Clear FireFox Cache on Mac:
- Click the burger icon located at the upper right corner
- Find and click Privacy & Security from the left sidebar
- Go to Cached web content
- Click Clear Now to remove Firefox cache
- Exit or quit all browser windows and then re-open the browser.
You can limit the cache size in the same menu, simply check the Override automatic cache management. Choose the default size of 350 MB, which is sufficient for most users' needs.
How to Clear Safari Cache on Mac:
Most Mac users are already familiar with Safari browser but clearing its browser cache is quite tricky than the rest. Here's how to:
- Choose Safari from the top menu
- Select Preferences
- Click Advanced tab
- Enable the Show Develop menu
- Go to Develop from the menu bar
- Select Empty caches
- Close the browser and restart after clearing the cache.
Cache clearing may take a while if you would like you can clear the local DNS cache to hasten the process.
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We have just learned how to clear cache on Mac and we hope that it helped you boost and speed up the performance of your device. However, if you are looking to have a safer and faster way of clearing caches and other junk files, consider using FoneDog Mac Cleaner.
Share this ultimate guide with your friends and let them know how easy it is to keep your Mac healthy and well-performing.
Deleting downloads on Mac can be a pain because It involves two separate things: cleaning up your Downloads folder and then removing the downloads history from your browser. So, in short, you'll need to: find your Downloads folder, remove your downloads, clear your downloads history in your browser, and (finally) empty your Trash.
How to delete downloads on Mac via Finder
Finder is the first place you should look for downloads in on your Mac. If you have a mountain of download files stored, it’d be smart to sort your items and see which of them are the heaviest.
- Open Finder.
- Press Cmd+Shift+G.
- Type in: ~/
- Open Downloads folder.
- Righ-click anywhere in the window and select Use Groups.
- Finder will then gather your downloads in groups such as Applications, PDF documents, Images, and others, so you can quickly look through them and delete files you don’t need.
Then you can sort downloads by size: right-click in Finder, click Group By pop-up menu and choose Size.
If you want to remove multiple downloads from your Mac at once, you can do that with CleanMyMac X. This app has a Large and Old Files feature that detects all massive files and lets you delete them all. I will explain how to quickly get to downloads on your Mac using CleanMyMac X later in the article. You'd be surprised at how many GB of space you can reclaim!
How to delete downloads from software (e.g. Skype) which are hard to find
It can be a challenge to find the files you downloaded from different apps, such as Skype, on your Mac. By default, all the items you want to save go into the Downloads folder. But, if you have changed these settings, your files would be stored elsewhere. So, how to find those downloads on your Mac.
If you search for Skype downloads, here’s how to locate them:
- Open Skype.
- Go to the Skype menu and choose Preferences.
- Select Messaging from the list on the left.
In the end, there’s “When I receive a file” setting. It’s set to Downloads, which means all files you download from Skype automatically go into this folder. Open it to locate the files Skype saved and delete them. You can change directory to save your Skype files elsewhere.
The pretty similar route applies to all other apps you save files from. For example, to find out the Slack downloads location, I opened the app and then navigated to its Preferences.
To make it easier to find files you saved, choose one download location for all your apps. You will eliminate clutter in lots of folders and will be able to delete many files at once.
Once you’re done deleting your downloads, it’s time to clear the downloads history from the browser you use. Select the section below based on the browser you use.
The easy way to delete large and old files on Mac
However, if you’re looking for a solution that makes clearing out your large downloads (including your Skype downloads history) simple, check out a cleaning utility like CleanMyMac X.
Large and Old Files feature scans your storage for heavy files piling up on your Mac for a long time. It shows how much space each file takes and helps to quickly get rid of all old documents, .dmg files, and archives that clutter your storage.
Large and Old Files helps you clean up your Downloads folder with just a few clicks. Here's how to clear old downloads on your Mac:
- Download the free version of CleanMyMac X.
- Install and launch the app.
- Click Large & Old Files.
- Scan your Mac and then select whatever you wish to remove.
- Click Remove.
And you’re done. As you can see, it’s incredibly easy to remove your downloads on Mac with CleanMyMac X.
But, if you’d still like to clean up your downloads and download history manually, just follow the steps below.
How to delete old .DMG files on Mac
On macOS, the majority of apps you download come in .dmg format. '.dmg' is a disk image that contains a compressed download file. These files work like hard drives: they can be mounted and ejected.
When you open the .dmg file, you’ll see the application you’re about to install. After installing the application (dragging it to the Applications folder), the .dmg file will stay on your Mac until you delete it. Imagine how many .dmg files you may have unintentionally stored on your Mac. Now, let’s see how to delete them.
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First, you need to eject those .dmg files that are still open.
- Open Finder.
- Under the Locations you will see the list of all .dmg files.
- Press the Eject icon to eject a disk image.
To delete .dmg files:
- Open Finder.
- Type “.dmg” in the search field and press Return.
- Move the unneeded files to the Trash.
Voila! Now, your Mac is much cleaner.
How to clear downloads history in Chrome
To clear downloads history in Google Chrome browser manually:
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- Launch the Chrome browser.
chrome://history/in the search field and press Enter.
- Select Clear browsing data.
- Select the time range and check the 'Download history' box.
- Click Clear data.
How to clean downloads history in Safari
To clean downloads history in Safari browser:
- Launch the Safari browser.
- Click View in the menu bar and select Show Downloads.
- Safari will show you all the files you downloaded. Press Clear to remove downloads history.
You can alternatively press the arrow down button (↓) to see and clear downloads.
Clearing your Mac of downloads once in a while helps to save some space. If you are up to a full spring cleaning of your MacBook, CleanMyMac X has another useful feature — Space Lens. It analyses your storage and shows precisely how much space each folder takes. If your Mac is short on space, Space Lens can help you to locate the heaviest folder and remove it. Download the app for free, to try it yourself!
How to remove downloads history in Firefox
To remove downloads history in Firefox directly:
- Launch the Firefox browser.
- Click History, in the menu bar.
- Select Clear Recent History.
- Select the time range.
- Check the “Browsing & Download History” box.
- Click Clear Now.
Now, your Mac is probably clean of old downloads that used to take space. Keeping your digital space tidy and organized will help you locate files faster and avoid clutter in your folders.