Your browser cache is essentially where copies of web pages are stored locally. This helps load the page faster in the future because it can remember elements of it. However, not clearing out the cache can cause a couple of issues. Click here for detailed guidance on clearing cache more generally.
First and foremost, the cache can be take up memory on your startup disk. If your disk is beginning to become full up, your Mac will slow down and performance can drop. The second reason why you may want to clear the web browser cache is that it can prevent keeping web pages up to date. If your cache cuts too many corners, it may load out-of-date information, which can be very bad news for the user.
Some obscure problems can become resolved by clearing cache, too. Bugs within a site, for example, can sometimes come unstuck when clearing the cache. So, how do you go about clearing browser cache?
Clearing Browser Cache on Safari
Safari is the default Mac web browser, so it’s good to start here. When you open up Safari, head to preferences and select the Advanced Tab. From here, enable the Show Develop menu, and then head to it right afterwards. Under this Develop menu, you will see “Empty Caches”. Clicking this will clear the Safari web browser cache in an instant. You can also disable caches, but this isn’t necessarily a good idea and could impact the speed of loading up websites.
An alternative method is to head to the Safari menu bar, and click the Safari option. From here, click the Clear History button, and select the time range that you want to clear your history. Clearing history should also clear cache – but it comes with the cost of clearing history too, of course.
Clearing Browser Cache on Chrome
To clear browser cache on Chrome is equally as simple. Head to the browser toolbar and click on the Chrome menu icon (the three lines at the top right of the browser). From here, click on More Tools and then Clear Browsing Data. Select the time frame you want to clear browsing data. Select the Cache checkbox and Plug-in data, and Cached images and files. But you can uncheck other boxes such as history and cookies should you want to. Clicking Clear Browsing Data will complete the process.
Clearing Browser cache on Firefox
Clearing browser cache on Firefox is very similar to Chrome. Head to the Firefox menu bar and press on the Firefox option. From here, click on Preferences and then Privacy. There should be a History heading, in which inside is a ‘Clear your recent history’. From here, check the Cache checkbox, and don’t check anything else that you’re not comfortable with. Clicking Clear Now will confirm the deleting of the cache.
Whilst there are other browsers that are used on Mac, albeit less common, the process becomes very similar between them. Otherwise, head to their official support pages and search for how to clear the cache.