MAC: How do I clear cache and temporary Internet files?

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Published on: , Last Updated on April 9, 2023

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Your browser generates and stores bits of data on your computer as you explore the web.

Some examples of data stored in temporary internet files include cookies, cached web pages, and a record of the websites visited.

These files might be helpful, but they can also quickly become overwhelming. Online services may become inoperable if a part of these files becomes corrupt. Clearing them out is, therefore, often necessary.

Temporary internet files consume space on your computer or iOS device and can track your online activities. How you delete temporary files in Safari depends on whether you use it on a desktop computer or an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad. 

You can clear up your browser’s cache and history in several ways.

Deleting Google Chrome’s Cache and History (on Mac or PC)

Follow the steps below to clear Google Chrome’s temporary internet files:

  1. In Chrome, click the menu button (three dots) in the upper right corner of Google Chrome to access the browser’s menu
Deleting Google Chrome's Cache
  1. Move the cursor to the More Tools menu 
Deleting Google Chrome's Cache
  1. Select Clear Browsing Data
Deleting Google Chrome's Cache
  1. Input your preferences and then hit the Clear Data button.

How To Delete Temporary Internet Files On Microsoft Edge?

  1. In the top right, you’ll see a button that looks like three dots, click it
Delete Temporary Internet Files On Microsoft Edge
  1. Go to the menu and select Settings
Delete Temporary Internet Files On Microsoft Edge
  1. In the Privacy, search and services section, click the Clear Browsing Data page
Delete Temporary Internet Files On Microsoft Edge
  1. Choose the Clear Items button
  2. Check your browsing history, cookies, saved website data, and cached files and data
Delete Temporary Internet Files On Microsoft Edge
  1. Hit the Clear now Button
  2. Close and restart the browser.

How To Remove Firefox’s Cache and History?

Here’s how to clear cache on Mac or PC from Mozilla Firefox:

  • Choose Firefox from the menu (on a Mac) or the three stacked lines (in Windows) in the upper right of your browser
  • To adjust settings, click Preferences
  • Please click the Privacy and Security button to view your privacy and security settings
  • Go to the Clear Data menu
  • Check the relevant boxes and hit Clear
  • Select Clear Now to erase all of your recent activity.

Erasing Safari’s Browser Cache, Cookies, and History

The Safari browser on Macs stores previously visited web pages in a cache to improve load times for subsequent visits. It records your browser activities in real time and maintains cookies to remember your preferences for a given site. The result is an improved time spent online for you.

But, there are situations when browser history might lead to major problems such as browser performance and security. Besides, passwords and stored web forms that use AutoFill expose private data to potential risk. 

To clear Safari’s cache, history, and cookies, you have to dig around in settings and hidden menus. But once you’ve done it a few times, you can quickly get rid of whatever you want.

Here are several ways to delete Safari’s cache, history, and cookies on a Mac.

Clearing Only the Cache in Safari

Safari speeds up page loads by locally caching data (such as image thumbnails and site indexes) on your Mac. In case of an old or corrupt browser cache, use the option to remove cached data in the obscure Develop menu of Safari.

  •  Go to Safari > Preferences from the menu
  • Click on the Show Develop menu button, under the Advanced section
  • Exit the Preferences window
  • To completely clear your cache, go to the Develop > Clear Caches option.

Erasing Individual or All Site History and Cookies

You can delete all your cookies and any cached data for a specific website or all your visited websites.

  • Choose Preferences from Safari’s menu
  • Click the Privacy menu option
  • Find the option Manage Website Data
  • Filter by site using the search area in the top-right corner
  • Delete an entry by selecting it. Hold down Command to select and remove numerous entries.
  • Choose Remove All to clear your browser’s history and cache
  • Click the Done button.

NB: To prevent Safari from permanently saving cookies, use a private browsing window.

Clearing Everything in Safari a Single Click (History, Cookies, and Cache)

Safari allows you to quickly clear your browsing history, cookies, and cache if time is of the essence. To delete your Safari history:

  • Go to the History menu
  • Clear all history.

Effects of Erasing Temporary Internet Files

While clearing your cookies, history, and website data may free up some space on your Mac and make Safari perform quicker, there are a few things to keep in mind before you do so:

  • When you delete your browser’s temporary internet files, certain websites may also delete your login information.
  • After clearing your browser’s cache, reloading your favorite websites may take longer than usual the first time.
  • You will have your regularly visited sites pre-populated in the address box as you input once you’ve visited that site a few times after clearing your browsing history.
  • Removing cookies can undo any changes you’ve made to your settings and preferences on a website.

Wrap Up

Clearing your browser’s cache and cookies is essential as a first step in solving most browser issues. However, only remove browsing history if you have major performance or privacy concerns.

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Rahul Choudhary is a technology and troubleshooting expert. He gives his expert opinion on different technology trends and provides troubleshooting guides for different apps, websites, & consumer hardware products. He graduated in BA English Honours from the University Of Delhi, and later he learned HTML and WordPress. He also did a certificate course in Hardware and Network Troubleshooting , and a certificate course in Computer Architecture.