How do I clean my iPhone's caches?

12 May 2020, 11:57

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Computer users are used to periodically cleaning various caches—browser, system, fonts etc—in order to speed-up the system and to stop buggy behaviour.

You might be wondering if this is possible on an iPhone. Well, it is—but only in a limited way.

How to clean an iPhone’s cache: Browser
Generally speaking it’s not possible to clean the iPhone/iOS caches. It’s just not something Apple gives you control over. But there’s one exception. You can clean the Safari browser cache. This can be useful if websites are acting strangely.

To clean the iPhone cache, open the Settings app, then tap the Safari heading. Then tap the Clear History and Website Data heading. This will clear the whole lot, for all sites, in one fell swoop.

Alternatively, you can take a more forensic approach and remove the data of only one or two sites that are proving problematic. To do so, again open Settings, tap the Safari heading, but this time tap the Advanced heading at the bottom. Then tap the Website Data heading. Now you can find the site in the list. Tap, hold and slide left on that entry until the Delete option appears. Then tap it.

Repeat this with as many sites as you like.

How to clean an iPhone’s cache by removing the app
If a particular app is proving unreliable there’s one somewhat drastic option: Uninstall it, and then reinstall it again. This will wipe out your data and settings for that app, however (unless it’s a cloud-connected app and you are able to restore the data and settings when you reinstall it again).

To uninstall an app, just tap and hold its entry in the Home screen. Then select Delete App. To reinstall it, find its entry in the App Store by using the search tool, and tap the cloud icon that has a downward arrow in it.

Be careful uninstalling certain older apps, however, because they may have been withdrawn from the App Store. You should check to ensure they’re still available for installation before choosing to remove them.

Just try rebooting
One way of speeding up a weirdly slow or buggy iPhone is simply to reboot it. But there’s no actual menu option to reboot. You simply have to turn off the iPhone, then wait around 30 seconds while the screen is black, and then turn it back on again.

How to clean the iPhone cache: Using third-party apps
There are some apps, such as iMyFone, that claim to clean caches and free-up space on the iPhone in various clever ways. These run on a Mac or PC, and you must attach the iPhone via USB for the cleaning to happen.

To be blunt, it’s not clear how these work, and they probably use some kind of trick to do what they do. Our thoughts are that if Apple wanted you to do what these app claim to do, then they would have let you do so using their own app. So, we advise caution—not least because iMyFone will cost around $20/$30. There are also some worryingly negative reviews on TrustPilot for iMyFone, alongside some positive reviews. However, a one month free trial is available if you hand over your contact details. Just ensure you backup your iPhone before trying an app like this.

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