How do I clean my Mac's cache?

11 May 2020, 10:36

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Sometimes you might want to clean your Apple Mac’s cache – whether that’s the browser cache, or the system cache, or perhaps even the font cache. Doing this can return a slow or buggy system to running normally again.

There’s a variety of ways of doing it. The quickest and simplest is to boot to the Mac’s safe mode – something which also has the effect of cleaning those caches.

How to clean the caches on a Mac
To do this, simply reboot your Mac as usual (click Restart on the Apple menu). Then, at the boot screen, type your password as usual BUT BEFORE YOU HIT ENTER, hold down either of the Shift keys on the keyboard. Once the boot process is underway, you can release the Shift key.

Booting will take longer than usual, but don’t worry. And when the system boots, you might be asked for your password again, and everything will feel slow and laggy. Again, don’t worry. This is just normal safe mode behavior.

All you’ve got to do now is reboot again, this time normally – click the Reboot option on the Apple menu. Then boot as normal. (Incidentally, don’t try to use your Mac in safe mode – it’ll be painfully slow, and some things won’t work properly.)

By booting into safe mode, your caches will have been cleaned. Your system might be a little bit slower than usual in the first few minutes of use. This is because, well, there are no caches to make everything zippy! But don’t worry, The caches get rebuilt almost instantly.

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