How to Safely Clear App Caches on Mac

By Lois Green, Monday, April 17, 2017

Is it safe to delete the Caches files in the Library directory of Mac OS X? The files are quite large with 3.86 GB in total. Really need to free up some space...

Many Mac owners have raised the same question about app caches. So this post is going to answer these two questions: can I delete app caches? How do I safely clear app caches on Mac OS X/macOS?

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Can I Delete App Caches on Mac?

Yes, you can. Actually, an application creates caches to store temporary information that is needed to be frequently re-referenced to run the application. By saving the information on your Mac's hard drive, the application can spend less time to read data, and thus it runs faster.

It is totally okay to clear these caches on your iMac/MacBook. In fact, if the app really needs the caches after the deletion, it will re-create these caches next time it is launched. So you should not worry about losing important data or causing damage on the app.

Generally, an application saves caches for a good reason. But there are applications that are seldom used but leave behind a large amount of caches. These are the caches that you should clear to get more space.

How do I Safely Clear App Caches on Mac?

It is not recommended to clear the whole Caches folder. What you should delete include:

  • Caches that are left behind by the uninstalled applications;

  • Large caches, especially those belonging to the applications that you seldom use.

There are two ways to clear app caches on Mac: manually select unneeded caches to delete; use Mac cleaner to clear app caches.

1. Manually Delete Caches on Mac

Step 1. Hit Command + Shift + G to bring out "Go to the folder" window. Type ~/Library/Caches/ to go to caches folder.

Step 2. Search the name of a certain application to locate its caches. Click Command + Delete to add the files to the trash.

Step 3. To quickly identify the large cache files, from the Caches folder, click View menu > "Show View Options" and check "Calculate all sizes". The folders of each application will show with the size of the folders. Click "Size" to sort the folders by size.

Caches Sorted by Size

2. Use Tool to Clear App Caches

FonePaw MacMaster is a Mac cleaner that can scan out application caches on your Mac and allow you to delete the caches. Comparing to the first method, using MacMaster allows you to:

  • Clear other junk files besides app caches, including mail caches, browser caches, system logs.

  • Have a full cleanup of your Mac, including removing iTunes backups, large and old files.

You can click the download button to free download FonePaw MacMaster below.

Mac Version Download

To clear app caches with FonePaw MacMaster:

Clear App Caches on Mac

Step 1. Start the program on your iMac/MacBook. Click Scan button on Junk Files category.

Step 2. The program will take a while to scan out all junk files from your Mac.

Step 3. When the scanning is finished, select Application Cache to view the app caches.

Step 4. You can sort the caches by size or name. But the program doesn't show the created date of the caches.

Step 5. Tick the unneeded caches and click Clean to get rid of them. When you clean up, it will inform you how much storage is free up.

Leave your comment below if you have more question about app caches on Mac.

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