The internet is a complicated place, and our devices, such as Mac computers, are complex devices that process lots of information in short periods of time.
One method of making your web surfing experience faster and more enjoyable is our computer’s automatic caching. A cache is essentially a collection of files downloaded from the internet about certain websites.
Having these files stored in your cache makes a particular website load faster next time around. But you also need to know how to get an empty cache Mac users.
You can’t just keep downloading tons and tons of files and never remove some of them, right?
Keep reading to learn more about cached files on our Mac, why you should empty them out from time to time, and how to empty cache files.
What Is a Cache?
A cache is defined as a collection of similar items, stored out of sight for future use. For example, long-distance hikers use food caches to restock their food supply while on trails, like the 2,000 mile Appalachian Trail.
And your computer and web browsers do something similar. They have a cache of internet files that they intend on using in the future, to make your life a little better.
Each time you visit a new website, your computer assumes you will want to visit this website again in the future. But when you visit a site for the first time, your computer needs to load images, designs, and content from external sources.
In order to optimize your experience next time around, your computer will automatically capture those files, such as images, and save them in a cache, or stockpile of web files.
Then, when you visit that same website tomorrow, for example, your computer can pull up the files it stored in its cache, which is much faster than having to process external web files.
It’s simply a process of optimization, and it improves our ability to browse the internet.
However, the problem is that most people visit tons and tons of websites on a regular basis. That means a lot of files adding up over time. And every now and then, you should empty cache files out.
Benefits of Empty Cache Mac Users Need to Know
While cached files can enhance your browsing experience, they can also hinder your computer’s overall performance. Here’s why you need to clear cache files out from time to time.
1. Speed Up Your Computer
Do you feel like your computer is getting slower over time? There are many factors that affect the speed of your device. But one of the most common is overloaded storage.
If your computer’s storage is full, or near full, it is likely to process new information at a slower rate. If your web cache is overloaded from months, if not years of browser activity, you need to empty your cache.
Doing so can free up memory on your computer so that it can more effectively handle the daily tasks of processing information. So while individual websites might load a tad bit slower after emptying your cache, your computer’s overall speed may increase.
This is also the first step to take when performing a disk cleanup Mac OS users need to complete from time to time.
2. See the Most Updated Pages
One of the problems with storing cached versions of web pages is that they often miss updates. For example, if you read a blog article on Monday, and the author updated some of the content on Wednesday, and you go back to reference it again on Friday, your computer may load the old version of the page.
But you would have no way of knowing that it’s not the updated version of the page. Most of the time, your browser checks for updates and makes adjustments, but sometimes it misses them.
Clearing your cache on a regular basis can ensure you are seeing updated web pages.
3. Fix Common Issues
Many times, you try to complete basic tasks on a website, but you are unable to do so. This might be trying to log into an account. Or it might be submitting a form, or even just clicking a button.
If something doesn’t work the way that it should, one of the most common fixes is, you guessed it, clearing the cache. By clearing your cache, and then completely closing and reopening your browser, these issues get resolved.
You’ll find that it’s also the first recommendation that a customer support agent recommends any time you experience an issue on a particular site.
4. Maintain Privacy
Do you share a computer? Are you trying to surprise them by planning a trip or purchasing a gift?
Well, clearing your cache can also maintain privacy by deleting your browsing history. Otherwise, your big surprise might be ruined.
Your computer often saves cookies from time to time. So if you create an account on a particular website, it might autofill your username or email address next time you visit the site.
But on a shared or public computer, you wouldn’t want other users to see this information, so clearing your cache and cookies can maintain your privacy and security online.
5. Keep Bookmarks
When you clear your cache, you won’t remove helpful information. This includes things like bookmarks or things that you intentionally save, like password information. Clearing your cache is simply intended to speed things up, not delete important information.
How to Clear Cache
Wondering how to go about clearing your cache? It’s something you need to do on each web browser you use, with Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox being the most common.
To empty cache Chrome users, you’ll want to open up Google Chrome and click on the “History” button on your toolbar. Click “Show Full History,” and then click the menu button in the top left.
Click “Clear Browsing Data.” You can then choose which files you’d like to clear out. At the very least, choose “Cached Images and Files.” It should show you how much storage space these files are using up.
You can also choose to delete cookies and browsing history at the same time if you need to.
Empty Cache on a Regular Basis
Now that you know how to empty cache Mac and Windows users, it’s time to start doing so on a regular basis. Really, if you are using the internet daily, you will probably want to clear your cache once a week to maintain optimal performance and prevent your computer from getting bogged down.
And just remember, many common issues can be resolved by clearing your cache, so make sure to try that before freaking out next time.
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