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, by Gregory Wang
Browser cleanup is one of the most common and most useful computer maintenance procedures. Those who perform it correctly and timely will always be better off in terms of free disk space and overall performance. On the other hand, cache is not an incidental product of computer design, but a good helper for individual applications, especially browsers and for the operating system itself. So, is it wise to delete cache? And if so, how often is it better to perform? Let’s find out together!
What is Cache?
Prior to dealing with caches on your Mac, let’s find out what cache really is. Cache usually means various kinds of data that your system, application or browser store for a quick access in the future.
With cache stored in the right place, they obtain a considerable performance gain when they need the same access once again. Thanks to cache, for instance, Safari (or Chrome or another browser) can load websites faster if it has visited them before because it retrieves data from the cache instead of making a usual internet request. On the other hand, caching leads to constant accumulation of cached items on the disk. Therefore, periodical cleaning of your browser cache is a necessary security measure.
Based on what’s generating the cache, you can subdivide it into 3 categories — System, User, and Browser cache.
Should You Really Clean Mac Cache?
Since the cache is intended to raise the computer’s performance, the answer is not so obvious. At least you’d like to retain the cache serving to simplify access to your preferable webpages.
However, an important argument is that cache is generated (and accumulated) very easily so your only inconvenience in case of cache removal will be single little delays with access to your favorite internet pages. On the other hand, the progressively growing amount of cache may trigger problems very soon (browser actually caches all sites that you visit, not only those which you like best). The conclusion is that periodical cache-cleaning on your device is a must as an important maintenance procedure (and security measure). The conclusion is useful for all Mac users no matter how sophisticated their software may be. Even those using Docker for Mac virtualization will benefit from this. But how often should you clean your device? It is recommended to perform the procedure from once a week to once a month. Follow that advice and don’t let cache cause a Mac drive’s issue.
How to Clean Mac Cache Manually?
Fortunately, cleaning cache items is not such a challenging task. You just should decide whether to perform the manual procedure or entrust the task to the specialized cleaning applications like MacFly Pro or any other. In order to delete the junk on your own, you have to access the folders where cache items lie and empty them by transferring their content to Trash (don’t forget to subsequently empty the Trash to complete the clearing procedure).
A note: Before removal, the files you intend to delete should be backed up, since you may incidentally remove the items that you actually need (which is almost impossible with a specialized cleaner application).
Step-by-Step Details of the Manual Procedure
Most cache items are System and User caches on your Mac. To delete them, first open Finder and press Shift+⌘+G shortcut to access Go to the folder window. Then, paste the ~/Library/Caches directory and hit Go, then enter the folder with cache items.
Now it’s time for you to back up the stuff in each folder (though the folder itself must be kept).
Tip: In Caches folder, hit ⌘+J and check Calculate all sizes in the bottom, then select to show items in a list to make a better overview and decide what cache items are the most problematic.
Now the cache files have been deleted from user Library folder, which means that only a part of the job is done. Still, you have to remove the remaining caches and a series of temporary files in /private/var/ folder.
In the Apple Menu, select Restart. Let your machine reboot to remove system caches, such as swap and virtual memory, old (completed) updates, temporary folders, and others.
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