How to Clear Cookies and Cache on a Mac (and Why You Should)

How to Clear Cookies and Cache on a Mac (and Why You Should)

Each website you visit leaves breadcrumbs on your browser. Small information files called cookies, which your browser stores, create a more personalized experience (such as saving items you’ve placed in a cart), and are also used for authentication. Your browser also saves information, like images, in its cache so pages load faster the next time you visit. However, this stored information can cause problems with formatting and loading, so you’ll occasionally want to clear it from your browser.

How to clear cache on Mac

The steps to clear cookies on your Mac vary slightly based on which browser you’re using. Following are instructions for Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox.

How to clear cache on Safari

To clear cache on Safari on Mac, open History on the top menu bar and select Clear History. In the pop-up menu, use the drop-down to choose how much time you want to clear (Last Hour, Today, Today and Yesterday, or All History) and tap Clear History. This deletes your browsing history, cache, and cookies for the period selected. Note that Safari does not have an option to selectively delete this data.

Credit: Emily Long

How to clear cache on Google Chrome

To clear cache on Google Chrome on Mac, tap Chrome in the main menu bar and select Clear Browsing Data. A new settings tab will open up where you can choose the period to clear (from the last hour up to all data) and what you want to delete (browsing history, cookies, and/or cached images and files). Then click Clear data. The advanced tab has options to also clear passwords and passkeys as well as download history and autofill data.

Credit: Emily Long

How to clear cache on Firefox

To clear cache on Firefox on Mac, tap History in the top menu bar and select Clear Recent History. In the pop-up menu, select the checkboxes for what you want to clear, choose the time range (from the last hour to all history) from the drop-down, and tap Clear Now. Firefox allows you to select from browsing and download history, cookies, cache, active logins, and form and search history. You can also delete site settings and offline website data.

Credit: Emily Long

Note that if you clear your browser cache and cookies, you may need to sign in to certain sites again, and page loading may be slower initially as previously stored data reloads.


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