3 Ways to Clear Cache on an iPad

Improve performance by starting with browsers, then clearing individual apps

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What to Know

  • To clear Safari browser cache, go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data.
  • On Chrome, tap the three-dot menu > Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data > Clear Browsing Data.
  • To clear the cache for individual apps, you'll need to offload or delete the apps first (without losing data).

This article explains how to delete the app cache in the Safari and Chrome browsers on any iPad (iPadOS 14.2 and older), as well as how to delete your app cache without losing your app data.

How to Clear the Safari Cache on iPad

If you've noticed that your iPad is getting sluggish or is behaving erratically, clearing the cache can help, but you'll need to clear the cache from any browsers as well as from your apps.

Follow these steps to clean up Safari:

  1. On your iPad, tap Settings.

    The Settings icon on iPad.
  2. On the Settings page, select Safari from the left navigation menu. You may have to scroll to find it.

    Safari on the Settings page on iPad.
  3. In the Safari settings page, scroll down and select Clear History and Website Data.

    The Clear History and Website Data option for Safari on iPad.
  4. Then in the confirmation box that appears, tap Clear.

    The confirmation to clear the cache in Safari on iPad.

It may take a few minutes for the Safari cache to clear, depending on how long it's been since it was done last. Once it's complete, you should notice a difference in the responsiveness of your iPad if you were previously having slowdown issues.

How to Clear the Cache in the Chrome Browser on iPad

If you use Chrome on your iPad instead of Safari, follow these steps to clear that browser's cache:

  1. Open your Chrome browser and tap the three dot menu in the top, right corner of the page.

    The three dot menu in Chrome.
  2. In the menu that appears, tap Settings.

    The Settings option in the Chrome browser.
  3. In the Settings dialog box that opens, select Privacy.

    The Privacy option in the Chrome Browser.
  4. In the Privacy window, tap Clear Browsing Data.

    The Clear Browsing Data in Google Chrome Browser.
  5. In the Clear Browsing Data dialog box, select the type of data you want to clear:

    • Browsing History: This is the history of all the sites you've visited.
    • Cookies, Site Data: This is small bits of information stored in your web browser that helps sites log you in automatically and/or load faster. Cookies may also contain other information about your system and they may reveal your browsing habits to other sites.
    • Cached Images and Files: Cached images and files help sites load faster, but they can take up space and slow down your overall browser performance.
    • Saved Passwords: This includes any usernames or passwords you've told your browser to log for you. Be careful and make sure you have all your important passwords stored somewhere else before you clear these so you can get back into those sites later.
    • Autofill Data: This can include names, addresses, credit card numbers, and any other data that you've given your browser permission to remember to make filling out forms easier.

    Once you've made your selections, tap Clear Browsing Data.

    At bare minimum, you should probably clear your Browsing History, Cookies, Site Data, and Cached Images and Files about once a month just to keep your browser working optimally.

    The options for clearing browser data in Google Chrome browser.
  6. In the confirmation that appears, tap Clear Browsing Data again to begin the process of clearing your browsing data. It could take a couple of minutes, depending on how heavily you use your web browser and when the last time you cleared the cache was.

    The confirmation to clear selected browser data in Google Chrome browser.

How to Clear the App Cache on Your iPad

One more thing you can do to clear up some space is to clear the individual app cache for apps that you have installed. You can do that by offloading or deleting apps.

  1. On your iPad, select Settings.

    The Settings icon on iPadOS 14.
  2. If Settings doesn't open on the General option, select General and then select iPad Storage.

    The iPad Storage option in the General section of iPadOS 14
  3. It make take a few seconds to a couple of minutes for the iPad Storage page to load, depending on how much you have stored there. Once it loads, you should see a breakdown of how your iPad storage is used, and a Recommendations section.

    The iPad Storage page is where the operating system recommends apps or downloads that haven't been used in a while. For example, If you have downloaded movies or TV, you can see them listed there. You can also tap through those to delete any downloads or apps that you no longer want to keep.

    The Recommendations section of the iPad Storage page.
  4. Next, scroll through the list of apps and tap the one for which you want to clear the cache.

    An app on the iPad storage page.
  5. On the app page, you have two options for clearing the app from your storage:

    • Offload App: This removes the app from your iPad, but retains the Documents & Data associated with the app. Choosing to Offload App effectively clears the cache. Once you've offloaded it, you can reinstall a clean, fresh copy of the app that still has your data.
    • Delete App: This option does what it says it does. It deletes the app and all data associated with the app. You can reinstall the app if you choose, but all data associated with the app will be permanently lost.
    The options to offload and delete apps in the storage sections of iPadOS 14.
  6. Regardless of which option you select, you'll be prompted to confirm your choice. Tap Offload App or Delete App again to confirm your choice.

    You can also tap Cancel if you change your mind about the action that you want to take.

    The confirmation to offload an App on the iPad.
  7. You may encounter system apps, like the Photos app, that do not have the option to Offload App or Delete App. If this is the case for an app that is using a lot of space on your device, your only option is to go into the app and delete individual items. How those items are deleted will depend on the item, but generally either selecting or long-pressing on the app will open a menu that contains a Delete option.

    The Photos app in iPadOS 14, that cannot be deleted or offloaded.
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