How to Clear the Cache in Windows 10

Remove temporary files and cookies in your Windows settings

What to Know

  • To clear the system cache, go to Settings > System > Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run it now > Clean now.
  • To clear your internet cache and cookies, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Delete browsing history and cookies.
  • To quickly clear your cache at any time, download CCleaner and add a shortcut to your desktop.

This article explains how to clear the cache in Windows 10 to free up space on your hard drive and improve your PC's performance.

How Do I Clear My System Cache?

Follow these steps to clear your system cache in Windows 10:

  1. Select the Window Start menu, then select Settings.

    Settings highlightedin the Windows 10 Start menu
  2. Select System.

    System highlighted in Windows Settings
  3. Select Storage in the left sidebar, then select Configure Storage Sense or run it now.

    Storage and "Configure Storage Sense or run it now" highlighted in Windows system settings
  4. Under Free up space now, select Clean now.

    Clean now highlighted in Windows Storage Sense
  5. Wait for Windows to scan your hard drive for files to delete. When it's done, you'll see a confirmation message including the amount of space that was freed up.

    Space Freed message highlighted in Windows Storage Sense

How Do I Clear My Cache and Cookies on Windows 10?

Follow these steps to clear your Internet Explorer cache and web cookies in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Control Panel and select Network and Internet.

    Network and Internet highlighted in Windows Control Panel
  2. Under Internet Options, select Delete browsing history and cookies.

    "Delete browsing history and cookies" highlighted in Windows Internet Options
  3. Select Delete in the Internet Properties window.

    Delete highlighted in the Windows Internet Properties
  4. Check the items you want to delete, including Cookies and website data and Temporary Internet files and website files, then select Delete.

    Cookies and website data and Temporary Internet files in Windows Clear Browsing History with Delete highlighted

How Do I Clear My Cache All at Once?

To delete all of the temporary files on your computer at once, use Windows Disk Cleanup:

  1. Type Disk Cleanup in the Windows search box and select the Disk Cleanup app.

    Disk Cleanup highlighted in the Windows search box
  2. Select Clean up system files.

    Before this step, you might be given the option to pick a drive to clean up. If so, choose the C: drive.

    "Clean up system files" highlighted in Windows Disk Cleanup
  3. Choose all of the items you want to remove and select OK.

    Windows Disk Cleanup with system files to delete and "OK" highlighted
  4. Select Delete Files to confirm.

    "Delete Files" highlighted in Windows Disk Cleanup

Automatically Clear Your Cache With Storage Sense

Windows 10 Storage Sense can automatically delete files you no longer need. To use it, go to Settings > System > Storage and make sure the toggle at the top of the screen is On. To customize your Storage Sense preferences, select Configure Storage Sense or run it now.

Windows 10 Storage Sense toggle and "Configure storage" highlighted

How Do I Clear My Cache Fast?

If you want to clear your cache with just a couple of clicks, download and install a program like CCleaner. Add a shortcut to your desktop and open CCleaner at any time to give your PC a thorough scrub.

Clear Your Browser Cache

Most browsers keep a cache of the websites you visit to improve load times and provide an overall smoother experience. The steps for clearing your browser cache are different depending on which browser you use. Cleaning the system cache won't affect your browsers, so make sure to separately take care of your browser cache.

Clear Windows 10 Location Cache

If you have Windows 10 location services enabled, you might want to clear your location history:

  1. Select the Window Start menu, then select Settings.

    Settings highlighted in the Windows 10 Start menu
  2. Select Privacy.

    Privacy highlighted in Windows settings
  3. Select Location in the left sidebar, then scroll down to Location History and select Clear.

    Windows Location history with Clear highlighted

Why Should You Clear the Cache in Windows 10?

The reason why Windows keeps a cache in the first place is to help your PC run better; however, if it's overloaded, it could be making things worse. In addition to slowing down your hard drive, cache files can also cause software conflicts, leading to crashes. If your computer is sluggish, or if programs keep crashing, clearing the cache could be an easy solution.

FAQ
  • What is cache?

    Your computer's cache is a collection of temporary files it retains to speed up web browsing, apps, and other tasks.

  • How do you pronounce 'cache?'

    It sounds like "cash."

  • How do you clear DNS cache in Windows 10?

    Open Command Prompt in Administrator mode and type in the command ipconfig/flushdns.

  • How do you clear cache on a Mac?

    You can clear your Safari cache using the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + E. To clear your system cache, open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder. Type in ~/Library/Caches/, select Go, then choose which files to delete. If you're not sure whether or not you need a certain file, play it safe and leave it be.

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