How to Clear Your iPhone Cache

Get Your iPhone running faster, right now

What to Know

  • To clear the Safari cache: Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. For other browsers, clear cache in the app's settings.
  • To clear the cache from third-party apps: Navigate to the app within the iOS Settings app and toggle Reset cached content.
  • If an app doesn't have a cache clearing option: Delete and reinstall the app. This clears the old cache and starts a new one.

The iPhone automatically creates hidden files during day-to-day use that are stored in a temporary area of the iPhone's memory called a cache. Clearing this data can free up storage space or speed up your device. This guide shows how to do it on any iPhone with iOS 12 and later. (The directions for devices with iOS 11 are nearly identical.)

How to Clear the Safari Cache on an iPhone

The most commonly cleared cache on any device is the web browser cache. This is full of saved images and web pages, cookies, and other files.

The web browser cache is designed to speed up your browser by saving files it might need later so you don't have to download them again. Clearing Safari's cache might slow down your browser because it will have to download previously cached data. However, it's a common solution when the browser isn't working properly.

To clear the cache in Safari:

  1. Tap the Settings app on the iPhone home screen.

  2. Tap Safari.

  3. Tap Clear History and Website Data.

  4. In the confirmation box, tap Clear History and Data (or tap Cancel if you change your mind).

    Safari, Clear History and Website Data, Clear History and Data buttons in iOS Settings

You can restart your iPhone to perform a more "lightweight" cache clearing. It will not clear every kind of cache: The Safari browser cache and some third-party apps won't be cleared, for example. But it's a great way to delete temporary files to free up storage or solve problems.

How to Clear Cache From Third-Party Apps on iPhone

Third-party apps that you install from the App Store may or may not allow you to clear their caches. It depends on whether that's a feature that the developer has added to the app.

The settings to clear caches for some third-party apps are located in the iPhone's Settings app. For example, to clear the cache of the Accuweather app:

  1. Tap the iPhone's Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and tap the AccuWeather app.

  3. Turn on the Reset cached content slider.

    Settings icon, AcuWeather, and toggle to reset cached content in iOS

How to Clear the Cache in Chrome

Sometimes the cache-cleaning settings are located in the app's settings, usually in a Settings menu within the app. The Chrome browser app is one of these apps.

  1. Open the Chrome browser and tap the three-dot menu icon at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Select Privacy.

  4. Choose Clear Browsing Data.

    Settings, Privacy, Clear Browsing Data buttons in Chrome for iOS

If there's no option to clear the cache in either the app or the phone's settings, delete and reinstall the app. This will clear the old cache and start the app fresh. Be sure you know what you're losing here, though. You may not want to clear data you need to hold onto.

Reinstall Apps to Clear iPhone Cache

If an app doesn't let you clear the cache manually, you can still clear out the app's temporary files. The solution is to delete the app from the iPhone and immediately reinstall it.

  1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to determine which apps on the iPhone take up the most space on your device.

    The iPhone Storage screen lists all the apps installed on your iPhone and how much space they use, beginning with those that use the most space.

  2. In the iPhone Storage screen, tap an app.

  3. Look at the Documents & Data line for the app. This shows how much space the documents and data for the app take up on your device.

  4. When you locate an app you want to delete, tap Delete app.

    iPhone Storage, Starbucks App, Delete App buttons in iOS Settings

    Tapping Delete app permanently deletes all the files created by the app. The app can be redownloaded, but the files are gone.

Why Would You Clear iPhone Cache?

The iPhone cache is an important and useful part of the device. It contains files that you need and, in some cases, speed up your phone. That said, there are two major reasons to clear the iPhone cache.

First, cached files take up storage space on the iPhone, and, over time, they add up. If you want to free up storage space on your iPhone, clearing the cache is one way to do it. Some of this is done automatically by iOS, but you can also do it manually.

The other reason to clear the iPhone cache is that cached files sometimes slow down the phone or cause things to behave in ways you don't want.

There are several different kinds of caches on the iPhone. As a result, there's not a single step you can take to clear all types of cache. Read on for instructions on the different ways to clear iPhone cache.

  • How do I clear search history on an iPhone?

    To clear search history on an iPhone, open Safari > tap the Bookmarks icon (looks like an open book) > History icon (clock) > Clear > All Time. Alternatively, go to Settings and tap Safari > scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

  • How do I clear cookies on an iPhone?

    To delete and clear cookies on an iPhone, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website data. To clear individual cookies, swipe left on any website in the list and select Delete. Or, select Remove All Website Data > Remove Now.

  • How do I clear storage on an iPhone?

    To free up storage on an iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Under Recommendations, check your options, such as offloading unused apps, reviewing and deleting large attachments, removing music files, and refreshing apps to clear out their data.

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