Mobile Phones iPhone & iOS How to Clear iPhone Cache Get Your iPhone running faster, right now Share Pin Email Print iPhone & iOS Switching from Android By Sam Costello Writer Sam Costello has been writing about tech since 2000. His writing has appeared in publications such as CNN.com, PC World, InfoWord, and many others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Sam Costello Updated February 25, 2020 64 64 people found this article helpful The iPhone creates hidden files during day-to-day use that are stored in a temporary area of the iPhone's memory called a cache. Because these hidden files are created automatically, it's normal to have them. Knowing how to clear iPhone cache can free up storage space and, in some cases, speed up your iPhone. These instructions apply to iPhones and iPads running iOS 12 and up. Devices running iOS 11 have virtually identical steps. Christian Petersen-Clausen/Moment Unreleased/Getty Images What Is the iPhone Cache and What Is It Used For? The iPhone creates a cache whenever you use the phone. The files are created by apps and contain data the apps use when they run. You may have heard of a cache related to your web browser. A web browser contains temporary files that speed up loading sites. That's one common kind of cache, but all sorts of apps and the iPhone's operating system also have caches. 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 the iOS, but you can also do it manually. The other reason to clear 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 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: Tap the Settings app on the iPhone home screen. Tap Safari. Tap Clear History and Website Data. In the confirmation box, tap Clear History and Data (or tap Cancel if you change your mind). How to Clear Cache and Temporary Files on iPhone Restarting your iPhone is an excellent way to clear its cache. This won't clear every kind of cache: The Safari browser cache and some third-party apps won't be cleared, for example. Still, 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: Tap the iPhone's Settings app. Scroll down and tap the AccuWeather app. Turn on the Reset cached content slider. 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 the apps that include its cache settings within the app. In this case: Open the Chrome browser and tap the three-dot menu icon at the bottom of the screen. Tap Settings. Select Privacy. Choose Clear Browsing Data. 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 Clean 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. 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. In the iPhone Storage screen, tap an app. 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. When you locate an app you want to delete, tap Delete app. Tapping Delete app permanently deletes all the files created by the app. The app can be redownloaded, but the files are gone. If you want to hold on to files you've created with the app such as text files, game scores, ringtones, and other important data select Offload app. When you do this, the iPhone saves the documents and data from the app, but removes the app itself from your iPhone. This frees up some storage space while retaining your important data. If you decide later to re-download the app, your saved files are still available for your use.