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How to clear cache on your iPhone to free up space and improve speed

  • You can clear the cache, history, and cookies on your iPhone to improve its speed and performance. 
  • Clearing your iPhone’s app cache can also free up extra storage space.
  • When you clear your iPhone’s cache, you might get logged out of some websites and apps.

Your iPhone holds two major data caches: One for browsers like Safari and Chrome, and another for your apps. Clearing these caches can free up space on your iPhone, improving speed and performance by removing unnecessary app data.

Here’s how to clear both caches on your iPhone.

What is a cache?

A cache is hardware or software that collects temporary data in order to help websites, browsers, and apps load faster on your devices that access the internet. 

In many cases caches help devices run faster, using saved data to access websites you frequent rather than having to redownload everything every time you visit a website or open an app.

After visiting a lot of websites or using various apps, your cache can get cluttered and take up a lot of storage space. To help your device run smoothly, it’s a good idea to clear your cache every so often.

How to clear the cache, history, and cookies in Safari

When you clear your iPhone’s Safari cache, all of the files, images, passwords, and scripts from websites you’ve visited recently will be wiped.

To clear Safari’s cache:  

1. Open the Settings app and tap Safari.

2. Scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data.

Safari settings with Clear History and Website Data highlighted with a box and arrow.

This action removes history, cookies, and other browsing data from your iPhone.

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3. Your device will ask if you really want to clear Safari’s data. Confirm your choice.

Advanced menu with Website Data highlighted with a box and arrow.

This action clears data that could be used for tracking.

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How to clear your iPhone’s app cache

To clear the cache for your iPhone apps, you’ll need to offload them. Offloading an app will free upstorage space the app uses while still keeping its documents and data. When you reinstall the app, your data will be recovered.

1. Open the Settings app and tap General, then select iPhone Storage.

General settings with iPhone storage highlighted with a box and arrow.

Find out what apps are taking up the most space in iPhone storage.

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2. Wait for the list of all your apps to load. Once it’s generated the list, select the app you want to clear and tap Offload App. You’ll also be able to delete the app here.

Facebook settings with Offload App highlighted with a box and arrow.

When you offload an app, you can start right where you left off once the app is reinstalled.

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When you open the list of all your apps, you might see a menu called Offload Unused Apps. Tapping Enable here will let your iPhone automatically offload apps that you haven’t used in a while.

What is the difference between clearing cache and offloading?

Clearing your cache removes stored data that helps websites and apps open faster, while offloading temporarily uninstalls an app without deleting any of the documents and data associated with that app. 

Both methods can help speed up iPhones that are slowed down by low storage.

How can I clear my cache from another browser on my iPhone?

If Google Chrome is your go-to browser, clear the cache by following these steps:

1. Open the Google Chrome app. Tap the More icon.

Chrome mobile browser with More icon highlighted with a box and arrow.

The More icon looks like three dots.

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2. Tap Clear Browsing Data.

Chrome menu with Clear Browsing Data highlighted with a box and arrow.

Unlike Safari, clearing the Chrome cache is done within the app.

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3. Select a time range. Options range from the last hour to all time.

4. Ensure Cookies, Site Data and Cached Images and Files are checked, then tap Clear Browsing Data.

Clear Browsing Data pop-up with Clear Browsing Data button highlighted with a box and arrow.

When you’re ready, tap Clear Browsing Data.

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Are cookies and cache the same?

They are not. Cookies are small files that store information about your online activity

While most cookies are functional and used to track what sites you’re logged in to and your website preferences for a particular site, there are also third-party cookies that track your activity across different websites. This includes search history and things you’ve clicked on.

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