iPhones are convenient, versatile devices used by more than half of US smartphone owners. They can help you to find easily a new recipewatch the weather tomorrow and find the name of the actress in HBOs The last of us (it’s Bella Ramsey). iPhones are multi-tools that help people every day.
But whether you do your browsing in Chrome, Safari, or anywhere else on your iPhone, your cache builds up digital junk over time. Clearing your cache gives your browser a fresh start, which can speed up your browsing whether you use iOS 15 or iOS 16. (And if you’re trying to make your phone run faster, try manage your iPhone’s storage.)
Clearing your cache is like cleaning out your fridge. When you visit a site, your iPhone downloads photos, banners, and other data. To speed up that process, most browsers cache some data to make loading faster. It’s great when the fridge is well stocked and you can quickly grab what you need…and less fun when the thing you grab expired two months ago.
Eventually, your browser’s cache will become obsolete and the data retrieved will no longer match the data actually used on the website. The result? Slower loading speeds and shaky website layout. This is equivalent to having your refrigerator full of gross, expired products.
That’s why clearing your cache can help: it gives sites a fresh start in your browser and frees up some space in your storage. Keep in mind that clearing your cache will log you out of sites you are currently logged into. Still, it’s generally worth that mild discomfort about every month to keep things moving fast.
Here are step-by-step guides on how to clear your cache on your iPhone based on the browser you’re using.
How to clear your iPhone cache in Safari
Safari is the default browser on iPhones, and you can clear your Safari cache in a few short steps. As of iOS 11, following this process affects all devices signed in to your iCloud account. As a result, all caches from your devices will be cleared and you will have to log in to everything the next time you use them. Here’s what to do.
1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
2. Select Safari from the list of apps.
3. Go to Advanced > Website Data.
4. Scroll down and select Clear history and website data.
5. To elect Delete now in the pop-up window.
Then you’re done!
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How to clear your iPhone cache in Chrome
Chrome is another popular browser for iPhone users. The overall process of clearing your Chrome cache requires a few more steps and you have to do things through the Chrome browser itself. Here’s how.
1. Open the Chrome app.
2. Select the three dots at the bottom right to access more options.
3. Scroll down and select Settings.
4. Select Privacy in the next menu.
5. Then select Delete browsing history to open one last menu.
6. Select the target time range at the top of the menu (from the last hour to all the time).
7. Be sure that Cookies, site data is selected, along with Cached images and files. Finally, hit Delete browsing history at the bottom of the screen.
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How to clear your iPhone cache in Firefox
If you’re a Firefox devotee, don’t worry. Clearing the cache on your iPhone is quite easy. Just follow these steps.
1. Click the hamburger menu in the lower right corner to open options.
2. To elect Settings at the bottom of the menu.
3. Select Data management in the Privacy section.
4. You can select: Website data to clear data for individual sites, or select Clear private data at the bottom of the screen to clear data from all selected fields.
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What happens if you clear the cache?
Clearing your cache will delete the website data that your phone has stored locally to avoid having to download that data each time you visit. The data in your cache builds up over time and can slow things down if it gets too bulky. (My phone had about 150MB of data stored in Chrome when I checked.) Clearing that data gives sites a fresh start, which can fix some loading errors and make your browser faster. However, clearing your cache will also log you out of pages, so be prepared to log in to everything again.
How often should I clear my cache?
Most people only need to clear their cache once every month or two. That’s generally the point where your browser builds up a cache large enough to slow things down. If you visit a large number of sites, you should make the mistake of clearing your cache more often.
For more, check out how to download iOS 16 today, the best new iOS 16 features and some hidden iOS 16 features. You can also take a look at how each new iPhone 14 model compares to the others.