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How to clear your Safari browser cache on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad

  • You can clear your cache on Safari in just a few steps on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
  • Clearing your cache, as well as history and cookies, can help resolve your device’s performance issues.
  • Clearing your cookies will clear your passwords as well, unless you save them with keychain.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
Clear your cache on Safari to free up storage space and help your device run more efficiently.

A cache is a store of data. When you visit a website on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, the Safari browser keeps a snapshot of the pages you view.

If you go back to that website, Safari loads the cached page in an instant, instead of taking the time to retrieve the page from the internet again.

But an overloaded cache can take up storage space and cause your device to run inefficiently — and it could use a periodic clearing.

Here’s what you need to know to clear your cache on Safari, as well as your cookies and browsing history.

How to clear Safari cache on Mac

You can either clear just your cache or your cache, history, and cookies. 

Clear your cache

1. Click on the Safari tab at the top left of your screen and choose Preferences from the dropdown menu.

Navigate to the Preferences section.
Stefan Ionescu/Insider

2. Click the Advanced tab of the menu that pops up.

3. At the end of the tab, select the Show Develop menu in menu bar box and close the Preferences menu.

Make sure this box is checked.
Stefan Ionescu/Insider

4. Click the Develop tab from the Safari menu at the top of the page.

5. Click Empty Caches from the dropdown menu.

Click “Empty Caches” from the Develop tab.
Stefan Ionescu/Insider

Clear your cache, history, and cookies

You may also want to clear your browsing history and cookies in addition to emptying your cache. Here’s how to do that.

1. Choose the History tab at the top of your screen.

2. At the very bottom of the dropdown menu, choose Clear History.

Select “Clear History” when you expand the History tab.
Stefan Ionescu/Insider

3. A box pops up with a choice to clear the last hour, today, today and yesterday, or all history. Choose your time frame and click the Clear History button. 

Once you clear the history, it will also clear the cache and cookies associated with that time period.

How to clear Safari cache on iPhone or iPad

To clear your cache and browsing history:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap Safari.

3. Tap Clear History and Website Data.

Tap “Clear History and Website Data” in the Safari settings.
Stefan Ionescu/Insider

4. On the screen that pops up, choose Clear History and Data.

To clear your cache but not your browsing history:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap Safari.

3. Tap Advanced.

4. Tap Website Data.

5. Choose Remove All Website Data.

What happens to saved passwords when you clear your cache

When you clear your cache, history, and cookies, you may discover that Safari has logged you out of your favorite websites.

While clearing Safari’s cache alone will not delete your passwords, clearing your history and cookies can. That’s because when you empty your cookies, you will lose their password data saved in Safari as well. And keep in mind that clearing your history also clears its associated cookies.

Luckily, Apple has a solution to this problem. If you use iCloud, check your iCloud settings on your phone or computer.

Make sure that you’ve checked the box for Safari. As long as this box is checked, any passwords you save through your browser will stay safe in your keychain.