IF your iPhone is running slow, it might be time for a good clear out.
Clearing your caches will boost the speed of your device and reduce the risk of it crashing – but many people don't know where to start.
How to clear you iPhone cache for Safari
It is quick and easy to clear the cache for Safari.
But take note, doing so will log you out of your most-visited websites, so remind yourself of your passwords before you start cache clearing.
To clear your cache for Safari…
- From your home screen, open the iPhone Settings.
- Swipe down to Safari, then tap to enter Safari settings.
- In your Safari settings, scroll down until you reach "clear history and website data" under the privacy and security section, then tap to activate.
- Tap again to confirm – and it's as simple as that.
How to clear your iPhone cache for Chrome
The process is just as simple for Chrome on an iPhone.
To clear your cache for Chrome…
- Open the Chrome app on your iPhone.
- Tap on the menu at the bottom-right corner of the screen, which should appear as three dots in a horizontal line. This will pull up a list.
- Tap History which will open a new menu.
- Tap Clear Browsing Data.
- Here, you can choose what to delete. You should tick the box for cached images and files, but you can also clear cookies and site data, and autofill passwords, from this menu.
- Tap Clear Browsing Data.
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Is clearing iPhone cache safe?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to clear caches on your iPhone.
A cache is temporary, fast-access, memory used to store data you request frequently so it can be retrieved quickly.
Web browsers and other apps store data related to sites you visit regularly, or actions you routinely perform, to make your experience using the app faster.
When the caches storing this data get full, your device becomes slower, and has a higher risk of crashing.
It might be mildly inconvenient to have cleared caches, as you may need to log back in to some sites and apps, or go through the process of personalising some settings.
But hopefully this small inconvenience is made up for by the restoration of the speed of your iPhone, and, depending on the websites you visit, maybe even tightening your security a little.
If you are using an app that is no longer for sale, don’t use the option to delete it to clear the cache, because it won’t be there to re-download.
How to clear you iPhone cache for third-party apps
Storage can be cleared with a "cleaner app", but it is also possible to do this yourself.
Shutting down your iPhone by holding the power button down and then swiping to power off, waiting until it has fully shut down, and then powering up again will clear some space.
The ease with which you can clear the cache on your iPhone for third-party apps depends on the app, and how important it is to you.
Signing out of social media accounts and back in again is a quick way to clear storage.
There are two ways to clear app caches, either by deleting information from each separate app, or by deleting the app from your phone and reinstalling it.
In your iPhone settings you can go to 'General' and then 'iPhone storage' to see a list of apps ordered by how much space each is using.
There is no easy way to delete app caches and keep the app installed, so most people delete or off-load apps, and then re-install them.
If you want to keep the app installed but free up space, you can either go into each app and delete data and files manually, or delete files from the 'Files' app, or delete date from iCloud storage.
You should only delete data that you are willing to lose.
How to delete and redownload apps to clear the cache
The list that shows app data settings can also be used to remove the app and clear its cache.
First, you should check the app is still available in the app store.
If it isn’t and you want to keep it, you’ll need to delete the cache from within the app.
From 'Settings', choose 'General', and then tap on 'iPhone storage'.
Tap on any app in the list, remembering that the app at the top is the most data-heavy, and the app at the bottom the least.
Then, tap 'Offload App', and confirm this with another tap.
This removes the app from your iPhone, but keeps any files or data relevant to the app, which return when you reinstall it from the app store.
Alternatively, hover over any app icon on your home screen to pull up a context menu then tap the X button if you don’t wish to check the amount of data an app is using before deleting it to empty the cache.
To delete an app, including all the files and data, follow the above steps, but choose 'Delete App' rather than 'Offload App' at the end.
When you redownload this app from the app store your data and files won’t be there.
Apps can be re-downloaded from the app store using the same process you did to purchase them, but you won’t need to pay.
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