How To Clear Cache and Cookies In Safari

Clearing the browser cache was simple in Safari, but the menu command is gone. However, you can still clear the cache, and do so more efficiently by clearing cache, cookies and other items on a per-website basis. You can also bring back the Empty Cache command. Clearing a website's cache and cookies is one way to fix things when a website starts misbehaving.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: How To Clear Cache and Cookies In Safari.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today I'm going to show you how you can clear your website cache and cookies in Safari 12 for Mojave and why you might need to do so.

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So you probably heard the term clearing your cache. What that means is to clear out temporary files stored by your web browser. Cache is a good thing because it stores temporary files to speedup surfing the web. But sometimes you might want to clear it out. It used to be you would want to clear it out when it got out of hand. But browsers today, especially Safari, are very good about managing the cache. So you rarely need to do it for that reason.

But sometimes you need to clear out cache and also your cookies because a website isn't working well anymore. Cookies are usually the culprit more than the cache. Cookies store little bits of information. Like, for instance, if you log onto a website what user ID you use. So you don't have to type in your email address next time you do it. Sometimes it will do something simple like say if you're looking up weather it may ask you for your zip code. You type in your zip code and then you go back and it remembers your zip code so it will show you the weather again.

Cookies and the cache sometimes go wrong storing erroneous information and then you find that you can't work with the website anymore. You can't log on or something isn't working right. When that happens one of the things I do that seems to fix things is to clear the cookie and cache for the website.

So here I am in Safari. It used to be that you had an option in the menus here to clear your cache. It's not there anymore. I'll show you how to get it back at the end. But for now know that Safari is more advanced now. You can actually clear cookies and cache for a specific website. Not have to do it for everything. To do this you go to Safari, Preferences and then click on Privacy. Then go to Manage Website Data. It's going to bring up a list of all the websites where there's either some cache, cookies, or some other data that are stored. It's probably a really long list. So you want to search for the website you're having trouble with.

So as an example I'm going to say I'm having trouble with wikipedia. It's probably more likely it's going to be some site like say Facebook or something like that. But I'll search for wikipedia and sure enough there's wikipedia.org. It shows it's storing cache, which makes sense since I've been to that site many times. It has got some cookies. Some local storage which is the same kind of thing as cookies, and some policies. All sorts of things. Maybe if the website is misbehaving I can really start fresh by deleting all this.

One of the things you want to do is make sure you're not actually viewing the website when you do this just to make sure when you clear everything out that everything is actually cleared out and nothing is saved.

So you select it and you can hit Remove. You can also hit Remove All to remove everything in the list. Now you may feel the urge to remove all cache and cookies for all sites. But this is going to be really inconvenient because you're probably logged into a bunch of different websites right now. When you go to the webpage the site just appears and it works. But clearing everything out means you're going to have to log into everything again. Even stuff you didn't realize you were logged in to. So it's best to just focus on the site where you're having trouble.

So I'm going to select wikipedia.org. I'll hit Remove. It's going to remove all the stuff from that and then I'll hit Done. I'm finished. I can search and find more websites and do that if I want. So that's all there is to it. If you want to clear out a website you're having trouble with it you can use that function. But what if you want the old functionality back and you want to be able to clear all of the cache.

You can get that function back by going to Safari, Preferences, and then Advanced. There's a setting here, Show Develop menu in menu bar. Now if you're not a developer you don't need to use any of this stuff. Except you do have Empty Caches. You can see you can get a keyboard shortcut, Option Command E, and that will clear out your entire cache. One of the things that's cool about this is it's not going to clear out cookies. It'll just clear out the browser cache. So if you have like some images that aren't loading correctly or pages that look weird maybe because the CSS, the styles, for that page aren't loading emptying caches could actually help to bring that site back without having to clear the cookies for the site.

So the next time you're having trouble with a website that usually works just fine you may want to think about clearing out your cookies and cache for that website tosee if it helps.

Comments: 9 Responses to “How To Clear Cache and Cookies In Safari”

    Jean-Claude
    1 week ago

    Why do you have 2 entries for Wikipedia in the list and why didn’t you remove both of them?

    1 week ago

    Jean-Claude: One is Wikipedia, the other is Wikimedia. If I had a reason to remove both, I would. I’m just demonstrating here.

    Fred
    7 days ago

    Very useful and helpful. Thank you.

    Frederick D.
    6 days ago

    What is the MacOS path to the cookies?

    5 days ago

    Frederick: Website data is stored in a few locations, depending on the type. Traditional cookies are found in /Users⁩/(user)/⁨Library/Cookies⁩/Cookies.binarycookies but you should NOT try to work with that or the other files directly. Instead, use the technique I show in the video.

    Linda
    4 days ago

    Just the information I have been looking for. I immediately used my new knowledge for a website I have trouble with. Unfortunately, It didn’t work. For quite awhile now, I can not get to this one website on Safari but if I try on Chrome I can get straight to it. Do you have any other ideas as to why this is happening?

    4 days ago

    Linda: What website?

    Linda
    4 days ago

    Comcast/Xfinity

    Linda
    4 days ago

    I think I figured it out. I decided to google xfinity internet account login and try what came up. That seems to work. So, probably the bookmarked link I was using was old, or had been changed. But, thanks for the nifty information about cache and cookies. I know it will come in handy.

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