The latest versions of the Safari web browser for Mac OS X offer a hidden feature that allows users to clear web caches from the browser without having to dump all other browsing history, cookies, searches, or other website data. This is a really useful feature for web workers and developers who routinely need to clear browser cache for pages and websites, which forces the browser to pull new data from the server being accessed, but it can also be helpful for some troubleshooting situations in Safari too.
In order to clear or empty caches in Safari for Mac OS X, first you need to enable and Develop menu in Safari from within the apps Preferences. This optional menu contains many developer-centric features, including the ability to directly clear cache from Safari browsing sessions and many more. In this article let us discuss how to clear or empty Safari browser caches in Mac OS X. Follow the steps given below.
How to Empty or clear safari browser caches in Mac OS X:
- Initially, open the safari on your Mac OS X device.
- If you haven’t done so already, choose to show the optional Develop menu by going to Safari menu in the upper left corner, choose Preferences > Advanced > Show Develop menu in menu bar, then close out of Preferences.
- Back at any Safari browser window, pull down the Develop menu and choose Empty Caches.
- Wait a few seconds and the Safari web caches will be cleared completely, allowing fresh web content to be pulled from the remote web servers without having any local cache serving for that session.
There is no confirmation or alert dialog notifying the user that Safari browser caches have been cleared or emptied, it simply happens behind the scenes.
Once you have enabled the Develop menu, users will gain access to a keystroke shortcut for clearing caches in Safari using Command+Option+E, which offers a faster method of access for users who need to access the feature often without having to pull down the menu every time.
Safari Cache File Locations in Mac OS X
For those who want to know where Safari cache files are stored locally within the file system, they’ll typically be in one of two locations in OS X, depending on what version of the OS is installed on the Mac.
Modern versions of Safari store browser caches locally at the following file system location in Mac OS X: ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/
Most of the Safari caches are stored as a sqlite database file, and while you can manually browse through it, view cache entries, modify, delete entries, or remove the entire database file yourself, that’s generally not recommended unless you know exactly what you’re doing with a strong SQL background, compared to just using the Safari apps built-in Empty Cache function.
Note that older versions of Safari store the user cache files from the browser at the location ~/Library/Caches/Safari/
you can also get access the direct file system locations of the Safari cache files yourself, they are not intended to be user facing and thus are best cleared through the Develop menu and accompanying keyboard shortcut.