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How to clear the cache on an iPad: An easy guide

Clearing cache data on your iPad can give you more storage space and fix some app performance problems. In this article, we’ll show you how to clear your cache on an iPad and offer tips for managing iPad storage.

How to clear the cache on an iPad: An easy guide

What is an app cache on your iPad?

An app cache on an iPad is a collection of temporary files that the app stores on your device. These files can then be used to speed up load times on the app.

What is a cache in practical terms? It’s a folder on your device and without it your favorite app has to get all its data from the provider’s server. To improve its performance, however, apps store data locally (a process known as caching) and draw from that, rather than relying solely on server data. This saves on processing power and makes the app run a little faster.

Almost every app has a cache, which takes up some of your iPad’s storage space. One of the largest caches on your device is probably the browser cache.

What is a browser cache on your iPad?

Browsers on your iPad like Safari and Chrome cache data from the websites you visit. As with other iPad apps, browser caching gives you a slightly faster and more efficient online experience.

Imagine that you load up a website for the first time. Your browser app contacts the website’s server and data is sent back to your device as the page loads. Instead of doing that every time, your browser saves some elements from that page — text, photos, cookie preferences, and so on — to its cache. The next time you try to access that website, the browser app can quickly load up its pre-saved page data. It will still contact the server for some elements, but the overall load-up will be shorter.

Most of the time, your browser cache is a useful system and doesn’t cause problems. Occasionally, however, you may have reason to clear your browser cache and cookies, along with other app caches.

Why should you clear the cache on your iPad?

You should clear browser caches on your iPad for two reasons — to free up storage space and to fix app performance issues.

Cached data takes up space on your device, so if you notice that you’re running out of storage, clearing your cache is a good place to start. Your apps will keep caching data so, over time, they’ll eat into the iPad’s storage again. Emptying your caches is a good short-term solution.

You may also notice that some apps run into performance issues as a result of their caches. If you spot outdated information, bugs, and other problems arising in an application, clearing its cache could fix the problem. Sometimes cache data gets corrupted or isn’t up to date.

It’s important to note that clearing cached files on your iPad won’t remove any important information. For example, clearing the cache on a messaging app will not delete your messages. With this in mind, let’s look at the steps you can take to clear a cache on an iPad.

How to clear the cache on an iPad

To clear the app caches on your iPad, follow the steps below.

How to clear the app cache on an iPad

The first thing you’ll notice when trying to clear individual app caches on your iPad is that there is no dedicated option for clearing cache files and data. For most apps (excluding browsers — we’ll cover them next), the one way to clear the cache is to delete and reinstall the app. To delete an app from your iPad:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Tap “General” > “iPad storage.”
  3. Scroll down and tap the app for which you want to clear the cache.
  4. Tap “Delete app.”

Once the app has been removed from your system, open the Apple Store and download the app you just removed.

How to clear the browser cache on an iPad

Unlike other apps, you can clear cached data from most browser apps through the browser interface.

How to clear the Safari cache on an iPad

To clear your Safari cache, follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Settings” and tap “Safari.”
  2. Tap “Advanced” > “Website data.”
  3. Tap “Remove all website data.”

If there’s no website data to be cleared, the clearing button will be shown in grey.

How to clear the Chrome cache on an iPad

Follow these steps to clear your Chrome cache:

  1. Open the Chrome app.
  2. Open “Settings” > “More.”
  3. Select “History” and tap “Clear browsing data.”
  4. Tick “Cookies,” “Site data,” and “Cached images and files.”
  5. Tap “Clear browsing data.”

How to clear the Firefox cache on an iPad

Firefox users can clear their cache with the following steps:

  1. Open the Firefox app.
  2. Tap “Settings.”
  3. Under “Privacy,” tap “Data management.”
  4. Assuming that “Cache” is toggled on, tap “Clear private data.”

If you don’t want Firefox to cache data in the future, just toggle this feature off after you’ve cleared your Firefox iPad cache.

How to manage your iPad’s storage

To manage your iPad’s storage, keep track of what apps you use regularly and delete the ones you don’t. Removing unused apps clears space and improves cybersecurity.

It’s also advisable to regularly clear your history and website data on your device, including your iPad. This way, you can improve your privacy and help with troubleshooting browser-related issues, such as slow loading times and malfunctioning websites on your end. Follow these steps to clear history and website data on your iPad:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Safari.”
  2. Tap “Clear History and Website Data.”

Regularly check your iPhone storage to view the breakdown of how space is being used on your device. If you notice that one category is taking up a lot of space, consider removing files and images related to that category. For example, if a lot of space is taken up by systems data, clear your app caches, as a lot of systems data is just temporary app files.

Consider turning off the cache feature on apps and browsers that allow you to do so. In most cases, this won’t be necessary, but if your cached images and files are taking up too much room, it may be best to limit how much is stored in the first place.