If your iPhone or iPad storage space is dwindling at an alarming rate or your device feels like it's getting slower, then you could benefit from clearing the cache that apps use.

ipad iphone duo ios 12
Cached data includes all the files and images that are kept in your device's memory, which is meant to help apps avoid having to request the same data repeatedly and thereby keep things speedy – in theory.

In fact, it's possible for an overzealous app to fill up your ‌iPhone‌'s cache to the point where overall performance takes a hit. So it's good practice to spring-clean the cache now and again to ensure your device isn't bogged down unnecessarily. Here's how.

How to Clear iPhone and iPad Cache

The following steps clear all cookies and web data cached on your device by Safari, although AutoFill information remains unchanged. Note that when you clear Safari browsing history on a device running iOS 11 or higher, the same logs are cleared on any other devices signed into the same iCloud account.

  1. Open the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ and scroll down to Safari in the list.
  2. Scroll to the Privacy & Security section and tap the blue Clear History and Website Data option near the bottom of the menu. (Note that this setting might be grayed out if there's already no history to clear or if parental controls are set for websites.)
  3. Tap Clear History and Data in the popup pane to confirm.

clear web history

How to Clear iPhone Cache for Third-Party Apps

The way to clear the cache used by third-party apps on your ‌iPhone‌ varies from app to app. For example, there's a cache reset option for Slack in the main Settings app (Settings -> Slack -> Reset cache on next launch), while you can control the storage that individual WhatsApp conversations use from within the chat app (Settings -> Data and Storage Usage -> Storage Usage).

settings
If there's an app that you suspect is unnecessarily hoarding data on your ‌iPhone‌ but you can't find an equivalent option to clear its cache, then the best alternative is to check the iOS ‌iPhone‌ Storage screen.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

  4. A list of all the apps (including stock apps) on your iOS device will load in order of size, with the largest apps listed first. Tap an app in the list that is taking up an unnecessary amount of space.
    identify redundant ios apps

  5. Two uninstall options are presented on this screen. Tap Offload App to unload the app but preserve any documents and data (these are reinstated if you later reinstall the app) or tap Delete App to remove the app and all related data from your device.

It's worth scrolling down the ‌iPhone‌ Storage list and looking at the Last Used: date underneath the title of each app. If it's been several weeks or months since you opened an app, or it says Never Used, then consider uninstalling it.

If you tend to download a lot of apps that often get left unused, consider enabling the ‌iPhone‌ Storage menu recommendation to automatically Offload Unused Apps when you're low on storage. If you uninstall a purchased app but later decide that you want to use it (and it's still available in the App Store) simply follow the steps below.

How to Reinstall Deleted Apps

  1. Launch the App Store app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.

  2. Tap the Today tab if it isn't selected already.

  3. Tap your circular profile photo at the top-right of the Today screen to access the account settings screen.

  4. Tap Purchased.
  5. Tap My Purchases.
    App Store

  6. In the Purchased screen, tap the Not on this iPhone tab.

  7. Scroll through the list of purchased apps to find the one that you want to reinstate, and tap the cloud download icon next to it to re-download and install.

As it stands, iOS still lacks a straightforward way to clear the cache in apps. For example, sometimes you may want to keep an app, but delete its documents and data. Hopefully Apple will include an equivalent option in a future version of iOS, but until then, the methods described above are your best options for clearing the cruft from your ‌iPhone‌.

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...