Over time your iPhone will save images from websites and other data in order to speed up web browsers and make other apps perform quickly. The problem is that this accumulates and can actually have an adverse effect on the speed of your phone. So we recommend periodically wiping out all the crud.
This is very easy to do and spending a few minutes clearing the cache on your iPhone could give it a boost. Here's how to do it.
Try resetting your device
Before charging off into the cache-clearing parts of your iPhone, it’s always worth giving it a quick reboot to see if that helps unclog the drains somewhat. This can have the beneficial effect of clearing out the memory, which might have become congested with all manner of things through general use.
On iPhones with Home buttons (so iPhone 8 and similar) you just need to hold down the power button on the right flank until you see the power-off options appear on the screen. Then swipe it across, wait a few seconds, and press and hold the power button once more to restart the iPhone.
For non-Home button iPhones (such as the iPhone XR), you’ll need to hold down the button on the right flank while also holding down either of the volume controls. This will bring up the on-screen power-off options. Swipe this, wait until the iPhone is fully turned off, then press and hold the right button to power it up once more.
How do I clear the cache in Safari?
One of the main culprits for caching data is Safari. To get this back to an unencumbered state, follow the steps below. Bear in mind that when you start visiting sites after emptying the cache it will initially be a bit slower, as the browser will have to load up a fresh version of the page rather than pull data from the cache. You’ll also have to log back into websites, as the stored accounts details will be removed, unless of course you use a password manager, which is something else we’d advise. To see our pick of the current crop, read Best password managers 2020.
To clear it out, go to Settings then scroll down until you find Safari. Tap this then scroll down to the Clear History and Website Data option and select that. You’ll be presented with a dialog box asking you to confirm your decision, so tap Clear History and Data to complete the action.
How do I clear iPhone app cache?
As there’s no global setting for deleting cached data on your iPhone, you’ll need to go into the individual apps to empty them out. Before beginning this it’s worth seeing how much space is being taken up by the various software installations, as some will hog a lot more of your storage than others.
To do this, open Settings > General > iPhone Storage then scroll down and you’ll see the apps on your device that are taking up the most storage. Select one and you’ll be presented with the name of the app, it’s size, and another field called Documents & Data. The latter shows all the cached files that are currently stored locally. If you’re happy to remove this, tap the Delete App option, confirm your choice, then once the process is completed you can go to the App Store, download the app again but this time without all the extra baggage.
Are there any apps that clear iOS cache automatically?
Yes. These are purpose-built utilities that can help keep your iPhone lean and mean, often for a very modest outlay. The one downside is that they usually require a PC or Mac. You plug your iPhone into the computer, enabling the software to access its hard drive.
If you’re still experiencing issues after clearing out the cache, try some of the suggestions outlined in How to speed up iPhone.