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14 Ways to Clear Cache on Windows 11

A cache is a specialized high-speed hardware or software component that stores frequently requested data and instructions that allow users to load websites, applications, services, and other parts of the system faster. Caching makes the most frequently accessed data readily available.

Cached files are not the same as cached memory. Cache files are frequently needed files such as PNGs, icons, logos, shaders, etc. that may be required by multiple programs. These files are stored in physical drive space and are usually hidden.

Clear Cache on Windows 11

On the other hand, cache memory is a faster type of memory than main memory and/or RAM. It greatly reduces data access time because it is closer to the CPU and faster than RAM. Cache helps speed up the processor’s calculations, making your PC faster.

A cache is a relatively small storage type that is further divided into 3 levels:

Level 1 (L1): L1 is the smallest (usually between 8KB and 64KB) and fastest cache.
Level 2 (L2) and Level 2 (L3): L2 and L3 are larger and slower caches compared to L1.
You can view the cache size on your system from the Windows Task Manager.

Why you should clear the cache on Windows 11?

Corrupted Cache: Corrupted cache files can affect system performance or even crash the system. Therefore these corrupt cache files should be deleted before using the PC.

Increase storage space: Usually cache files are small, but accumulating a large number of cache files for a long time will take up a lot of storage space. Clearing cache files restores free space.

Performance: The accumulated cache files will directly affect the overall performance of the system. A large number of caches filling up the storage space will cause the system to run slowly.

Outdated information: Old cache files may prevent users from accessing the latest version of an application or website on the system. Clearing the cache file will fix the problem.

Is it safe to clear the cache?

Clearing the cache is of course safe. But clearing the cache is not a one-time-for-all. Websites and apps re-cache data again when you use your computer. Therefore, the cache needs to be cleaned regularly.

The cache stores non-essential files, and deleting these files will not affect the functionality of the program or website. What’s more, caching can affect the loading speed of an application or website. If too much cache accumulates on your system, it can slow down your entire computer.

How to Clear Cache on Windows 11 (14 Ways)?

Clearing the cache on Windows 11 is actually quite easy. Since cache files on Windows 11 can be of various types depending on their origin, cache files on Windows 11 are scattered. The following 14 methods can help you remove specific cache types from your PC.

Method 1: Delete the temporary cache file [%temp%]

  • Open the run command by pressing Windows + R keys.
  • Type %temp% and press the Enter.
  • Click on the three dots menu icon.
  • Click Select All.
  • Click the trash can icon.
  • Check Do this for all current items, and click Continue.
  • Select the Do this to all current items check box, and then click Skip.
  • Next, the cache files in the Temp folder will be deleted.

Method 2 Clear temporary files from system storage

Some cache files may not exist in a location, such as the Temp folder. In this case, these scattered system cache files can be removed from the settings by following the steps below.

  • Open the start menu by press windows key.
  • In the start menu, search for storage settings and click it from the search results.
  • Click Temporary files.
  • Scroll down and click the checkbox next to the specific file you want to delete.
  • Now click Delete File.
  • Click Continue to confirm your choice.
  • The selected files will now be deleted from your device.
Clear temporary files from system storage

Method 3 Disk Cleanup

Microsoft’s built-in Disk Cleanup tool can scan caches and other temporary files on your system, including DirectX shader caches, delivery optimization files, Windows Error Reporting, and more.

Follow the steps below to clear the cache in Windows 11 using Disk Cleanup.

  • Press Windows key to open the Start menu.
  • In the start menu, search for disk cleanup and click it from the search results.
  • Click the drop-down menu.
  • Now click on the drive you want to clean up.
  • Scroll down and click the checkbox next to the specific file you want to delete.
  • Click OK.
  • Click Delete File.
  • If you see the following prompt, select the Do this to all current projects check box, and then click Continue.
  • Wait for the cleanup process to complete.
  • The file you selected has now been deleted from the system.

You can also use Disk Cleanup to clean up system files. Open the Disk Cleanup tool and click the Clean up system files option. Select the drive that contains the system files. Typically, this will be labeled the C drive. Click the checkbox next to the specific file you want to delete. Click OK > Delete File.

Method 4 Flush DNS [Prevent DNS Cache Attacks]

The Domain Name System (DNS) is like a phone book for the websites you visit on your computer, DNS translates domain names (such as http://www.google.com) into IP addresses (8.8.8.8).

While DNS caching allows your computer to open websites faster, the number of these cached files also increases. Worst of all, users may experience DNS cache poisoning. Malicious proxies attacked and changed these stored IP addresses. Therefore, flushing the DNS cache can also prevent DNS cache attacks

  • Press Windows key to open the start menu.
  • In the start menu, search for “cmd” and click it when it appears in the search results.
  • Enter and execute the command: ipconfig /flushdns.
  • DNS cache has now been cleared.

Method 5 Clear Microsoft Store’s cache

The Microsoft Store also stores cache data on the user’s PC, but you can use the wssreset.exe file to delete these files, especially if you’re having problems with purchases, downloads, or store apps not loading at all Clear the Microsoft Store cache.

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run command window.
  • Enter and execute the command: wsreset.exe.

Next the wsreset.exe file will clear the Microsoft cache directly and then close automatically.

Method 6 Clear browser cache

Web browsers store your frequently visited web pages on your PC so that users can quickly open web pages. However, the stored version of the website cached data may be an outdated version. Therefore, when you visit these pages, it will cause problems, and the solution to this problem is to clear the browser cache.

Let’s see together how to clear cache on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Google Chrome

Open Google Chrome and press Ctrl + Shift + Delete to open the Clear browsing data setting.
Click on “Timeframe” and select the timeframe for which you want to delete Google Chrome’s cache.
Scroll down and make sure only the “Cached images and files” checkbox is checked.
Click Clear Data to clear Google Chrome’s cache.

Firefox

Open Firefox and press Ctrl + Shift + Delete on the keyboard to open the Clear recent history setting.
Click the Clear time range option and select the time range to delete the Firefox browser cache
Make sure only the “Cache” checkbox is checked.
Click OK to clear the browser cache on your PC.

Method 7 Clear location cache

Even your location history is stored on your computer as a cache file.

  • Open settings by pressing Windows + i keys.
  • Click Privacy & Security in the left sidebar.
  • Click the Location option under the App Permissions section.
  • Find the location history option. Click Clear next to it to clear the same.
  • The location cache is now cleared from your PC.

Method 8 Clear your activity history

As we all know, Windows will record the user’s activity history to optimize the user’s personalized experience. These activity histories are also stored on your computer, and you can delete the activity history on your computer by following the steps below.

  • Press Windows + i keys to open settings.
  • Click on “Privacy and Security”.
  • Click Clear under Clear Activity History.
Clear your activity history

Method 9 Delete prefetch files

Prefetch files were first introduced in Windows XP to reduce the time it takes to start a Windows PC. Prefetching files, however, may run the risk of infecting your computer with viruses. You need to be aware that prefetching files is there to reduce system startup time. So removing prefetch files may result in longer startup times.

Follow the steps below to clear prefetch files in Windows 11.

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run command window.
    Type prefetch and press enter key.
  • Then, it will automatically delete the prefetched files.

However, this can also open prefetch folders. In this case, select all files by pressing Ctrl+A on the keyboard and then delete the prefetched files by pressing Delete.

Method 10 Clear file explorer cache

File Explorer usually remembers frequently used files and addresses on the system, such as menus that users can quickly access. However, Windows does allow users to delete the cache files that store this data.

  • Press Windows keys to open the start menu.
  • In the Start menu, search for File Explorer and click it when it appears in the search results.
  • Click the 3-dot icon near the top of the File Explorer window.
  • Click Options. This will open the folder options.
  • Click Clear Options in the Privacy section.

Method 11 Clear system restore cache

Deleting a system restore point in Windows 11 will delete all cache files associated with it. However, since the method involves deleting restore points, you are advised to proceed with caution.

  • Press Windows key to open the start menu.
  • In the Start menu, search for File Explorer and click it when it appears in the search results.
  • In System Properties, click Configure.
  • In System Protection Options, click Remove.
  • Click “Continue”. Restore points and their associated cache files will now be deleted.

Method 13 Automatically delete cache with Storage Sense

Windows 11 has a built-in feature called Storage Sense that can be used to automatically clear the cache on a regular basis. Here are the steps to automatically delete your cache with Windows 11 Storage Sense.

  • Press Windows + i keys to open Settings and click System.
  • Scroll down on the right and click Storage.
  • Scroll down and click Storage Sense.
  • Make sure the checkbox under Clean up temporary files is checked. Then, click and turn on the toggle switch under the Automatic User Content Cleanup section to enable Storage Sense.
  • Click the Run Storage Sense option and select a time period.
  • Follow the same steps to delete files in my recycle bin, and files in my downloads folder.

Method 13 Clear clipboard cache

Here are the steps to delete the clipboard cache in Windows 11.

  • Press the key on your Windows keyboard to open the start menu.
  • Search for clipboard settings and click the best match.
  • Find the option to clear clipboard data. Click the Clear option next to it.

Method 14 Clear display cache

The display cache on Windows 11 is used to store system display related information such as resolution to color mode etc. If you are having system display issues, you can fix it by clearing the display cache.

Press Windows key to open the start menu.
Search for registry editor and click it from the search results.
Navigate to the following path. You can also copy-paste the same in the address bar at the top.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers

Right-click the Configuration key and click Delete.
Repeat the above steps to remove the other 2 keys: “Connectivity” and “ScaleFactors”.
Complete the process by restarting the PC.

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