How To Clear the Cache in Windows 11
Cached files can take up a lot of space on your computer and cause your system to run more slowly.
This article will show you how to clear the cache in Windows 11. We will also discuss some of the benefits of doing so. Keep reading for more information.
Clear the Cache & Process Faster
The cache is a small section of memory where the most recently used data is stored. When you access a file or program, the cache retrieves the data from the memory so that the file or program can be accessed more quickly. The cache is used because it is faster to access data from memory than it is to do so from the hard drive.
The cache is located on the motherboard and is divided into two sections: the L1 cache and the L2 cache. The L1 cache is smaller and faster than the L2 cache, which is why it stores only the most recently used data. The L2 cache is larger and slower but can store more data. Because of this, the L2 cache is often used to store data that is not frequently accessed.
Windows 11 uses a dynamic cache, which means that the size of the cache varies depending on how much data is accessed. This helps to improve performance because only the most active data is stored in memory.
However, it can also lead to situations where important data is not cached and must be retrieved from the hard drive, slowing down your computer. This happens when there’s too much cached data. As such, clearing the cache from time to time can be a great way to keep your machine running optimally.
Clearing the cache comes with more benefits. First, it can help improve system performance. Over time, the cache can become filled with unnecessary files and data, slowing down the entire system. By clearing the cache regularly, you can help to keep your system running smoothly. In addition, clearing the cache can also help to free up valuable storage space on your hard drive.
Finally, clearing the cache can also help to improve security by removing potentially sensitive information from your system. By ensuring that only necessary data is stored in the cache, you can help to protect your privacy and safeguard your computer against potential threats.
Let’s now see how to clear various types of cached data on Windows 11.
Deleting Temporary Cache Files [%temp%]
One way to help keep your computer running smoothly is to delete temporary files periodically. These files are typically created by programs and stored in the “%temp%” folder. When run, these files often take up a lot of space on your hard drive.
Windows provides a built-in tool for deleting these files, and it can be accessed by following these steps:
- Open the Start menu and type “%temp%” into the search bar.
- Press Enter to open the %temp% folder.
- Select all the files in the folder and delete them.
- Empty the Recycle Bin to delete the files permanently.
By regularly deleting temporary files, you can help improve the performance of your computer and free up space on your hard drive.
However, it is important to note that some of these files may be in use by active programs, so you may not be able to delete them all. If you cannot delete a particular file, you can try restarting your computer and then trying again. Once you have deleted all the temporary cache files, you should notice an increase in available storage space on your hard drive.
Running Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup Utility
Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup is a software utility included with the Microsoft Windows operating system designed to free up disk space on a computer.
The utility first searches and analyzes the hard drive for files that are no longer needed or those that can be safely deleted and then presents the user with a list of files that can be safely deleted, with an option to review the list before proceeding.
Here’s how to run Disk Cleanup on Windows 11:
- Click the Start button and type “Disk Cleanup” into the search box.
- Click on “Open.”
- Choose which types of files to delete. Files that can be safely deleted include temporary internet files, windows log files, and Recycle Bin files.
- After selecting the desired files, the user can click “Ok.”
- At this point, Windows will display a prompt message asking whether you’re sure you want to delete the files selected. Click on the “Delete Files” button to confirm.
Flushing the DNS
DNS, or the Domain Name System, is a fundamental part of how the internet works. DNS servers act as an address book, translating human-readable domain names (like www.example.com) into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate with each other.
When you type a URL into your web browser, your computer will first query your ISP’s DNS server to find the IP address of the website you’re trying to reach. If the DNS server doesn’t have the IP address cached, it will comb through one of the root DNS servers for the address. Once it has the IP address, it will send you to the website you requested.
DNS cache poisoning occurs when an attacker inserts malicious entries into a DNS server’s cache. This is done by sending forged DNS responses that trick the server into thinking it has received the correct IP address for a given domain name.
As a result, when you try to access the legitimate website, you’re instead redirected to the attacker’s site. This can be used to steal sensitive information or distribute malware.
To protect yourself from DNS cache poisoning, it’s important to flush the DNS regularly. Here’s how:
- Open the Command Prompt by searching for it in the Start menu.
- Type in “ipconfig /flushdns” and press Enter. You should see a message indicating that the DNS cache has been successfully flushed.
Clearing Microsoft Store’s Cache
Microsoft Store’s Cache can become full over time, which may lead to the Store malfunctioning.
To clear the Cache, follow the steps below:
- Close Microsoft Store on your machine (if the app is already running).
- Type “wsreset.exe” into the Windows Run dialog box and hit Enter.
- Wait for the process to complete before launching Microsoft Store again.
After completing the process, you may notice faster load times when you open the Microsoft Store app on your computer.
Clearing Web Browser Cache
Most internet browsers – including Google Chrome and Firefox – save data from websites you visit to improve your browsing experience. This data includes things like images, text, and cookies. Over time, this data can take up a lot of space on your hard drive, slowing down your computer.
One way to free up some space is to clear your browser cache. Clearing the cache will remove all the saved data from your browser, freeing up space, but forcing the cache to reload all the data the next time you visit a website.
Here are the steps needed for two of the most popular Windows 11 browsers: Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
To clear cached data on Chrome:
- Click on the three small dots in the top right corner and select “Settings” from the popup menu.
- Select “Privacy & Security” from the left pane and then click on “Clear Browsing Data” on the right pane.
- Choose the types of data you want to remove. Be sure to select “Cached images and files” before clicking “Clear data.”
A quicker way to clear your cache on Chrome is to press Ctrl+Shift+Delete on your keyboard. This shortcut will open a new tab with the “Clear Browsing Data” options pre-selected. But to use this shortcut, Chrome should be open on your machine, and the window in which the app is running must be the active window on your computer.
You may need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
To clear cached data on Firefox:
- Open the Firefox menu and select “Manage more settings.”
- Under the “Privacy & Security” heading, click on “Clear Data.” From there, you can select which data you would like to clear, including the cache.
- Once you have made your selections, click on “Clear” to confirm.
Keep Windows Running Optimally
The cache is a place where your computer stores temporary bits of information for quick retrieval. But over time, the cache can become cluttered and cause your computer to slow down. Clearing the cache regularly can help keep your computer running at peak efficiency.
Have you tried to clear cached data on Windows 11? Was there a noticeable improvement in application load times after that?
Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.