There are times when users must make efforts to clear their Windows 11/10 cache, but not everyone knows how. This can be a problem, especially since Microsoft does not employ a single action in order to clear all systems in Windows 11/10. In this post, we list the types of cache in the Windows operating system and show you how to clear the PC cache.
What is a computer cache?
Before we begin, we must first explain what a cache is. You see, the Windows cache, for the most part, is a storage mechanism that incorporates high-speed data transfer. It can either be a software or hardware component and, in some instances, both.
The main idea around the Windows cache is the ability to store data for quick access. For example, whenever a page on a website is visited for the first time, the information is usually stored in the cache. When this is done, you will find that visiting the page again will be faster.
Windows 10 stores oft-used data in the cache, and this is done temporarily. There will come a time when the information automatically deletes itself, at least in most cases.
Yes, the cache is awesome because it speeds up certain aspects of your experience when using Windows 10. It is beneficial only when you have a lot of free storage in RAM and on a hard drive. Furthermore, it is best to have a fast CPU in order for cached files to work effectively. Now, if your computer is not able to meet these basic requirements, then slowdowns will happen. At times, cached data can become corrupted. This will eventually cause your computing experience to suffer.
Where is the cache folder in Windows 11/10?
That depends! System cache files are stored in various locations in Windows. For instance, the Temporary files folder is located at C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp.
How to clear Cache in Windows 11
Do you want to clear the system cache and other temp files in Windows 11/10? Well, here are some of the cache in Windows OS that you can clear:
- Temporary files cache
- Microsoft Store cache
- Windows Update Cache
- Windows System Restore cache
- DNS cache
- Font Cache
- Windows Installer cache
- Microsoft OneNote cache folder
- Internet or Browser Cache
- Outlook Cache
- Display Cache
- Windows Thumbnail & Icon cache.
Let us discuss this from a more detailed perspective.
1] Clear the Temporary files cache
The first thing you will want to do is to clear the Temporary files cache. This is not a difficult task, at least from our point of view. So, let us look at how to get it done in the easiest way possible.
Launch the Run dialog box by clicking on the WindowsKey + R. From there, please copy and paste %temp% into the box and hit the Enter key to move forward.
The temp folder at C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp should now appear.
Select all files within the folder, then delete them.
2] Delete the Microsoft Store cache
The Microsoft Store has its very own cache that can be cleared. Let us explain how to do this.
First, launch the Run dialog box again, then copy and paste the following into the text field:
Doing this will open the Command Prompt. Sit back and wait as it clears the cache in just a short amount of time. After the clearance is done, the Command Prompt will close, and the Microsoft Store should launch by itself.
3] Windows Update Cache
Yes, the Windows Update cache has its very own cache folder too.
To get there, navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution, and get rid of all files inside of the folder. You may clear the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder and the Catroot2 folder to completely clear the Windows Update cache.
4] Clear the System Restore cache
If you have System Restore activated, then chances are the cache is storing a lot of files. Not ideal in the slightest, so how can you clear it up? You can manually delete all old System Restore Points and Previous versions of files.
5] Clear your DNS cache
If you’re suffering from internet connection problems or issues with your DNS, then maybe the best action to take is to clear the DNS cache.
Read: How to clear or flush Google Chrome DNS Cache
6] Delete the Font Cache
There may come a time when the fonts in Windows 10 can no longer load properly. In most cases, this problem can be solved by simply clearing and rebuilding the font cache. The task is very simple to do, at least from our point of view.
7] Clear the Windows Installer cache
If you’re the type of person who installs and uninstalls a lot of programs on a regular basis, then the Windows Installer cache will no doubt increase in size. Depending on the size of your hard drive, the cache folder could go into the gigabytes.
You will then realize that your hard drive space is getting smaller, so what can you do? Well, how about clearing the Windows Installer Cache folder of all its contents.
But wait, if you do clear the contents of this folder, you might not be able to uninstall certain programs like the Office program – so take care!
8] Clean the Microsoft OneNote cache folder
OneNote, like most applications on Windows 10, uses a cache to store tiles temporarily for short-term use. If you fail to take control of the cache, then it will likely increase in size significantly, especially if you use the tool more than most. You may if you wish clear the OneNote cache – especially if you are facing issues running the app.
9] Remove Internet or Browser Cache
Your web browser is capable of storing files in the cache for easier access in the future. This is why websites you’ve visited before tend to load faster the next time around. However, there may come a time when you need to clear your browser cache.
10] Clear Outlook Cache
Another way to make sure your Windows 10 computer is free from cache problems, is to make sure the cache folder linked to Outlook is free from data.
11] Clear Display Cache
This may come as a surprise to some to find out that that the display connected to a computer has its own cache. You see, whenever you change a display more or resolution, if you face issues then you may consider clearing the Display cache.
12] Windows Thumbnail & Icons cache
Related read: How to clear Memory Cache in Windows 10.
Methods to clear the system cache
Now, although we have given instructions for individually clearing cache, using one or more of the following tools can clear most of them easily:
1] Use the Disk Cleanup tool
One of the most efficient programs on Windows 10 is the Disk Cleanup utility. The tool is excellent for cleaning different types of system cache, among other things. So, let us take a look at how to use it properly.
To use the tool, click on the Windows key + S, then type Disk Cleanup. When it appears in the search results, double-click on it to launch the app. You should see a small window with your drive letter. If you click on the letter, a dropdown menu will show itself.
Select the correct drive from the menu, then click on OK. A new window should appear with a list of things you can remove from your Windows 10 computer. Select the ones that are important, then hit the OK button at the bottom to begin the cleanup process.
When you’re done, return to the same window and select Clean up system files to find more potentially unwanted data to delete from the system.
2] Use Storage Sense
Another way to clear the temporary files is to use Storage Sense. Open the Settings app by clicking on the Windows key + I. From there, be sure to select System from the menu, then navigate to Storage, which is located on the left. The next step, then, is to select Configure Storage Sense or run it now.
Scroll down until you come across Free up space now. There’s a button with the name Clean Now. Please click on it, and right away, the system will proceed to remove unwanted contents from your hard drive.
3] Use a third-party junk cleaner
Use third-party freeware like CCleaner to clear all PC junk.