How to clear YouTube cache on iPhone and Mac

7 min read

Big YouTube watcher but have been plagued with lag and choppy performance? This may be due to the YouTube cache. Never heard of it? I’ll tell you all about why you should get rid of it, and how to clear your YouTube cache on iPhone and Mac.

What is YouTube cache?

Every app on your iPhone or Mac has a cache – a collection of temporary files saved locally on your device. Whenever you watch a YouTube video or search for content on the app, it downloads data in the background into your internal storage.

It later helps the app seamlessly access files it needs to function without you having to suffer through long load times. So, the cache is actually a crucial component for any app to run at its peak.

Why is it better to clear the YouTube cache?

While useful, the cache can occupy much-needed storage space, which in turn can slow down your device’s performance.

To see how much storage space the YouTube data takes on your iPhone, head over to Settings > General > iPhone Storage and look for YouTube. The App Size is the storage space that the app needs to exist on your phone, but the Documents & Data is what the cache files are. 

youtube iphone storage

What changes when you delete the YouTube cache?

When you delete your YouTube cache, the videos and the search function might take slightly longer to load at first as you’re starting from scratch. You might also need to redownload the “Downloaded” videos.

At the same time, you’ll still retain all your account data, personal settings, watch history, and relevant suggestions.

How to clear YouTube app cache on iPhone

Unfortunately, there isn’t a native way to clear the cache on an iPhone like there is on an Android device. All that’s left to do in this case is delete the app. Here’s how to delete the YouTube cache on iPhone by uninstalling the app:

  1. Open your Settings app.
  2. Tap General > iPhone Storage.
  3. Scroll down and find the YouTube app. If you can’t find it, you might have to tap the Show All button.
  4. Tap Delete App.
  5. Tap Delete App again when you see the pop-up.

delete app on iPhone

While there is also the option to offload the app, this won’t delete your Documents & Data, which, as I established, is the cache.

If you’re wondering how to clear your YouTube Music cache on iPhone, the same steps apply: go to Settings > Tap General > iPhone Storage > YouTube Music > Delete App. 

If you really don’t want to delete your YouTube app, there are other ways to free up space on your iPhone. CleanMyPhone is your ultimate tool to help remove digital clutter. This AI-powered cleaner can scan through your photo library and pinpoint potentially deletable items like old screenshots, duplicate images, and blurry photos.

cleanmyphone interface

Using CleanMyPhone is simple. All you have to do is open the app and tap Start to begin the process. The app will identify and categorize your photo clutter for you to review. As you can go through the selection and pick and choose the images you want to delete, there’s no need to worry about losing treasured and important images.

How to clear YouTube cache on a Mac

Depending on the browser of your choosing, there’ll be a different process on clearing the YouTube cache. Either way, it can optimize your browsing experience and make YouTube watching sessions much more pleasant. I’ll go through how to clear your YouTube cache on two of the most popular browsers, Chrome and Safari.

How to clear YouTube cache in Chrome

On Chrome, there isn’t a targeted cache approach that you’ll see with Safari. To clear all caches:

  1. Open a Chrome browser and click the word Chrome in the menu bar.
  2. Select Clear Browsing Data…
  3. Uncheck the Browsing History and Cookies and other site data boxes, while leaving the Cached images and files box checked.
  4. Click Clear data.

chrome clear cached images and files

This process will clear all your cached files across all websites.

While you have ample control over your device's data, you have much less of it over the sorts of data your internet browser or YouTube collects. Although sites are forced to ask for consent nowadays, their obligatory data collected could include all types of personal information you don’t want them to have.

A virtual private network (VPN) helps protect your personal data by hiding your IP address and encrypting your online activities. ClearVPN makes this complex process simple with an intuitive user interface that accommodates even the least tech-savvy individuals. It uses the industry-standard encryption AES-256, which even the top banks and financial organizations trust.

clearvpn interface

After opening the app, all you have to do is press the big button to connect to the VPN, and the service will select a location for you. Whether you want to simply protect your privacy or access content in a different geolocation, ClearVPN can cater to any need.

How to clear YouTube cache in Safari

Safari has the advantage of targeting the exact website cache you want to clear. Rather than having to clear your entire cache for every single website you’ve visited, you can manage each website individually. Here’s how to clear your YouTube cache in Safari:

  1. Open a Safari browser.
  2. Click on the word Safari in the menu bar.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Search for YouTube in the search bar.
  5. Select and click Remove.
  6. Click Done.

clear youtube cache

Do you have a favorite video and are worried it might get taken down, or have you found the perfect instructional video and need to refer back to it? Instead of searching for it every time you need to watch it, why not use PullTube to download that video right onto your Mac?

PullTube does exactly what it says – it’s an app that lets you save any video and audio content from YouTube and other video websites at the best quality possible. It’ll allow you to save those videos as they are, trim them down, download them with subtitles, or even extract audio. Just make sure you’re downloading these videos for personal viewing and not reuploading and distribution – you still want to respect the creator’s rights and abide by copyright laws.

To start the process, copy and paste the video URL into the video downloader box, choose the closed caption and quality settings, and click Download video. Once it’s finished downloading, the video will be saved to your Downloads folder.

pulltube video downloader

PullTube is also available as an extension for instant video download.

Clear YouTube data on iPhone and Mac for a fresh start

Everyone wants to enjoy a frictionless experience with their devices, especially when it comes to viewing video content online. Clearing your YouTube cache once in a while is the simplest solution to maintaining your device’s health and freeing up occupied storage space.

PullTube, ClearVPN, and CleanMyPhone are all incredibly useful iOS apps that you can find on Setapp. Setapp is a subscription-based platform that grants you access to 240+ apps for your Mac and iPhone, all for a single monthly fee from $9.99. Perhaps you’re looking to work on music projects, plan projects, or even find ways to enhance your productivity. Whatever it is – Setapp has an app for it. With a 7-day free trial, you can explore Setapp to the fullest.


Why is YouTube taking up so much storage on my iPhone?

While YouTube's standardized app size is around 240 MB to 300 MB, give or take, there’s also the Documents & Data section, which is essentially your cache. This data comprises temporary files that work to speed up your experience, but over time, that data can pile up and take up lots of storage space. Clearing your YouTube cache can help free up that storage space.

Is it OK to delete the YouTube cache?

It is perfectly okay to delete your YouTube cache, as this won’t affect your personalized recommendations, saved videos, or watch history. Deleting the cache will simply make room on your device, remove that temporary data, and give you a fresh start.

What happens if you clear YouTube cache?

Clearing your YouTube cache removes temporary data such as elements of watched videos, video thumbnails, and other information that helps the app load more quickly. Once you remove those items, you might see a boost in overall performance, although loading times when you first use the app again might be slightly longer than usual.

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