YouTube is one of the most popular video streaming platforms in the world. We all use it to watch videos, listen to music, and more. Over time, YouTube can build up a cache of data on your device that can slow things down and take up storage space. Clearing this cache is a quick and easy way to improve your YouTube performance. In this article, I’ll explain what the YouTube cache is, why you might want to clear it, and how to do so on any device.
What is the YouTube Cache?
The YouTube cache refers to temporary internet files stored by YouTube on your device. This includes things like thumbnails, partially loaded videos, and other data that helps YouTube load and run more smoothly.
Over time, this cache can grow quite large, taking up a chunk of your storage space. It can also become outdated or corrupt, which can cause playback issues or other glitches with YouTube. That’s why clearing the cache occasionally is a good idea to free up space and keep YouTube running properly.
Why Clear the YouTube Cache?
Here are some of the main reasons you may want to clear your YouTube cache:
- Free up storage space – The YouTube cache can take up a surprising amount of storage space after regular use. Clearing it frees this up for other files.
- Fix playback issues – If you experience problems loading or watching YouTube videos, an outdated or bloated cache could be the culprit. Clearing it gives you a clean slate.
- Improve performance – A large YouTube cache can slow things down when loading videos and navigating the app. Clearing it can help things run faster.
- Update thumbnails – Sometimes YouTube thumbnail images get stuck, so clearing the cache lets new ones generate properly.
- Protect privacy – The YouTube cache stores info about your viewing history and preferences. Clearing it erases this local data footprint.
How to Clear the Cache on Mobile Devices
Clearing the YouTube cache on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets is a straightforward process:
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down and tap General.
- Tap iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage on an iPad).
- Wait for your apps to load on the screen.
- Tap YouTube.
- Tap Offload App. This will delete the cache while keeping the YouTube app.
- Open the YouTube app.
- Tap the hamburger menu icon (3 horizontal lines) in the top left.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Clear cache.
And that’s it! The YouTube cache is now cleared out and you’ve freed up storage space in the process.
How to Clear the Cache on Desktop Browsers
You can also clear the YouTube cache on desktop browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari:
- Click the 3 vertical dots in the top right.
- Hover over More Tools.
- Select Clear browsing data.
- Make sure Cached images and files is checked.
- Select the desired timeframe, or Advanced to select All Time.
- Click Clear data.
- Click the 3 horizontal lines in the top right.
- Select Options.
- Go to the Privacy & Security section on the left.
- Under Cookies and Site Data, click Clear Data.
- Make sure Cache is checked.
- Click Clear.
- Click Safari in the top menu.
- Select Preferences.
- Go to the Privacy tab.
- Click Manage Website Data.
- Search for and select youtube.com.
- Click Remove.
This will clear the browser cache and free up space taken up by YouTube files. Keep in mind this will log you out of YouTube.
How to Clear the Cache on Smart TVs
Smart TV platforms also store a YouTube cache. Here’s how to clear it:
- From the Home screen, go to Settings.
- Navigate to System > Advanced system settings.
- Select Delete cache.
- Select Delete everything.
- Select Settings from the app drawer or home screen.
- Go to Apps.
- Select YouTube.
- Choose Storage & cache.
- Select Clear cache.
WebOS and LG TVs:
- From the Home screen, select the cog Settings icon.
- Go to the All Settings menu.
- Navigate to Apps > YouTube.
- Select Clear cache.
Samsung Smart TVs:
- Go to the Settings menu from the home screen.
- Navigate to Support > Device Care > Clear Cache.
- Select OK to confirm clearing YouTube cache files.
With the cache cleared, YouTube should run faster and smoother on your smart TV.
How Often Should You Clear the Cache?
There’s no set timeframe for when or how often to clear your YouTube cache. A good general guideline is to clear it every few months or so. If you notice YouTube running slowly or other issues, try clearing the cache to see if that fixes it.
Some instances when you may want to clear the cache include:
- YouTube videos aren’t loading properly.
- YouTube is buffering a lot during playback.
- App is freezing or crashing frequently.
- Thumbnails look wrong or won’t update.
- Smart TV storage space is running low.
Use your own judgment based on your experience. Keeping the cache clear improves performance while freeing up space on your devices.
Clearing the YouTube cache is a quick and straightforward way to give the app a fresh start. It can fix playback issues, speed up loading times, free up storage space, and keep your viewing history and habits private.
Now you know how to clear the YouTube cache across all types of devices – mobile, desktop browsers, and smart TVs. Do it periodically or whenever you notice glitches. With these simple YouTube cache clearing steps, you can keep streaming your favorite videos smoothly.