How to clear icon cache on Mac

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Written By techgiga

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macOS keeps icons for documents and apps in an icon cache so you can quickly display them when needed without having to load them from scratch every time. It not only saves you time but also plays an important role in increasing your Mac productivity. For the most part, this smart game works as expected and displays relevant icons in the Finder or Dock. However, sometimes, you may see generic or irrelevant icons in these areas. In that case, you will need to clear the icon cache on the Mac to fix the problem. Let me show you how to clear and reset the icon cache on macOS.

Clear and reset icon cache on macOS (2022)

Note that you will need to use the Terminal and rm command to reset the icon cache on your Mac. Therefore, I recommend backing up your Mac using Time Machine or your preferred method before proceeding. If something goes wrong (in the case of an error placing commands), you will have the latest backup with all your data. Therefore, be sure to enter the exact commands listed below.

Remember: The commands we use here are courtesy of Ishmael Smyrnow on GitHub (visit).

Clear and reset icon cache on Intel and M1 Mac

1. To get started, open the terminal application on your Mac. Just use the Command + Space shortcut to open Spotlight search. Then find Terminal and run it.

2. Now, enter the below command and press return. If prompted, be sure to enter your administrator password to continue.

sudo rm -rfv /Library/Caches/

3. Then paste the following command and press return.

sudo find /private/var/folders/ ( -name -or -name ) -exec rm -rfv {} \; ; sleep 3;sudo touch /Applications/* ; killall Dock; killall Finder

Boot into safe mode to clear other caches on the Mac

Boot into Safe Mode on the M1 Mac

1 First, restart your Mac in safe mode to remove any other cache and also force refresh the icon cache. Click on apple menu icon in the upper left corner of the screen and select close.

2. After waiting about 10 seconds, press and hold the power button until Choices screen will appear.

Related: How to remove the ‘Recommended’ section from the Windows 11 Start menu

3. Then press and hold the key shift key and select “Continue in safe mode” to start your Mac M series in safe mode.

4. After your Mac boots into safe mode, wait about 5 minutes. Then click on apple menu and select Restart.

Boot into Safe Mode on Intel Macs

1. To restart your Intel Mac in safe mode, restart your Mac and immediately press and hold the shift key until the login window appears.

2. Next, log into your Mac. Either in the first or second login window, “Safe Boot” will appear in the menu bar.

3. Once your macOS device has booted into safe mode, wait for a while. After that, click on apple menu and choose Restart in the menu to refresh icon caches along with other caches.

Reset icon cache on Mac easily

That’s pretty much it! Hopefully, you have reset the icon cache on your macOS device without any issue. While for some users these commands alone can clear the icon cache, I had to go through the extra step of restarting the Mac to reset the cache. So make sure to reboot your device if the commands don’t work. Anyway, please let me know your feedback and whether these Terminal commands worked for you or not. Also, if you want to get rid of more common annoyances of this type, read our detailed guide to find out the 10 most annoying problems with macOS Monterey and fix them.

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