How to Clear Icon Cache on Mac (Easy Guide)

macOS keeps document and app icons in an icon cache so it can quickly display them when needed without having to load them from scratch each time. It not only saves your time but also plays a vital role in boosting your Mac productivity. For the most part, this clever game works as expected and displays relevant icons in the Finder or Dock. However, sometimes you may see generic or irrelevant icons in these places. In this case, you will have to clear the icon cache on 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)

Remember that you will need to use Terminal and rm commands to reset the icon cache on your Mac. Therefore, I recommend backing up your Mac using Time Machine or your preferred method before proceeding. In the event of a problem (in the event of an error when entering orders), you will have the latest backup with all your data at your fingertips. So be sure to enter the exact commands shown below.

To note: 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 begin, open the Terminal app on your Mac. Just use the Command + Space shortcut to bring up Spotlight search. Next, search for Terminal and launch it.

Open Terminal app on Mac

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

sudo rm -rfv /Library/Caches/
Enter the command in the Terminal app for iOS

3. Next, 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
Reset icon cache on Mac

Boot into Safe Mode to Clear Alternate Cache on Mac

Boot into Safe Mode on M1 Mac

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

Turn off your Mac

2. After waiting about 10 seconds, press and hold the power button until the Choice the screen appears.

3. Next, hold down Shift key and select “Continue in safe mode” to start your M-series Mac in Safe Mode.

4. After your Mac has booted into Safe Mode, wait about 5 minutes. Then click on the apple menu and select To restart.

Restart your Mac

Boot into Safe Mode on Intel Mac

1. To restart your Intel Mac in Safe Mode, restart your Mac and immediately hold down the Shift key until the login window appears.

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

3. After your macOS device has booted into safe mode, wait for some time. After that click on the apple menu and choose To restart in the menu to refresh icon caches with other caches.

Restart your Mac

Reset Icon Cache on Mac the Easy Way

It’s almost done! Hope you have reset the icon cache on your macOS device without any problem. While for some users these commands alone are able to clear the icon cache, I had to take the extra step of restarting the Mac to reset the cache. So make sure to restart your device if the commands are not working. Anyway, let me know your feedback and whether or not these Terminal commands worked for you. Also, if you want to get rid of these common annoyances, read our in-depth guide to find out and fix the 10 most annoying macOS Monterey problems.