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How to Clear Icon Cache on MacBook

Here is a guide on how to empty/clear icon cache in MacBook/macOS.

MacBook means class, decency, and business. They offer the most refined experience in everything the users use them for. But, they are not completely free of problems, are they? Icon cache has been a problem on Apple MacBook for quite some time now. You might have seen different generic icons for some apps on your MacBook too. Clearing the icon cache can help you with this small issue. So, let us show you how to clear icon cache on MacBook.

What is Icon Cache on MacBook?

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steps to clear icon cache in macbook

Just like every other OS, MacOS too saves the icons of different apps on the system so that when the user interacts with their computer, the icons for all the apps can be loaded faster. The place or folder where all these icons of different apps are saved is known as the icon cache. Though clearing it may solve a few of your problems related to generic icons on your MacBook, it is recommended to create a backup of your system, in case something goes wrong during the process. Since we will be using the terminal and rm commands to clear the icon cache on MacBook, if you make even the slightest mistake while entering a command, things can get messy. You can use Time Machine to create a backup of your data.

How to Clear Icon Cache on MacBook: Step-by-Step

Clearing icon cache on a MacBook, as discussed earlier, can make things difficult for you if you make any mistakes. But, completing this process is way too easy if you safely follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Click on the ‘Launchpad’ icon in the Dock.
  2. Start typing ‘Terminal’ in the search bar at the top. Your MacBook will suggest you to open Terminal even before you finish typing. Open it.
  3. Type the command given below in the terminal and hit the Return key:
    sudo rm -rfv /Library/Caches/com.apple.iconservices.store
    Enter this command without the punctuation marks.
  1. Type this command too:
    sudo find /private/var/folders/ ( -name com.apple.dock.iconcache -or -name com.apple.iconservices ) -exec rm -rfv {} ; ; sleep 3;sudo touch /Applications/* ; killall Dock; killall Finder
    Do not use the punctuation marks here as well and after entering the command, press the Return key.
  1. Now, it is important to restart your MacBook in safe mode so that the caches can be deleted.
    For Intel Mac: Restart your MacBook normally. Press and hold the ‘Shift’ key while your Apple device boots up and the login screen will appear for your computer to boot in safe mode.
    For M1 Mac: Shut Down your Apple MacBook as usual. Wait for 10-15 seconds, press and hold the Power button on your MacBook till your MacBook’s display shows ‘Loading startup options…’.
  2. Next, select your startup volume. Press and hold the ‘Shift’ key and click on ‘Continue in Safe Mode’. Complete this process, wait for 5 minutes and restart your Apple MacBook.

So, after all these steps are taken care of, the icon cache on your MacBook will be cleared and your icons will appear just the way they should. In the meantime, also check out our other guides on similar topics: How to Recover Data from Damaged/Broken Mac SSD, and How to Shutdown MacBook Air with Keyboard.