How to Clear the Cache in Windows

By Dan Blacharski

Clearing the cache on your computer is one action that you can take in an effort to speed up your device. While you may not see a dramatic increase in speed, the process may still result in a significant improvement in Windows 8. There are two individual areas (desktop and Modern UI) where cache is cleared in different ways.


Using the utility CCleaner is the easiest and most preferred way to erase browser cache, font cache, thumbnail cache and DNS cache. CCleaner gives you the ability to clean cache on all of the computer's browsers, as opposed to clearing each browser, one at a time. To use this program, first download and install the latest version. Next, run CCleaner and select the areas that you would like cleaned and then choose "Options" on the left. Under the Advanced tab, select "Save all settings to INI file." Open the Start menu and enter "task scheduler" into the search box and run it when prompted. Click on the Action menu in the Menu bar and select "Create Basic Task." Follow the steps in the wizard to create and name the task for future access. The next page will ask you how often you want to run the program, so select your personal preference. Set the exact time and date to run the program. Click "Browse" and find the directory where you installed CCleaner. Add "/Auto" to the text field labeled "Add arguments." Review the information and click “Finish” to finalize tasks.

Desktop Manual Options

As an alternative to CCleaner, you can manually clear the cache without having to download third party software. Windows 8's "Disk Cleanup" function is an available option to clean the thumbnail cache. However, this option is somewhat hidden. Simply type “cleanmgr” on the Start screen, press "Enter" then select "cleanmgr.exe" from the display of search results. Check "Thumbnails" when it’s finished scanning and then click "OK."

Modern UI Apps Cache

In addition to the desktop cache, you will also need to clear the Windows 8 Modern UI apps cache. Both the desktop and Modern UI version of Internet Explorer contains a cached history, and should be cleared separately. Open Internet Explorer from the Start screen and pull up the Charms bar. Click "Settings" and select "Internet Options" from the menu. Simply click the "Delete" button under the “delete browsing history” option to carry out the task. Another Modern UI app that can easily be cleared is the Windows Store app. On the keyboard, press "Windows-R" to bring up the Run window. In the text box, type “WSReset.exe” and then press "Enter." The Store app will then open and display a screen that lets you know your cache has been cleared.

Search History

The Search function of the Charm bar also keeps a history that can be deleted if you use it frequently. Bring up the Charms bar, and select "Settings," then select "PC Settings." Select "Search" from the left pane, and click the “Delete history” button.

Live Tile Cache

If tiles begin failing to be “live,” you may want to consider clearing the live tile cache. Press "Windows-C" on the Start screen or just scroll to the bottom-right corner to open the Charms bar and select "Settings" and then "Tiles." Under "Clear personal info from my tiles," click the "Clear" button. All tiles will be reset.