Maybe a game you've downloaded on Steam won't load properly. Or maybe Steam is just running incredibly slow.

While there's a short list of things you can do to troubleshoot the problem, the first among these should be clearing your download cache, which can help Steam run more smoothly.

Here's how to clear Steam's cache on both Mac and PC .

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How to clear Steam's download cache

Before you clear the cache, you'll want to take care of your mods.

If you're running mods on any of your Steam games, you'll want to back up and move those before clearing your cache. Otherwise, you'll need to download and install them again.

This is because Steam installs mods in the same place as the cached files it's clearing out, so clearing your download cache will remove those mods as well.

Once that's taken care of, here's how to clear the cache.

1. Open the Steam app.

2. Go to the "Steam" menu in the top menu bar and select "Settings" if you're on PC , or "Preferences..." if you're on a Mac .

Menu _ Preferences
Menu _ Preferences
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

3. In the sidebar on the left, select "Downloads."

4. Click the "Clear Download Cache" button to clear your cache.

Clear Cache Button
Clear Cache Button
Christopher Curley/Business Insider

It's that simple. This process will log you out of Steam , so you'll have to log back in if you want to play games.

Clearing the download cache doesn't always work for everybody, nor fix every problem, but it's a good place along with restarting Steam and restarting your computer to begin when the Steam client is being wonky.

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