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Cached files

southken
Rising Star
Posts: 98
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 2
Registered: 17-07-2010

Cached files

Hi All,  I've got 4gb of cached files on my macbook.  I am wondering if I should delete them and am just after some advice on the pros and cons.  Thanks.  

4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,768
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Cached files

The cached files I best understand are the one used by your web browsers.  The idea dates back to the early days of the internet when internet usage was slow and expensive.  So your browser would maintain a local copy of the files comprising the web pages you had visited to obviate the need for them to be downloaded again next time you visited that web site.  The idea was to speed-up page loading and this generally worked although sometimes the cache would get too full or corrupted in which case the effect was to slow things down.

Today the cache offers the same benefit but now we mostly have fast unlimited broadband the advantage is much less significant.  And it can still sometimes cause problems.  I have no idea how much represents too much cache on a modern machine but cleaning it out (using the proper procedure) will do little harm.        

southken
Rising Star
Posts: 98
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 2
Registered: 17-07-2010

Re: Cached files

Thanks ReedRichards for your explanation, that makes sense.  I've only had the laptop 3 months and I thought at this rate it's going to take up a lot of memory space.  

Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-10-2014

Re: Cached files

@southken -  If you are using Safari as your browser you can use Safari > Preferences > Advanced and select the ‘Show Develop’ Menu option. From this new menu option you can then use Alt+Cmd+E to empty caches or you can even disable them.

On Firefox then you can use Preferences > Advanced and select the Network header in there you will be able to select the “Override automatic Cache Management’ and set the size you want. I currently have mine set at 0 for the very reason @ReedRichards cites, as my Internet is fast enough not to warrant caching of files.

southken
Rising Star
Posts: 98
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 2
Registered: 17-07-2010

Re: Cached files

That's great, thanks Mook.  I'm using Safari so I'll follow your instructions for that.