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The merits of clearing the cache files...

398 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2013 8:08 AM by WZZZ RSS
oxcart Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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Feb 9, 2013 10:26 AM

About six months ago I noticed my wife's MBP was very slow to execute many finder commends such as opening system preferences.  Today I noticed that all of the 100 or so icons on her horribly cluttered desktop blinked on and off when she switched from one window to another.  I moved the contents of /users/username/library/caches to a holding folder in the trash.  On restart the icon blinking problem was gone and the machine was back to full speed.  It was nice to kill two birds with one stone for a chnage. 

 

Anyway, everything seems to work just fine.  My question is whether it is advisable to delete the contents of /library/caches? 

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,010 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 10:30 AM (in response to oxcart)

    One or more cache files were corrupted hence the reason removing them helped. You can discard/delete the ones you have already removed.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,875 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 10:32 AM (in response to oxcart)

    But not needed for regular maintenance, only for troubleshooting.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,010 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 10:52 AM (in response to oxcart)

    Do not delete those. If you really think you have a cache related problem then the proper thing to do is use a utility designed to remove cache files. My utility of choice for this would be Mountain Lion Cache Cleaner 7.0.5.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 11:40 AM (in response to oxcart)

    There may be other issues also causing problems, the only true solution is to run through a list of fixes and tune up your machine.

     

    Cleaning the caches is just one portion of it.

     

    ..Step by Step to fix your Mac

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,875 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 3:21 PM (in response to oxcart)

    ~/users/username/library/caches

     

    ~/library/caches

     

    As far as I can tell, unless there's something very different in Lion I'm unaware of, those are exactly the same paths, with the first one not being written correctly. It  is redundant, since ~ the tilde, means the user into which you are logged.  It should be written /Users/yourusername/Library/Caches.There is only one main caches folder in the user Library.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,010 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 3:21 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    Technically, the tilde should not be used in the first instance.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,875 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 3:23 PM (in response to Kappy)

    Yes and see edited post. So I don't understand the OP's second question, or your reply stating those caches should be left alone, since they're identical and, apparently, he's already nuked them.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,010 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 3:30 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    I meant all the caches in that Caches folder. There are one or two that shouldn't be removed lest the computer won't startup. I was trying to get across the idea that it's better to use a utility than simply drag stuff to the Trash. Guess I should have been clearer.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,875 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 3:39 PM (in response to Kappy)

    One or two in the user caches that if deleted will prevent startup. That's interesting. Which ones are those and how would they prevent startup?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,010 points)
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    Feb 9, 2013 4:00 PM (in response to WZZZ)

    Don't remember where I read it.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,875 points)
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    Feb 10, 2013 8:08 AM (in response to oxcart)

    The following applies to Snow Leopard, which I use, and should probably apply as well to Lion or ML. The only time I've ever cleared caches has been with Applejack (with the OS not mounted in single user mode, which is safer), in its deep cleaning mode. As far as I know, there should be no problem removing the caches in /Library/Caches and even in /System/Library. The only thing is it will take time to rebuild them and the computer will be slower, possibly for several restarts.

     

    Although there isn't a Lion version, Applejack may still work in Lion, but it isn't being developed or supported any longer.

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