13 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2009 4:55 PM by steko
gadget_girl1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm using Dantz's Retrospect for backing up multiple macs of varying ages on my network. I would like to know where are the temporary internet files located in Mac OS X?

With OS 9 I was able to exclude them in the backup by excluding folders with the words "cache" or "temporary" in them. But I still seem to be backing up large amounts of temp files. Little used machines are still backing up hundreds of MB's each backup! After I paused it, I did a search for one of the filenames that I saw it was backing up. But the file was not found, so I guess that folder doesn't get indexed.


Thanks.

Message was edited by: gadget_girl1

Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    That depends on exactly what you mean and what browser you use. When you say temporary files, do you also mean metadata and cookies for example?
    If you are using for example Omniweb as opposed to Safari, you'll find they ue different files that are stored in your home folder.

    To narrow things down for you though. They are most likely be stored in either;
    ~/Library/Application Support/.........(Omniweb for example stores some stuff here).
    ~/Library/Caches.........(Quicktime for example stores some stuff here).
    ~/Library/Cookies/...........(Safari for example stores some stuff here).
    ~/Library/Preferences/............(Some MS Apps store stuff here).
    ~/Library/Safari/............(again, Safari stores some stuff here).

    There are also hidden folders in the /var/folders or /var/tmp directories amongst other places I think. You might not want to mess around with these though.
    I've stopped looking for em now. There seem to be so many tracks to cover.
    Oh-how did you do your searches, just because items don't show up, doesn't always mean they don't exist.

    Message was edited by: gumsie
  • gadget_girl1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I especially mean the tons of images that are saved any time you visit a website. But other large files would be good too. I primarily use Firefox & Safari.

    I did look in some of the library folders & they didn't have too many things.

    I do think that the locations could be hidden, since my backup program found them, but a search wouldn't. I just used the search in the finder & then spotlight to search for the file, but maybe these temporary folders get excluded from the indexing for these searches?

    I'm not planning on deleting these files, just excluding them from the backup. But I don't want to have to manually clear the cache everytime my computer is about to run an automated backup.

    Thanks, I'll check the var directories.
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    Trouble is I suspect that they're probably all there, but just not in a format that is readily identifiable.
  • gadget_girl1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Could you tell me how to get to the var directory? And how to unhide hidden files?

    Thanks
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    To get to /var;
    ↑⌘G, then type /var

    To unhide hidden files;
    Hold on. The command I usually use doesn't seem to work for this one gimme a mo...........

    I've used this;defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
    before but it doesn't seem to work at the mo, so I have [Cocktail|http://www.maintain.se] that does it for me. [Onyx|http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs2/english/download.html], free, also does it.

    Message was edited by: gumsie

    Oh and you might find [this|http://www.westwind.com/reference/OS-X/invisibles.html] guide useful.

    Right, found the problem. You need this line instead;
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
    Open a terminal and enter
    cd /var
    It is best not to unhide hidden files. If you do, be sure your backup is up to date. Tampering with the OS is only recommended for real experts.

    To see hidden files simply use the terminal command
    ls -al
    and there they are

    Or in a finder, use the Action Gear and select "Show hidden files"

    However, if you are simply looking for the Safari cache, it's in
    ~/LIbrary/Caches/Safari (or FireFox)
    They are not hidden files.

    Message was edited by: nerowolfe
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    nerowolfe wrote:
    Or in a finder, use the Action Gear and select "Show hidden files"


    Hey, Nerowolfe, I don't get that option. I see the action gear at the top of my finder window but no such option exists. How is it that you have it?
  • steko Level 2 Level 2 (270 points)
    Hi gadget_girl1

    Safari cache in 10.5.x is NOT located in ~/LIbrary/Caches/Safari.

    There is such a folder, but it's empty.

    Safari cache.db & SafeBrowsing.db are located in:

    private/var/folders/uo/folder with cryptic name, maybe named different on your mac/caches/com.apple.Safari



    steko
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
    You are correct. I was looking at my old Tiger Safari Cache from 2007.
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
    gumsie wrote:
    nerowolfe wrote:
    Or in a finder, use the Action Gear and select "Show hidden files"


    Hey, Nerowolfe, I don't get that option. I see the action gear at the top of my finder window but no such option exists. How is it that you have it?


    It's a bit tricky the first time.
    When you enter a search term and click the Action Gear, under the Kind dropdown button, select "Other" and you will see a lengthly checklist labeled "Select a search attribute:"
    Click any and every possible attribute you might ever need and they will then appear next time you select Kind.
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    Well many thanks. I'll keep that in mind. Don't you wish Apple released a book with all these hidden niceties in?
  • gadget_girl1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for all your responses! I was able to get to the var folder & it looks like it has several cache files. Think that should do the trick!
  • steko Level 2 Level 2 (270 points)
    In 10.5.7 Safari cache location changed. It is now located (again) in: ~/LIbrary/Caches/com.apple.Safari.

    The SafeBrowsing database is still in: private/var/folders/uo/folder with cryptic name, maybe named different on your mac/caches/com.apple.Safari



    steko