9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2011 2:00 PM by cathy fasano
JTH. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
*Hello there. As the topic name says, is it safe to delete everything in the caches folder?*

*The reason why I want to do it is because i think its good to clear the caches like once every two months or something. like this site said:*

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+A cache is where OS X stores data it needs to access often (such as extensions and icons). Storing data in cache makes your Mac run faster because it can obtain the data quickly. Sometimes the cache gets corrupt, though, because of software updates, conflicts, and unexpected quits, and this can cause problems. Find out how to delete the library cache occasionally to maintain your Mac’s performance.+
+How to Delete Cache+

+If you own a house, you’ve probably had it sprayed for termites. If you have a dog, it probably wears a flea collar. If you have a car, you regularly have the oil changed. If you do what your doctor tells you, you go in once a year for a checkup. You do these things to prevent problems, catch problems early, and deal with problems as (or before) they arise, hopefully finding small problems and fixing them before they become even bigger ones. You need to take that same kind of care with your computer. In this article, you’ll learn how to delete the Library cache to avoid future problems, or to fix a corrupt cache.+

+A cache is where OS X stores data it needs to access often (such as extensions and icons). Storing data in cache makes your Mac run faster because it can obtain the data it needs quickly. Sometimes the cache gets corrupt, though, because of software updates, conflicts, and unexpected quits, and this can cause problems. You should delete the library cache occasionally to maintain your Mac’s performance.+

+You might experience application or system crashes or see seemingly random problems that don’t seem to be caused by anything in particular at all. This could be caused by a corrupt library cache. To prevent the cache from becoming corrupt, you should delete everything in the Caches folders once a month, about the same time you run the file system checker mentioned in a previous article.+

+Here’s how to clean your caches:+

+1. Choose Users>your user name>Library>Caches.+

+2. From the Menu bar, choose Edit>Select All.+

+3. Drag all of the items to the Trash.+

+4. From the Macintosh HD, choose Library>Caches.+

+5. Choose Edit>Select All, and drag the items to the Trash. You’ll be required to type in an administrator’s password.+

+6. Restart your Mac.+
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*I dont know if i should do that, because i've done something before that i shouldnt.*

*So is it safe to delete everything in the caches? Will my computer go a bit faster? Will it go slower?*

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Snow Leopard
  • CT Level 6 Level 6 (17,050 points)
    There is no universal answer to this question, but here's what I think the consensus is.

    If you are having a problem, cache clearing might help.

    If things are running normally, cache clearing is probably counter-productive - the caches are meant to IMPROVE performance.

    IMO, all this third party attention to "cleaning" is some kind of marketing carryover from Windows.

    charlie
  • DanH Level 5 Level 5 (4,370 points)
    Your computer will likely run slower. Don't do it.

    If you want to make sure the caches stay as "clean" as possible, always leave your machine on but sleeping (as Apple recommends) and it will do its own cleanup. If you want to monitor this behavior or control it, try this widget:

    http://www.giantmike.com/widgets/Maintidget.html

    -dan

    Message was edited by: DanH
  • J D McIninch Level 5 Level 5 (4,060 points)
    The answer is "yes".

    The long answer is that doing so will cause a "cache miss" when the app in question looks for something in the cache and forces the app to attempt to retrieve a new copy. There is, of course, always the possibility that information may no longer be accessible from it's source, in which case you are out of luck and the app will need to decide what to do.

    HOWEVER, the advice that the cache sometimes becomes corrupt is somewhat bogus. It's much more likely that the cache becomes out of date. This may mean that you see an old version of something when the actual data has since been updated.

    In your web browser, you can always disable use of the cache entirely. Web developers frequently do this so that they are always sure to see their page correctly during development and not need to worry if their content comes from the cache or not. This significantly slows down loading of most web pages.
  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (47,205 points)
    I concur. The "cleaning apps" are the next big scam after AV software. Since Windows requires both the software vendors are attempting sell Mac users on these to line their pockets.


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    Allan
    tiger

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  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,700 points)
    Can be used as one possible troubleshooting step only if you are encountering problems. Otherwise, leave the caches alone. Certainly no need to do this regularly.

    If you need to do any troubleshooting, one of the best programs for that is Applejack.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/applejack/

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-10334620-263.html?tag=mfiredir

    The one cache you can regularly empty is the browser cache; unless you are on a dial-up you can safely delete your browser cache anytime. The browser cache is not needed at all for a relatively fast broadband connection. I awlays empty my browser cache at the end of the day.

    Message was edited by: WZZZ
  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,210 points)
    Answered in your other thread in the Leopard forums. Saw that one first, where you noted it was in the wrong OS forum.
  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,700 points)
    Kurt Lang wrote: Yes, but only do so when nothing but the OS is running, and immediately restart afterwards. You don't want to remove a cache file that may be being read from at the time, or worse, being written to.


    That's why I like Applejack for this. It runs in Single user.
  • Kurt Lang Level 8 Level 8 (35,210 points)
    That's why I like Applejack for this. It runs in Single user.


    Yup, you can't forget then. Though honestly, I have never used Applejack, much less even downloaded it. I've got myself pretty well trained (arf!) to shut apps down before clearing caches. Then I only have to restart once.
  • cathy fasano Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    One particular time that it is useful to clear caches is when you are deleting fonts and installing new ones. The mac has an annoying ability to find fonts in nooks and crannies that you never knew existed! (Especially worry about system 9 folders hanging about from macs that have been upgraded multiple times, and I swear that fonts will get loaded out of the trash.)

    Also I've had cache cleanups with applejack that took an hour, and fixing permissions and running fsck sure does go faster without an extra gazillion files. That takes years to get to that point, though, so you aren't going to be doing it real often.