4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 30, 2006 5:00 PM by giwwwy
giwwwy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
What does "empty cache" mean? Any pro's/ cons of doing this? Is all I have to do is click on "empty cache" to empty cache? Where does the "cache" go? Do I have to do anything with it there?

Thank you for your time and patience.

imac   Mac OS X (10.4)  

imac   Mac OS X (10.4)  
  • Keith Gaboury1 Level 3 Level 3 (955 points)
    A cache is temporary memory designed to speed up access to resources. Previously accessed web pages are stored on the disk of the personal computer running the browser. When a user is flipping back and forth between previously accessed pages, the browser retrieves the pages from the local disk rather than from the remote server. Use of cache speeds up retrieval, reduces network traffic and decreases load on the server. ...

    "Empty Cache" means to delete the files. They are completely deleted, no further action needs to be taken.

    Pro's/Con's It doesn't hurt to delete the cache, and you may find increased page loading when done, due to excessivly sized cache before the delete.

    PowerMac G4 867 dual   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   20" Cinema Display, Pioneer DVR 107, 1Gig RAM
  • ali brown Level 7 Level 7 (26,465 points)
    Hi giwwwy!

    Although the process normally won't have ill effects, emptying Caches is usually a troubleshooting procedure, and isn't necessary to do on a regular basis.

    Your Mac has several Caches. Which of these are you referring to? Browser Cache, maybe?
    Caches store previously accessed information. This expediates the retrieval of that info.
    For example, when you visit a Web page, that page is stored in a Cache.
    The next time you surf to that page, it will load faster.

    Emptying some caches may temporarily slow your Mac's performance, as the Caches will rebuild.

    This link gives a more technical explanation Cache - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    More links here Search - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    EDIT: Keith explained it much better than I!

    ali b
  • hyphen Level 6 Level 6 (15,475 points)

    OS X as well as many applications, write the most frequently used data portions into a cache file so as to speed up their operations. For example the windowing system may write the contents of the root level of your boot drive into a cache file so every time you are opening your boot volume it retrieves the information from there. This will make the opening of this volume appear to be much faster.

    Some times, however, caches get corrupt. When this happens applications, including the OS, begin to misbehave. In such cases deleting them can bring back your mac to working order.

    Deleting caches will not harm your mac per se, however, you may notice that some operations will appear to be slower as applications or the OS are forced to work harder to retrieve or manipulate some portions of data. With time speed will increase again as caches will be rebuilt.

    There are three type of caches: global caches, inside /Library/Caches, which deal with processes common to all users in a setup' user caches, inside /Users/username/Library/Caches/, which deal with the processes related to a specific user and system caches, which deal with system processes.

    To delete caches you can do manually from the finder, via command line in single user mode or terminal or with the aid of third party utilities such as Onyx or Tiger Cache cleaner (compatible with previous versions of the OS). If you opt for the Finder or terminal approach make sure you immediately restart your mac after deletion.

    Bear in mind that cache deletion must not be seen as a panacea, i.e. the solution to all problems. It is not. Deleting them must be a user's last resort and not a maintenance routine.
  • giwwwy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you all brown, keith,and hyphen. Your explainations helped alot.
    And thank you all brown for the links to dictionary? My next question was going to be is there a link on this apple site for that? My old "idiot's guide" had a glossary, but my new "imac for dummies" does not have one. So thank you very much.
    ( Neither of those books have been very helpful to me personally- I think authors think I should already know vocabulary, etc. Someone needs to write one.... "imac for morons"..... Thats where I should start.)
    But thanks again you all...... You are such a big help!

    imac   Mac OS X (10.4)