Is There a Way to INCREASE Safari's Cache?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SirLollipopMan, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2011
    I use an internet service that has a bandwidth cap of 5 GB per month, and in the interest of getting the most out of it, I was wondering if there were any way to prevent Safari from dumping items in the cache.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I don't uh... hmm. You're trying to cut down on bandwith but... the cache files are stored on your computer, they don't have an impact on your bandwidth? I don't think?

    What makes you think the cache is the problem?
  3. macrumors regular

    May 15, 2008
    I understand. The OP wants Safari to cache more of the internet, so that when they revisit sites they won't be using the download allowance so much.

    I'm also interested in doing this, more just to speed up my browsing, but I think these issues are not related to how big the cache is, but what safari actually caches. For example, I don't think PHP files gets cached on the assumption they are dynamic and always changing. This is not always the case though, example in point being a blog that doesn't get updated for 3 months.

    Perhaps some other can shed more light on how the cache works?
  4. macrumors 68000

    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    He doesn't, its just a poorly phrased sentence, I thought he meant what you thought the first time I read it.

    What he wants is a way to have more cache so less is downloaded in total. However I think that's not going to be much use, because 5Gb isn't much and he'd have to cache such a lot to make a difference that Safari would slow down to a crawl, as it spent a huge amount of time searching through the cache for every single page element. I suppose if its slowed down enough, it might limit his downloads by virtue of that low speed, but that's probably not what he is seeking to accomplish :D

    One way to verify this would be to use Firefox, whose cache can be increased, up it to say 5Gb and see what happens.
  5. macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
  6. Makosuke, Jun 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011

    macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    First, what Safari does and doesn't cache is determined in more or less the same way as any other browser. When you load any element on a web page--the page itself (dynamically generated or otherwise), the stylesheet, an image, etc--it comes with an expiration date. Just about any modern browser will use that to determine when to next ask for the item is. Even then, the browser will usually just ask whether the element has changed since the last time it was retrieved, and if the answer is no (status 304), it doesn't bother downloading it again. That MacRumors logo at the top of the page, for example, was last modified on May 2nd, and has an expiration date one month from whenever it was downloaded. So your browser won't even check until mid-July, at which point if it hasn't changed, it still won't download it.

    Coming back to the original question, you basically want Safari to save as much stuff as possible so you get as many 304 (not modified) results as possible.

    And the method is, more or less, not to do anything--Safari will generally cache most stuff to disk until the expiry date when left to its own devices.

    Leaving Safari open also helps--you can tell by its huge RAM usage that it's quite greedy about keeping stuff in memory to make navigation go as fast as possible.

    One thing you definitely don't want to do is use Chrome; in an effort to make page loads faster it does all kinds of prefetch, up to and including (in the latest version) pre-loading the top Google hit as soon as you do a search. You can probably turn that off, but if you want to be stingy with bandwidth I'd wager it's better not to even run the risk.

    Final note: If you're ONLY web browsing, I seriously doubt 5GB is going to be an issue--even with modern web pages, that's a lot of HTML and pictures. If, however, you want to spend some of those GB on watching video or downloading large files, that's an entirely different matter.
  7. macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    if you see my post, the OP said "prevent" though and I think he just went and changed everything to increase; that's why I was confused.

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