Safe to delete cache files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by to1986, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #1
    Ive noticed my hard drive space slowly whittling away for no apparent reason. Having done a bit of research on the net, the topic of cache files often come up, allegedly deleting htem clears up a lot of space and allows your mac to run much faster. Is it safe to do this? I have onyx for mac, which options under cleaning do people usually check when using it? I am running snow leopard 10.6.2
     
  2. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    I don't use Indy frequently enough to answer that question, but, i do know that you can delete your cache files. I personally don't think they're taking up that much space, but it's harmless enough to delete them.
     
  3. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #3
    Yes, it is ok to delete your cache files
    It is doubtful you will reclaim a large amount of space, but a bloated cache can occasionally affect performance
     
  4. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
  5. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #5
    ...as will an empty cache, for pages you revisit. Of course, pages that you had not visited will not be affected.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #6
    I am assuming this shouldn't be done regularly then, and only if performance has dropped?
     
  7. macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #7
    You can do it as often as you like, but if there's not a problem, you may slow done certain things until the cache gets rebuilt.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    Technically true, but if you get into the "deep" cache cleaning that some utilities have as an option, there is actually some small chance of it screwing things up that were working properly (I had an old version of the [OS]CacheCleaner utility do this to me once). As LCC itself says, only do this if you're actually having problems, not as maintenance.

    "Light" cache deletion, however, should be perfectly safe, and has at least some chance of helping with low storage space.

    Another thing to check is if your system log file has gotten horribly bloated. It's uncommon, but misbehaving software will sometimes dump massive amounts of error messages into the logs, which can cause severe space shortages. Open up Console.app in your utilities folder, find System.log, select it, and check the size in the bottom left corner of the window. Alternately, most maintenance utilities have an option for deleting logs, which can be done safely without worry (they are, after all, just logs). Knowing if that was the problem is valuable, though, so you can do something about the root cause.

    Recent real world example: Silverlight, when playing video off NBC's Olympics website, dumped hundreds of error messages into the logs every second. 750MB/hour worth. Either watch a few hours of full-event Olympics or forget to close the browser window for a day or two, and you've got tens of gigabytes worth of logs eating up your free space.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #9
    my mac has been running poorly of late, and I want to jsut try these things to see if it makes a difference. I got the app 'cleanmymac', which is supposedly quite good...but do you suggest not deleting 'System Cache'? There is also an option to delete universal binaries, should they be left alone...I have no idea what they are?
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    If you need to clean your caches, these are the ones you need to hit in order of "safeness". I suggest moving the caches to the trash, and restarting the Mac (in the case of #2 and #3, #1 only needs a logout/login).

    1. ~/Library/Caches/
    2. /Library/Caches
    3. /System/Library/Caches

    As for Universal Binaries, don't touch them. If you're running out of space, delete some pr0n, don't delete system files.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #11
    Watch out for binaries, since you can screw up stuff.
     

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