Empty System and User Cache on non-boot drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by honeycombz, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. honeycombz macrumors 6502

    honeycombz

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #1
    Hi, I'm running my boot system and applications off an SSD and then have my user directory/data on a 7200rpm spinner (I can also boot into this if needed). If I try to empty system and application cache it only does so on the SSD and not the spinner which seems to accumulate gigs of cache data over time. I'm wondering if there is a way to empty cache on a non booted volume because it seems like the only way now is to boot into the spinner and empty cache which is a bit inconvenient.
     
  2. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #2
    You can do it manually. Or you might try a third party tool.

    What problem are you trying to solve by deleting cache files? They are generated automatically, and barring the rare damaged/corrupted file should cause no issues.

    Deleting them all the time is like playing whack-a-mole; you can't really win. And, generally speaking cache files allow a system to run faster....so cleaning them constantly will hurt performance.
     
  3. honeycombz thread starter macrumors 6502

    honeycombz

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #3
    Not constantly but monthly perhaps. The ones on the spinner seem to build up to gigs of data over time.
     
  4. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #4
    Have you tried any of the third party cache cleaner tools? Onyx has been good, is free, and is feature rich.

    It handles both system and user cache....plus lots of other goodies. If you change the default preferences, you can clean all users, not just the one you are logged in as.
     
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #5
    You should never delete system or used caches, especially not as a routine.
     
  6. honeycombz thread starter macrumors 6502

    honeycombz

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
  7. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #7

    Please explain.
     
  8. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #8
    The system is designed to create and rely on caches. They are not a byproduct. These caches contain pre-computed information and frequently needed data, among other things. They are a vital aspect of the system's and its applications' performance. Whenever you delete caches, you are hamstringing your system and forcing it to rebuild them. This takes time (hours to days), during which the system will unnecessarily waste resources (including write cycles) and is overall slower. Forcibly deleting caches on which the system has a lock can also cause corruption elsewhere in the system.

    You should only delete caches when they are corrupted and the system or program in question is unable to repair them themselves.
     
  9. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #9

    Uh....ok.

    By using the word "never" in your initial response could be interpreted to be contradicting the previous info about only deleting cache files to solve a problem (...most likely a corrupted cache file).

    I see that we are basically in agreement that routinely deleting them is not a sound practice....as resources are used as they are automatically recreated, over and over and over.

    Hopefully you would agree that a more clear response than never would be something like: rarely or only as needed.


    ---


    OP: If you are only deleting cache files because of space, then it sounds like you need to upgrade your storage. Deleting cache files is addressing a symptom, not the problem. As KALLT rightly pointed out, constantly re-writing large cache files is actually hurting performance.
     
  10. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #10
    From experience, I know that if you aren’t making some hyperboles, people will still try to argue over it. No, there is virtually no reason to do it, because the user can almost never ascertain that the problem is in fact a faulty cache. Just don’t ever delete system or used caches manually, simple.
     
  11. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #11
    Well, as an example, just last week I was working on a machine that was acting weird (not a crash, but unresponsive tools in GUI) in Adobe Premiere on a new iMac. Digging though the error logs showed a path to a cache file in the user Library. Deleting that file solved the issue, and Premiere then behaved normally.

    Adobe InDeign used to be notorious for corrupting/damaging cache files that would cause it to crash every time you launched it, and the only fix was to to delete the offending cache files. To be fair, this seems to been resolved in the last year or so....but it used to be a common problem. It was so common that Adobe built a keyboard shortcut to automatically delete preference and cache files during launch. There are similar methods for other applications such as Dreamweaver, and so on.

    So while I agree one should not be deleting cache files routinely as some sort of preventative maintenance or to simply save space, telling folks to never do it seems like incorrect—or at least highly situational—advice.
     
  12. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #12
    Well, it cannot be more explicit than that if an error message points you to the application’s caches and the developer actually encourages you to delete them. That is why I said above that caches can be deleted when a program is unable to repair them. I can also give you an example where deleting a cache can actually make a program go crazy: there was a bug in Spotify a few years ago that was caused by deleting a cache while the program was using it. It started filling the drive and would not stop. There is also the problem that some bad developers actually misunderstand what the caches are for and start using it for settings and other non-volatile data.

    In general it is simply for the best to not delete caches, unless you know for sure that a particular cache is corrupted.
     
  13. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #13
    Agreed!
     

Share This Page