the user library cache...

fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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wondering about this folder. mine was up to about 500megs.
just deleted everything (except the audio cache! needed for Logic).

anyone know about this? how does this folder decide when to clear itself?
or?? i mean, this is the largest i've seen it; does it keep ballooning in size?
or does it flush periodically..?

thx
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
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wondering about this folder. mine was up to about 500megs.
just deleted everything (except the audio cache! needed for Logic).

anyone know about this? how does this folder decide when to clear itself?
or?? i mean, this is the largest i've seen it; does it keep ballooning in size?
or does it flush periodically..?

thx
There is another cache folder as well in the system library folder. They do flush when necessary, but it's best to let the operating system do its thing. Apple don't recommend clearing it, unless you're troubleshooting an application that is behaving in odd ways, like crashing. You can delete the folders yourself, but it will just slow your computer down a bit until the caches rebuild themselves.

If you have a lot of memory available, then Lion will create a temporary RAM disk and keep the cache stuff in there (the copy on your HDD remains of course). This is actually one of the reasons why people keep asking about where their "free" memory is.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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There is another cache folder as well in the system library folder. They do flush when necessary, but it's best to let the operating system do its thing. Apple don't recommend clearing it, unless you're troubleshooting an application that is behaving in odd ways, like crashing. You can delete the folders yourself, but it will just slow your computer down a bit until the caches rebuild themselves.

If you have a lot of memory available, then Lion will create a temporary RAM disk and keep the cache stuff in there (the copy on your HDD remains of course). This is actually one of the reasons why people keep asking about where their "free" memory is.
Very true. People forget that Mac OS X is a UNIX based operating system. With UNIX systems, free ram is wasted ram. Same thing applies to iOS. Just let the operating system do its job.
 

fisherking

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probably a sign of mental imbalance :D but...

i've been deleting the cached files (in user lib) every week for years LOL.
i see no difference in my mac's functioning after deleting.

(btw Intell, you're answering ALL my questions today, here & the iPhone forum. thanx!)
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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If you've been deleting the cache folder for the past few years, you're probably used to the slower launch times that happen when the caches are deleted. Try leaving it alone, you'll see improved launch speeds.

(You're welcome.)
 

fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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If you've been deleting the cache folder for the past few years, you're probably used to the slower launch times that happen when the caches are deleted. Try leaving it alone, you'll see improved launch speeds.

(You're welcome.)
a brand new macbook pro, 8gigs ram, an ssd; and, again, not 'feeling' any differences in ANY app launches (or anything for that matter) after emptying the cache folder...
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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It'll take a few days of uptime before you start to notice any changes. Still, its best practice to leave the caches alone, unless you are told to remove them. Removing them at random can lead to problems, even if you've never seen these problems, they exist.
 

fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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Removing them at random can lead to problems, even if you've never seen these problems, they exist.
well, if i've never seen or experienced problems...what would those problems be??

just want to be clear about it, i have no real problem NOT deleting cached files (or for that matter, NOT deleting them)..
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Not deleting the caches is what you're supposed to be doing. Not deleting them won't cause problems unless the application is buggy.

Deleting them without a reason can lead to lost settings, corrupt data, lost activations/licenses, loss of unsaved data, app crashes, increased launch times, unnecessary redownloading/reprocessing of data, and in extreme cases kernel panics.
 

fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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Not deleting the caches is what you're supposed to be doing. Not deleting them won't cause problems unless the application is buggy.

Deleting them without a reason can lead to lost settings, corrupt data, lost activations/licenses, loss of unsaved data, app crashes, increased launch times, unnecessary redownloading/reprocessing of data, and in extreme cases kernel panics.
i have to ask: where do you get this info? i mean, doesn't Onyx (for example) delete the same caches when run?

i really have been doing this for years, without problems...
but, even on a 256G SSD, i can afford to spare half-a-gig for these files i guess...
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Onyx isn't a very good thing to do. In some cases it can do more harm then good. I tend to avoid it as much as possible.

I've learned all of this by actually looking into what was being written into the caches folder and its general contents. There's also information on the subject in Apple's Developer Documentation.

Saying you've been doing that for years is roughly equivalent to turning off your computer by unplugging it. Sure you can do it, but sooner or later you'll encounter problems.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
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Jul 16, 2010
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googling seems to suggest that emptying the USER library cache is fine (and sometimes a good thing to do when troubleshooting...); and i've used Onyx literally forever.

but appreciate your POV...