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Check your browser's cache to recover drive space Web Browsers
Just thought I'd pass this on.. I recently was looking into where all the space on my OS X partition had gone.

I looked around and noticed that my ~/Library/Preferences/Explorer folder was around 400 MB (my cache is set to 5 MB). For some reason, the Download Cache was a 390 MB WAFF document. I trashed it, quit and restarted IE, which generated another Download Cache (only 4 KB), while keeping my download history intact.

I also checked my little brother's computer for the same thing, and he also had a relatively large file (~75 MB) there. We're both running 10.1.2, IE v 5.1.

[Editor's note: With the proliferation of browsers, cache can definitely take up a fair bit of drive space in a hurry. If you use multiple browsers, you should check each occasionally to see how much cache space they're each taking up.]
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Setting not honored?
Authored by: lstewart on Jan 16, '02 09:51:51AM

I've noticed the same thing on my machine (same OS and browser versions). It seems like perhaps IE disregards the Cache Size setting completely. And of course, since the cache is in a web archive, it's not simple to go remove just the oldest or largest offending items. (Is that even possible?)

Has anyone seen a copy of IE on OS X behave properly in this regard?

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Setting not honored?
Authored by: ChaChi on Jan 16, '02 03:24:09PM

Mine works just the way it should. The Cache setting in IE's preferences is your "web page cache". The Download cache is something completely different. It is your incomplete downloads being stored. Your actual cache file for web pages you've viewed is stored here:

/Users/UserName/Library/Caches/MS Internet Cache/IE Cache.waf

At least this is where mine is located. Mine is set to 100MB in my preferences and the cache file in the above location is exactly the same.

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IE Download cache
Authored by: outofcontrol on Jan 16, '02 11:07:03AM
Well, I think i had the biggest heart attack the other day, when I checked my cache in OS 9 and discovered that it was in excess of 2G.
This is definitely something everyone should check periodically. Perhaps someone will write a nice little script in BASH or whatever to run with crontab and delete the cache every week or so on OS X.

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IE Download cache
Authored by: 128K Mac on Mar 07, '02 09:59:35PM

Sudo Editor

I have been trying to sort out I.E. and Entourage cache since November but remain baffled.

I'm assuming you're referring to the download cache file found at ~/user/Library/Preferences/Explorer/ named "Download Cache." In OS X this is essentially the equivalent directory to OS9 /System Folder/Preferences/Explorer which has a file of the same name.

But to stray off topic a bit, what about the ~/user/Library/Caches/MS Internet Cache directory?

Two are created when IE is launched. The other is created by Entourage. Why does Entourage need a cache? I don't believe, Eudora et al have a "cache." Why is the size of the Entourage controlled by pref settings ("Advanced") in I.E.? After using both apps, why does the content of one "IE cache file" contain data from both?

One IE file apparently is a "conventional" cache file (or directory in the instance of Mozilla), but why the need for a second that shares data with Entourage? Why does IE pref setting control Entourage's cache size?

Puzzling. There are obvious files elsewhere which contain the data and pref files for both. But what about the two "extra" cache files in the MS Internet Cache directory?

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Cache fun!
Authored by: bigdog on Jan 16, '02 11:07:22AM

So Internet Explorer does leave these entirely large cache files even when you have your web cache set very low (mine is set to 0k all the time). So what's the deal?

Easy- the Download Cache is just that, your downloads. In preferences somewhere (I forget where) is a setting to remember the last X number of downloads. IE has a funny feature where it will actually not only remember the URL and where it was saved, but it also duplicates + caches the portion of any unfinished downloads. That's why, when resuming an unfinished download, you might see a very high speed for a few seconds as it re-loads the beginning of the file from this Download Cache. If you clear out your Download Manager completely (cmd+a [select all], cmd+delete [delete all/no confirmation]), your cache file should reduce in size. If it doesn't then you can manually delete the Download Cache file.


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Cache fun!
Authored by: xchanyazy on Jan 16, '02 10:25:08PM

In IE prefs - Receiving Files - Download Options, there is a setting to remember the last 'x' completed downloads. However, mine is set to 10, and I know that the 10 pdf files I downloaded from my econ class did not take up 400 MB of space. I think this is where it would be controlled though, even if it doesn't seem to work.

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Cache fun!
Authored by: TvE on Jan 17, '02 07:09:30AM
Sorry - but that trick did'nt work for me (374 MB).
I even quit IE to make sure it had a good chance to get rid of the temporary files.
My setting is a max of 10 MB...

How do you file a bugreport with Micro$oft - DO they actually listen to stuff like this (Yes, I ALSO still believe in miracles)?

;-] TvE

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IE Cache Trasher
Authored by: tenaciousJay on Jan 16, '02 11:09:15AM

This script will help with this:

"When IE Cache Trasher is run, if the download cache exists, a dialog will display the size of the cache in kilobytes and give you the option to delete it. Depending on your choice, IE Cache Trasher will inform you of the success of your choice, then quit."

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Authored by: jevoncarlson on Jan 16, '02 12:33:54PM

I noticed this same problem yesterday, my cache is set at 20mb but the file was a whopping 1.8gb.

too big.

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Nothing New Under the Sun
Authored by: 128K Mac on Jan 17, '02 02:38:51AM

The same issue exists in OS9. The location of the ever-growing download cache file there is System Folder/Preferences/Explorer.

The easiest way to get rid of it in either OS is with an AppleScript.

With a broadband connection the best setting in preferences for the browser cache is probably -0-. This can be done in I.E., Mozilla, etc. With a decent connection you can reload a page again as fast as you can from cache and your hard drive isn't being pounded with thousands of little html and gif files.

In the bad old days (pre broad band) cache files were handy to have. Now all they do is create a potential directory problem and/or needless use of your hard drive which has to continually save/retrieve them. It's not uncommon to find single pages that require saving/retrieval of 50 to 100 of these little files.

I believe another post has correctly indicated that the I.E. browser cache is IE Cache.waf in /Users/Home/Library/Caches/MS Internet Cache. If you have two other files in there, both the same size as IE Cache.waf, you've just found your Entourage X cache files. All three cache files in this folder will be the same size as your I.E. browser cache setting (under Advanced Settings) and if trashed all three will be recreated to a size of 30MB, the default setting for I.E.

Change the I.E. cache setting to something else and its cache file will immediately change, but the other two will not until both I.E. and Entourage X quit and relaunch. All three will then be the same "size" again, the setting of the I.E. browser cache.

Presumably their "size" is the amount they reserve on disk for cache, not a measure of their actual size in terms of content.

Why the browser cache setting ("Advanced" under prefs) should determine the size of the two files created by Entourage X I don't have a clue.

One interesting note is that none of these three cache files, including the browser cache for I.E., can be deleted if ANY Office X application is running. The I.E. cache file will be "busy" even if it is not running and the only application that is running is Word X.


It's a Microsoft application.

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Authored by: laphroaig on Jan 17, '02 03:25:49AM

I wonder why all of us noticed this at the same time.

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