18 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2016 8:57 PM by Pat481

    Disk Cache piling up

    lastala Level 1



      I have a "problem" with After Effects disk caches that don't get emptied from the application itself, but have to be emptied manually. They eat a lot of hd-space (multitude of GigaBytes).


      What I found, that at least when I select clip(s) in Premiere Pro and make then an Adobe Dynamic Link => New After Effects Composition, this procedure starts to pile cache files to a location:

      /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe/After Effects/11.0

      to a folder called: "Adobe After Effects Disk Cache - <computername>.noindex"


      That cache does not get emptied from anywhere in After Effects, selecting to empty the caches in AE does not remove them. So, I found them with a laborous manual search.


      Now, I suppose (but don't know) that this folder can be deleted without any harm? Secondly, I would expect After Effects or Premiere Pro to be able to find and empty these caches on demand. This is not the first time I've noticed Adobe applications start to eat mysteriously hd-space, but it is the first time I'm able to locate where and from which process. Would anyone have a comment?

        • 1. Re: Disk Cache piling up
          Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

          A few points about the After Effects disk cache:


          1. You can empty it from within AE by going to Preferences > Media & Disk Cache, then click the Empty Disk Cache button.
          2. From this preference panel, you can also disable the cache, change the limit on how much disk space is used, or change the location it is stored. If you do change the location, favor a fast disk with a reasonable amount of space. The faster the disk, the quicker AE can write frames to the cache and load the frames back into memory for playback, thus the more useful the disk cache becomes.
          3. Yes, you can delete these files from disk, outside of the application interface. There will be no penalty other than AE having to rebuild the frames when they are requested.
          4. No, this cache does not automatically delete itself; that's an intentional part of the design, to have the cache be persistent. But it does have a maximum size that you can define in the preferences, and it will overwrite the oldest entries when it runs out of room.
          5. These cache files can build up at any time while you are working in AE. You may have noticed them building up while using an AE comp via Dynamic Link because AE builds the cache while it is idle. If you're a fast worker in AE, it may not have much idle time, but while you're working in Premiere Pro the background instance of AE probably has lots of idle time.


          More information about the disk cache can be found here and here and here.

          3 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Disk Cache piling up
            lastala Level 1

            Thanks for you reply, Tim.


            1. You can empty it from within AE by going to Preferences > Media & Disk Cache, then click the Empty Disk Cache button.


            Just one point: no, you cannot empty this cache folder by going to Preferences > Media & Disk Cache, then click the Empty Disk Cache button. As I stated before, this procedure does not empty the cache mentioned earlier, that was my point in the beginning.

            • 3. Re: Disk Cache piling up
              Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

              Sorry, overlooked that detail in your original post.


              BUT... it worked for me just now. When I click the disk cache button, the entire contents of the "Adobe After Effects Disk Cache - computerName.noindex" gets emptied.


              Have you changed the location of your disk cache in the preference? If you have previously changed the location of the cache, clicking the Empty Disk Cache button won't clean out any non-current location. You can delete the files manually.


              Also, if you click the Empty Disk Cache button while Premiere Pro is running with a dynamically linked AE comp in it, I'm not sure what will happen. The linked copy of AE running in the background might lock the cache files in use. Quit Premiere Pro and double-check in Activity Monitor that only one instance of AE is running.


              Otherwise, I have no definitive answer. If you change the location of the disk cache, say to a new folder on your desktop, does emptying the cache work? (RAM preview a comp to generate some cache files in that folder.)  It's also possible that you've got some sort of permissions issue on the folder. Quit AE and maybe try trashing the whole .noindex folder, or maybe trash the 11.0 folder (your AE prefs are included in that bundle, so back up the files in case this doesn't work). Then try again. If not, maybe a new user?


              Again, you can trash the files manually if you want. There's no harm.

              • 4. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                Probably what Kurkoski said - if either of the applications/ processes is running, it locks the files and then the other can't delete them. You would probably be able to verify this by monitoring file access with tools like System Monitor....



                • 5. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                  Brianbobcat Level 1

                  Tim, clicking Empty Disk Cache in the preferences didn't work for me either.  I have just shy of 20GB in the cache, and no matter how many times I pressed Empty, it never would.  The "Adobe After Effects 11.0-x64 Prefs" file beneath the cache itself would update, but all the files persisted.  I have never changed that location, and didn't even know I could until this post.


                  CS6 seems to have major bugs about not properly flushing items, specifically this case and the hard drive, and AE not flushing unused RAM.  Both of these get to be major issues quickly, especially for someone like me who's on a laptop.  Even with 8GB of RAM, that gets used up quickly when working with lights and 3D and AE just consumes every MB of memory without flushing.  Please fix these issues.

                  • 6. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Set a folder for the disk cache that's easy to find. Open the folder. Delete the files. While this is not a technique that you can use from inside AE or automate, it will always work.

                    • 7. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                      Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                      > Please fix these issues.


                      Have you installed the latest updates? They include fixes for issues such as these.

                      • 8. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                        Mikhail Sedov Level 1

                        I have the same peoblem. Latest update After Effects cc.

                        • 9. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                          Josh JMFE Level 1

                          Cleaning the database from within AE barely deletes anything at all.  Always been that way for me.  The only sure fire way to delete anything is to manually just wipe the folder.  Wish the file system was organized in such a way so that you could tell what went with which project.  Easiest to just wipe by date.  I figure if its a month or 2 old, I don't need it anymore=)  Wouldn't call this method ideal, but what other choice is there?   As others have stated, AE and Premeire like holding on to stuff like horders=)

                          • 10. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                            staus.me Level 1

                            Just wanna add to this:

                            Using the "whatSize" app to monitor my folders I found that I had both a 11.0 and a 12.0 cache folder each containing 50 gb cache. I'm guessing that the 11.0 folder is from AECS6 so I just deleted that. It could have been nice though if the CS6 uninstaller had removed that folder as well.

                            • 11. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                              Josh K-H Level 1

                              Could someone explain to me what exactly clearing your disk cache does? This sounds silly, but I want to make sure I don't lose anything important or whatever before I do it. Thanks!

                              • 12. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                > I want to make sure I don't lose anything important


                                You will not lose anything important.


                                Clearing the disk cache just discards cached frames. The worst-case scenario is that After Effects will need to rerender a frame because it is no longer in the cache,

                                • 13. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                                  Scherba Media Level 1

                                  I just clear the cache folder and freed 107 gigs! Thanks for the post

                                  • 14. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                                    Statuqu0 Level 1

                                    It's even worst that what it has already been witnessed !


                                    First of all, For me too the Preferences > Media & Disk Cache, then click the Empty Disk Cache button, isn't working.


                                    To help for this issue it's good to share that I have already change 4 times the name of my computer.


                                    AND it multiply the numbers of caches !!!! I had set a limit of 45 gb  and I rise to 3x 45gb of AfterEffect caches !!!

                                    How it could be that if my computer get renamed, it didn't automatically erase the old named-caches ? that is ashamed ;(

                                    At first, it was a really bad idea to connect the caches and the name of the computer ?:|? why did you do so developers ? It has no logics ...


                                    Second part of the issue : If like I did you set a limit of 45gb of caches at first, after as you reduce the size to 35 gb like it's set up for the moment on my computer, it won't ... and that's it's unbelievable ... reduce the size of the pre-existing caches !!!!! that's it's ashamed for a second times !!!!


                                    So I assume to have set 35gb limit of cache but if I were already full the caches this datas will never get erase !!!! dev plz ! dev plz ! what have you in mind ?


                                    To make a third part, as It have to exist, I will say also that a caches folder that is placed by default in an hided part of the computer is also tricky. You set it in the special hided library instead of the classic application support folder, where it certainly belongs to. Why ? Why did you put a file that has to be under the user control in a part where it hides itself from the user view ? un-logic


                                    At the end, I would positively say thank you for this huge software that is AfterEffect - but he needs improvement ! (why can't we animated mask point to set them timelines marks ?)


                                    PS : are you working in pair with Westerndigital, Seagate or Hitachi ? bcz it really seem's like you put a trick to push us to get more free space and more and even more than we have had, and then more again



                                    • 15. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                                      Ryan06 Level 1

                                      I can't fully delete either. However, if you use CCleaner for Mac/Windows, it'll find those Caches and you can delete that way.

                                      • 16. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                                        blakec90442893 Level 1

                                        I was having the same issue! So frustrating!!!! I would clean my cache but I would still only have 2 GB available on a 500GB internal hard drive. No matter what Program I cleaned the cache from it never changed and some mysterious object was eating up space on my hard drive!!! I followed all the forums that said to look for "media cache files" folder in Library/applicationsupport/Adobe/common/mediacachefiles, but I actually could not see the file itself..... I downloaded this program: Disk Inventory X and is showed me exactly where things were being eaten up. I found a file that was extremely large, clicked "reveal in finder" and it took me to the "media cache files" folder for adobe that was actually hidden from my view in finder even when I searched for it...... Get this... It had 351GB of space... Yes, no typo... 351GB of space taken on my hard drive!!! No amount of cache cleaning cleared this up. So give this a try, it worked for me in about 5 minutes after spending days trying to figure out what was going wrong. 

                                        • 17. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                                          gogolaz Level 1

                                          I've found exactly same thing. Over 100GB of junk from After Effect. All cache folders from previous versions where massive and not deleted after updating. Plus some other random folders all around.

                                          • 18. Re: Disk Cache piling up
                                            Pat481 Level 1


                                            1. No, this cache does not automatically delete itself; that's an intentional part of the design, to have the cache be persistent.

                                            Imo this can be user hostile and frustrating to new users. Peoples harddrives may be filling up with files they don't need, the concept of a cache should defiantly not be assumed knowlege for a user, i can't see someone googling every app on their harddrive to see which one is taking up their free space with temporary files. Some of them will probably never figure it out by themselves.


                                            A good solution may be :  "Is disk space low when after effects is being opened?" if yes - "has the user ever emptied their cache before?" if no a dialogue box that says : "Hey, if you're running low on space try emptying your cache and decreasing the size of it. Click here to learn more. (do not show again box is checked)"