Clearing the cache

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Revision as of 10:26, 28 September 2010 by Faubio Alter (Talk | contribs)

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Second Life uses a cache, which is space on your hard drive used for quicker retrieval of inworld content after it's downloaded. Examples of cached data includes object info, textures, and Inventory item names. Similar in concept to a web browser's cache, clearing the Second Life cache is a "refresh" which can help with various problems. While not a cure-all, it is a highly-recommended first step.

A common problem in Second Life is perceived inventory loss, which is a good term for when you search your inventory for something you recall being there recently, but it doesn't show up. When you experience high packet loss "lag", the cache can be corrupted, meaning that when Second Life goes to look something up that actually is on our servers, it doesn't find it locally on your computer's cached inventory.

Clearing the Cache from Inside Second Life

Two area are impacted by the cache, travel and inventory. Numerous inventory problems are associated with the cache and travel can be slowed by it.

Once the cache becomes full it begins a process of swapping, switching out new textures for old one's this process slows rezzing time upon arrival at a SIM after teleporting. Clearing the cache can temporarily improve cache performance and rezzing speed.

Cloud Avatars is an indication that the cache is having problems swapping texture files or other associated inventory problems. Missing and corrupt texture files and items can also at times be repaired after a cache refresh. "Lost items" from the SL server system may not be recovered at all. (lost items is a literal term meaning they have been lost and may never be found.) Usually these appear with a warning message from the system. Contact SL support to recover "lost items" in inventory. It is best to "wait" before coming to the conclusion something is permanently lost. Check the grid status page for possible problems before taking any actions.

Note that initial searching is slower after cache refreshing as your inventory is re-cached, reloaded. Before and after keep a close eye on the number of items in Inventory. If this is not available click the "recent" items tab to view it there. The larger the inventory the more time it will take to reload it. Very large inventory might take 'some time" to reload.

Cache refreshing should be done infrequently. Those that travel more will need to clear it more frequently.

Performance improvements

Increase the cache size to its full 1GB size. This will reduce the intervals needed between cleanings.

Moving the cache to a second hard drive (if available) can slightly increase textures loading during travel as it creates an array of drives that can be used by multi-core processors to load SIM textures. A 15000 rpm hard drive will of course load the textures faster then a 7200 rpm hard drive.

For those with available RAM on their PC. RAMDisk can be used. Perhaps only advanced users should attempt this method of improving cache performance due to advanced installation and drive configuration concerns.

Clearing the Cache from Outside Second Life

If you're sure of what you're doing, you can also clear your cache manually. With Second Life closed, go to the appropriate pathway and delete all the files inside the "cache" folder. Get more help on where to find these.

  • Windows XP - C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\SecondLife\cache
    • Alternatively, use environment variable %APPDATA% to shorten this path to: %APPDATA%/SecondLife/cache
  • Windows Vista - C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\cache
  • Windows Vista Home Premium - C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\browser_profile\cache
  • Windows 7 - C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\browser_profile\Cache
  • Windows 7 - C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\SecondLife\ (Viewer version 1.23.5 (136262))
  • Mac - /Users/<username>/Library/Caches/SecondLife
  • Linux - ~/.secondlife/cache

Note: It is possible to assign a file and folder location for the cache in your system by choosing the "browse" button as an option when clearing the cache.