Clearing the cache

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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.

A simple click of the Clear Cache button can help show your "missing" stuff again. After restarting Second Life, search again for your "missing" inventory items, and see if they show up this time.

Clearing your cache is also known to help with problems of inworld textures not loading fully, and appearing fuzzy. This includes avatar and terrain textures. If your avatar's invisible, clearing your cache may also work.

On a reliable broadband connection, you shouldn't have to clear your cache very often, but the option's always available to you!

Clearing the Cache from Inside Second Life

  • In Viewer 2: Select Me > Preferences > Setup and click Reset. Restarting Second Life will clear the cache and revert the cache location to its default place.
  • In Viewer 1.23: Select Edit > Preferences > Network, click Clear Cache and restart Second Life.

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

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 proces of swapping, switching out new texture for old one's this process slows rezzing time upon arrival at SIMs 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 inventory problems due to a too full cache.

Also, numerous inventory problems can be repaired by clearing the cache. Cloud Avatars be the most important followed by corrupt textures and other assorted problems.

Note that initial searching is slower as your inventory is re-cached, and subsequent searches are faster. 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.

Performance improvement

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 dual processors to load SIM textures.

For those with available RAM on their PC. [1] can be used. Perhaps only advanced used should attempt this method of improving cache performance due to advanced installation and drive configuration concerns.