Clearing the cache

From Second Life Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Stuff to do: This page would love to be extensively revised, including tightening up sections, fact-checking of technical claims, and improved readability.

Second Life uses a cache, which is a software component that stores data on your hard drive for later retrievel. This speeds up your experience because you no longer need to fetch the data once it's been downloaded the first time. 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 for troubleshooting problems.

A common problem in Second Life is perceived Inventory loss. , a good name for when you search for something you know was in your inventory but has seemingly disappeared. When you experience high packet loss "lag", the cache may be corrupt, meaning that when Second Life tries to fetch data that actually is on the Second Life servers, it's searching for it in your cache, unable to retrieve it.

Further details

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

Once the cache becomes full it begins a process of "swapping", destroying older downloaded textures to replace with new ones. This process slows rezzing time upon arrival on a sim after teleporting because of the increased work by your computer's hard drive. Clearing the cache can temporarily improve cache performance and rezzing speed.

A cloud-like avatar is an indication that the cache may be having problems swapping texture files or other associated transitory inventory problems. Missing or corrupted texture data, often giving the appearance of "macroblocks", and items can also at times be repaired by refreshing the cache.

Note that initial searching of your inventory is slower after refreshing the cache as your inventory is reloaded and cached. 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 naturally take to reload it. A very large inventory may take several minutes to completely reload.

Multiple viewers

It is recommended to not use the same cache location for multiple viewers if you currently have more than one installed, because not all Second Life viewers use cached data in the same methods, it can lead to numerous problems. It's possible to designate separate folders if you have more than one Second Life viewer installed. This can be done from settings in the cache "browse" window. The path to this setting in the Second Life Viewer2 is: Me > Preferences > Advanced. Click Browse and select a new location or the folder.

Improving Cache Performance

Increase the cache size above 1GB. A larger cache means less bandwidth will be used after an initial rez of something. Since v2.8.0 the cache size has been increased up to 10GB. The downside to a larger cache is it will take longer to clean a full cache, should you need to.

Clearing the cache from within Second Life Viewer 2

  1. Choose Me menu > Preferences.
  2. Click Setup tab.
  3. Click the Clear Cache button near Cache Location.
  4. After you're prompted, restart the Viewer.

(note that the method has changed from the previous method, as a dedicated Clear Cache button has been added.)

Clearing the Cache from Outside Second Life

If you are confident in doing so, you can also clear the 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

Also see