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[ The PC Guide | System Optimization and Enhancement Guide | System Optimizations and Enhancements | File System Optimization and Freeing Disk Space ]

Rein In Browser Cache

In order to save time when traversing the Web, most Web browsers cache documents and images after you view them. Then, if you go back to the same page again soon, the browser will load the file from its cache, saving you from waiting for it to be retrieved from the Internet over and over. While this is an important feature, there can be a problem related to the amount of disk space that the cache uses up. Depending on your system and how large the cluster size is of your hard disk, this browser cache may take up tens of megabytes of disk space. Part of the problem is that most of the files that the browser stores are very small, but due to the larger clusters used in bigger FAT16 partitions, a lot more disk space than the strict size of the file is used. See here for a full explanation of this phenomenon.

There are a few ways that you can reduce this waste of space:

  1. Reduce Maximum Cache Size: Go into the option settings for your browser, and reduce the maximum allowable size of the cache. This will reduce how much space is used by the cache, but it also will mean that your Web browsing will be slowed down more since it will be less likely that the browser will find the items you need in its cache.
  2. Clean Out Cache Periodically: Most browsers include a feature you can access to empty out the browser cache on demand. Do this from time to time, or when you are running low on space. (This is more of a temporary solution than the option immediately above.)
  3. Use A Disk Volume With A Smaller Cluster Size: If you relocate the Web cache to a disk volume that uses a smaller cluster size, you will save a lot of space, since the cache contains mostly small files. Again, this is usually controlled through an option setting in the browser.

Next: Improve the Reliability of the System

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