Clear After Effects Cache In JUST 5 Seconds! (2024)

You can also empty the disk cache in After Effects by going to the Edit menu and selecting Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache. This will delete all of the cached files and free up the disk space they were using.

January 22, 2024
Clear After Effects Cache In JUST 5 Seconds! (2024)
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What is Disk Cache In After Effects?

In Adobe After Effects, the disk cache is a temporary storage location on your computer's hard drive where After Effects can store rendered frames, audio, and other files that it uses while creating your compositions. The purpose of the disk cache is to store these files so that After Effects doesn't have to re-render them each time you make a change to your project, which would otherwise be very time-consuming. Instead, After Effects can simply retrieve the stored files from the cache, which can greatly speed up the rendering process. You can adjust the size and location of the disk cache in the preferences settings of After Effects.

Disk caching isn't unique to After Effects. At its core, disk caching is a method used by many software applications to speed up operations. How? By holding onto data that has recently been read and storing it in a cache. This means that when the software needs to access this data again, it can do so at a much faster rate. It's like having a quick-access folder on your desktop for all your frequently used files.

When you're in the thick of creating a composition in Adobe After Effects, the software is constantly working behind the scenes. As you assemble your masterpiece, After Effects saves rendered frames and images using a feature called RAM preview. This ensures that every tweak, adjustment, and edit you make to your composition happens seamlessly.

But here's the kicker: After Effects is smart. It doesn't just cache everything. Instead, it selectively chooses what to cache. Simple frames, like those with solid colors or basic text, aren't cached because they're quick to render. However, frames where multiple elements come together – think complex animations or layered effects – those are the ones that get cached. Why? Because these frames require more processing power, and caching them means that preview rendering becomes a breeze.

How To Clear After Effects Cache

Clearing cache through the preferences menu in After Effects

Wondering how to clear cache in After Effects? There are a few different ways you can free up cache in After Effects:

  1. Delete old or unnecessary cache files: You can manually delete old or unnecessary cache files by going to the location where After Effects stores the cache and deleting the files from there.
  2. Adjust the size of the cache: You can also adjust the size of the cache in the preferences settings of After Effects. By default, After Effects allocates 10% of your hard drive space to the cache, but you can increase or decrease this amount as needed.
  3. Change the location of the cache: If you want to free up space on your main hard drive, you can change the location of the cache to a different drive. To do this, go to the preferences settings in After Effects and specify a new location for the cache.
  4. Empty the disk cache: You can also empty the disk cache in After Effects by going to the Edit menu and selecting Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache. This will delete all of the cached files and free up the disk space they were using.

Keep in mind that deleting or emptying the cache may cause After Effects to take longer to render compositions, as it will need to recreate the cache as needed.

Is It Ok To Delete After Effects Cache?

illustration showing a character in a digital animation studio, contemplating whether to delete the After Effects cache. The image captures their thoughtful consideration of the decision.

It is generally safe to delete the After Effects cache, but keep in mind that the cache files are there to help improve performance by storing rendered frames and other data that After Effects can use again in the future. If you delete the cache, After Effects will simply recreate the cache as needed, which could potentially slow down your workflow if you are working on a complex project with a lot of assets.

If you are running low on hard drive space or if you want to clear out old cache files that are no longer needed, it is generally safe to delete the cache. Just be aware that After Effects may take longer to render compositions after you delete the cache, until it has had a chance to rebuild the cache. You can also adjust the size of the cache or change its location to a different drive if you need to free up space on your main drive.

What Does Purge Cache Mean After Effects?

In Adobe After Effects, the "Purge" command allows you to delete various types of unused or unwanted data from the program's memory, including the disk cache. When you choose "Purge All Memory & Disk Cache," After Effects will delete all of the cached files and free up the disk space they were using.

You can access the Purge command by going to Edit > Purge in the top menu. In addition to "All Memory & Disk Cache," there are also options to purge the Undo/Redo, Preview, and Compositions caches. These options allow you to delete specific types of data from the program's memory, rather than deleting everything.

Purging the cache can be useful if you are running low on hard drive space or if you want to free up memory that After Effects is using. Keep in mind that purging the cache may cause After Effects to take longer to render compositions, as it will need to recreate the cache as needed.

What Happens If I Empty Disk Cache After Effects

whether to empty the disk cache in Adobe After Effects. The image captures the individual at their workstation, with thought bubbles showing the pros and cons of this action.

If you empty the disk cache in Adobe After Effects, it will delete all of the cached files and free up the disk space they were using. This can be useful if you are running low on hard drive space or if you want to free up memory that After Effects is using.

After you empty the cache, After Effects will need to recreate the cache as needed, which could potentially slow down your workflow if you are working on a complex project with a lot of assets. The program may take longer to render compositions after you empty the cache, until it has had a chance to rebuild the cache.

It is generally safe to empty the disk cache in After Effects, but keep in mind that the cache files are there to help improve performance by storing rendered frames and other data that After Effects can use again in the future. If you frequently empty the cache, it may slow down your workflow as the program will need to recreate the cache each time you make a change to your project.

Maximum Disk Cache Size After Effects

In Adobe After Effects, the maximum size of the disk cache is determined by the amount of hard drive space you have available. By default, After Effects allocates 10% of your hard drive space to the cache, but you can increase or decrease this amount as needed.

To adjust the size of the disk cache, go to Preferences > Media & Disk Cache in the top menu. In the Media & Disk Cache preferences, you will see a slider that allows you to set the maximum size of the cache. You can also specify a custom size by entering a value in the "Max Disk Cache Size (GB)" field.

Keep in mind that increasing the size of the disk cache may help improve performance in After Effects, as it will allow the program to store more rendered frames and other data that it can use again in the future. However, it will also use more hard drive space, so you may want to consider the balance between performance and available hard drive space when adjusting the size of the cache.

Adjusting Your Disk Cache Size

If you're curious about how much space your disk cache occupies, head to After Effects > Preferences > Media & Disk Cache. Here, you'll find options to adjust the potential size of your disk cache. If you're a heavy After Effects user, you might want to allocate more space to it. A pro tip: using an SSD (Solid State Drive) on a separate hard drive from your footage can significantly boost performance.

Adobe After Effects Disk Cache Warning

If you see a warning message in Adobe After Effects about the disk cache, it may indicate that there is a problem with the cache or that the cache is full. Some possible causes of a disk cache warning in After Effects include:

  • The cache location is invalid or cannot be accessed: If the location of the cache is no longer valid or cannot be accessed, After Effects may display a warning message.
  • The cache is full: If the cache is full and there is no more space available to store new data, After Effects may display a warning message.
  • The cache is corrupt: If the cache becomes corrupt or damaged, After Effects may display a warning message.

If you see a warning message about the disk cache in After Effects, you may need to empty the cache, change the location of the cache, or increase the size of the cache to resolve the issue. You can access the preferences for the cache by going to Preferences > Media & Disk Cache in the top menu.

How Disk Cache Works in After Effects

After Effects has a unique way of enhancing the editing experience through its disk cache mechanism. When you're assembling a composition (often referred to as a "comp"), After Effects saves rendered frames and images using what's called a RAM preview. This process ensures that adjusting and editing your comp is smoother and more efficient.

Interestingly, After Effects is selective about what it caches. It doesn't waste resources on frames that are quick to render, like solid colors or simple text. Instead, it focuses on frames where multiple elements come together, and preview rendering becomes essential. Let's delve deeper into this.

Disk Cache vs. RAM Cache: What's the Difference?

Understanding the difference between these two can significantly impact your efficiency in After Effects:

  • Disk Cache: This is where data from the preview render gets stored in a specific directory on your computer. The primary purpose is to allow After Effects to access this data faster, leading to quicker previews. A visual cue for this is the blue bar you'll see in the timeline. This blue bar signifies frames that have been saved in the disk cache.
  • RAM (Random Access Memory) Cache: This is a bit different. After Effects will store RAM Preview frames within its RAM Cache. The idea is similar: to avoid re-rendering a comp every time you want to preview it. If you've ever noticed a green bar in your timeline, that's the RAM Cache in action. When you play back your timeline, After Effects transfers necessary footage from the disk cache into your RAM Cache for smoother playback.

Managing Your Cache Storage

Both Disk Cache and RAM Cache use storage space on your computer. But there's a difference in how they operate:

  • RAM Preview: This gets stored in your computer's RAM and will be erased once you close After Effects. It's temporary and meant to aid your current session.
  • Disk Cache: This remains on your hard drive even after you close the software. Over time, this cache can grow and occupy a significant chunk of your storage. But fear not! You can clean it up and reclaim that space.

Boosting Efficiency with Disk Cache and RAM Preview

For anyone diving into the world of video editing, understanding and utilizing Disk Cache and RAM Preview can be game-changing. These tools are designed to save you time, reducing the wait you might experience due to rendering. By leveraging these, you can focus more on the creative process and less on waiting for your computer to catch up.