Caching has always been a crucial part of computers, smartphones and websites. Software architectures and web developers are using the caching mechanism to build complex solutions without delaying processing time and performance.
Dropbox is no exception. While the Dropbox cache has its own benefits, sometimes it may cause performance issues or impact your experience. In such cases, cleaning the Dropbox cache is essential.
Benefits of Cleaning Dropbox Cache
Why is it important to regularly clean your Dropbox cache? Let’s understand.
- Improve speed & performance: The cache is meant to improve the file syncing process and boost performance. However, as the cache size grows exponentially, it may negatively impact the application performance and slow down your file syncing.
- Fix temporary glitches: Apart from the performance perspective, there are other benefits of cleaning the cache. Sometimes when you delete a large chunk of files at once, the files are moved to your Dropbox cache instead of the Recycle Bin. When that happens, the changes are not reflected to the user and you’ll continue to see the files in the same location from where you deleted them. It can lead to confusion. You can simply clean your Dropbox cache to fix this problem.
- Privacy: Another benefit of cleaning the cache is to secure privacy. You can clean the Dropbox cache after synchronizing or uploading sensitive files to delete their leftover traces.
Where is the Dropbox Cache Stored?
When you install Dropbox, it creates a hidden folder named .dropbox.cache in the root of the Dropbox folder. As the folder is hidden by default, it is not viewable unless your system is set to display hidden files and folders.
Does Dropbox Automatically Clean Up Your Cache?
Dropbox automatically clears your cache every 3 days. However, an error may cause Dropbox not to clean the cache itself. Or you may need to manually clean it for the earlier mentioned reasons.
How to Manually Clean the Dropbox Cache?
On Windows-based Computers:
- Make sure no files are being synced. If any files are being synced, either stop them or wait until they are successfully synced. Cleaning the cache while your files are being synced can cause problems.
- Open File Explorer from the Taskbar.
- Click on the Layout and View Options icon on the toolbar.
- Select Show | Hidden items.
- Now open up your Dropbox folder.
- Double-click on the .dropbox.cache folder.
- Delete all the containing files and folders.
On Mac-based Computers:
- Make sure no files are being synced. Stop the file syncing process or let the syncing finish itself before deleting the cache.
- Open the Finder.
- Click on the Go menu, select Go to Folder.
- Open the following folder: ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache.
- Drag all the files and folders from your Dropbox cache to the Trash.
On Linux-based Computers:
- Make sure no files are currently being synced. Let the syncing finish, or stop it before following the steps given below.
- Open the Terminal by clicking on its icon on your Panel.
- Type in the following command: rm -R ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache/*
On Android-based Smartphones:
- Open the Main Menu.
- Tap on Settings | App Management.
- Tap on App List | Dropbox.
- Tap on Force Stop.
- Tap on Storage Usage, followed by Clear Cache.
Note: The actual steps may vary depending on the operating system version and device you use.
Raza Ali Kazmi works as an editor and technology content writer at Sorcim Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. He loves to pen down articles on a wide array of technology related topics and has also been diligently testing software solutions on Windows & Mac platforms.