Safe to empty cache?

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7 comments

  • Paula Popowski

    Postscript: I'm on a Macbook pro, in case that's not obvious from the directory names...

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  • France

    Hi Paula, 

    Welcome to the Box Community!

    It looks like the folder you are looking at /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Box/Box/cache is the Box Drive cache folder and not for Box Edit.

    Box Drive and Box edit are different applications, and we do not recommend that you manually delete those cache data in the Box Drive folder.

    If you want to save spaces, you may logout from the Box Drive app. Logging out completely removes all traces of your Drive usage from your machine and enables you to log in again as a new user. Also, when you log out, your Box Drive session ends and the login screen displays. In addition, logging out of Box Drive deletes all of the downloaded content you had marked for offline availability. This of course clears up hard disk space on your device. It also returns to an online-only state all of the content you have marked for offline availability. You will have to repeat the process of marking folders for offline availability.

    More information can be found in this article: https://support.box.com/hc/en-us/articles/360043697494-Using-Box-Drive-Basics#h_795b7dd8-2ffc-408e-844d-52c0b757bbf5 

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  • David Cardillo

    That's not an acceptable answer.

    I've marked 5GB of files for offline use. My available HD space has dropped by over 200GB almost overnight.

    Your solution, despite being inconvenient, means having to go through my files and re-mark and re-download those files again.

    A much more practical solution is setting up a chron task to purge that cache folder every few hours.

    However, all of the files marked for offline use are also in that folder! So they must be re-downloaded again anyway.

    A more elegant solution would be having files marked for offline use in another directory, so caches can be freely purged.

    For contrast, my Downloads folder, with files I've downloaded from close to a decade ago, is managed, by me. I delete files when I'm done with them. It's currently taking 50GB. (Did I mention that's been collected for almost a decade?) In just this week of viewing, previewing, marking for offline use, then marking for online only, I've used up 200GB of "cache" that I cannot purge easily.

    Does logging out of or restarting the desktop computer allow the cache to be purged? How "temporary" are these cache files? How long does Box Drive hold onto them for? A few days? Until space runs out? Is there a way to set a manual limit on the size of the cache?

     

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  • France

    Hi David, 

    Welcome to the Box Community!

    At present, there is no way to change the cache location of Box Drive however, this idea has been shared to our Product Team and is currently under consideration.

    For information about Box Drive's cache, Box Drive's cache size limit is set to 50% of your available local disk space with a maximum limit of 25GB and a minimum of 1GB. For the maximum cache duration limit it is set for 30 days by default.

    You can find all this information in this article: Technical Information for Box Drive Administrators 

    The article also discuss of how you can adjust your Box Drive cache limits which could also help save spaces from your device.

    Thanks for sharing your insight with us and for your participation in the forum, we really appreciate it!

    Regards, 

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  • HANS MESTDACH

    Regarding the statement from France above:

    For information about Box Drive's cache, Box Drive's cache size limit is set to 50% of your available local disk space with a maximum limit of 25GB and a minimum of 1GB. For the maximum cache duration limit it is set for 30 days by default.

    My current box cache is 47,39GB right now. It is basically out of control and certainly well beyond the 25GB limit stated above. Not only do I have almost 50GB in this folder, I also seem to have 47,34GB allocated to /Users/<username>/Library/CloudStorage, with the only subfolder (and cloud storage solution i use) being Box.
    So that is basically almost 100GB of cache usage?

    I would highly appreciate an option to purge/clear the cache as this is currently blocking me from patching my MacOS because I don't have enough free storage.

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  • David Cardillo

    Hans, what we're seeing is when you mark a folder for offline use, it downloads the files to your HD *&* caches them in your cache folder.

    Under normal use, downloading files ad-hoc as you use them from Box Drive, I can see where the cache might not grow beyond the limits they've set.

    But if you mark a folder larger than that for offline use, it downloads it, and it occupies space in your cache. Not entirely sure why.

    So if you inadvertenly pick a very large folder and mark it for offline, you could fill your harddrive up really quick.

     

    (In your case, where you need to do an update, just quit the Box app, restart, and you should get that drive space back.)

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  • HANS MESTDACH

    Thanks for your response, David!
    Indeed, I noticed old (and big) folders that were synched locally. Disabling the sync (and storing online only) freed up my cache diskspace.
    Quite honestly, it doesn't make sense to me that the files would be in the normal folder structure as well as in a separate 'cache' location, but at least I'm getting some breathing room.

    I continue to have Mac diskspace issue with 'System Data' eating up 150GB out of 250GB, but it won't be from this folder. The investigation continues.

     

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