Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

firefox cache   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool TipsThe browser cache temporarily stores images, scripts, and other parts of websites while you are browsing. This is normally a good thing because this enhances performance and load time.

The browser cache usually works behind the scene: you are unlikely to notice it even exists unless you feel like digging deeper.

But do you know that you can actually have quite a bit of fun viewing your browser cache? Do you know why and how you can clean it? Today’s tutorial is just about that: what you can do with your Firefox cache.

Viewing Your Firefox Cache

The cache statistics and directory location can be viewed in about:cache. Then:

  • about:cache?device=memory – Lists memory cache entries.
  • about:cache?device=disk – Lists disk cache entries.

It is really not easy to make sense of that interface but luckily we have an addon to make it easier.

CacheView is a GUI Front-end of “about:cache”. It allows searching and sorting memory and disk cache files. CacheView gives you a preview pane for any images, and makes it really easy to save MP3s and flash files from the sites you’ve visited.

After you have it installed, just go to Tools ->CacheView (or just use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+C) and you will be presented with a nice table containing your cache files and a preview pane.

The table is sortable by column (key, size, MIME Type, storing device, Last Fetched date) and what’s more it has a search function which adds a lot of sense to your cache database:

firefox cache 05   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

You can also right-click on an entry and delete it. It won’t delete things if the page is still opened in one of your tabs.

firefox cache 06   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

CacheSearch is another useful cache addon for FireFox which can search through the full-text of cache records:

firefox cache 07   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

Clearing The Firefox Cache

There are a few reasons why you may want to clear the Firefox cache, including privacy concerns and technical problems. I usually do it when I have any issues with a website: problems on sign-up, incorrect interface loading, etc.

Clearing the Cache Manually

Official Guide:

  • Navigate: Tools -> Options -> Advanced panel -> Network tab
  • In the Offline Storage section, click Clear Now.

firefox cache 01   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

FireFox Addons:

If you find yourself clearing the cache too often, you can find this little addon helpful (which we have previously mentioned in a post on optimizing Firefox): it adds a button to your browser toolbar – with it you can clear the cache with one click of a mouse.

firefox cache 03   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

Note: After installation, you will need to manually install the button to where you want it to be. For that, right-click on the sidebar and select “Customize“.

Here’s an alternative addon that can be used for that: Cache Status which will both monitor your cache statistics for both memory and disk devices and allow to clear it any time:

firefox cache 04   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

Clear The Cache Automatically:

  • Navigate: Tools -> Options -> Privacy panel
  • In the drop-down select “Use custom settings for history. “
  • Select the check box for Clear history when Firefox closes and in the Settings next to this check box select Cache:

firefox cache 02   Exploring Firefox Cache: A Bunch Of Really Cool Tips

More Tips On The Firefox Cache:

Do you have anything else to add? Please share your Firefox cache tips in the comments below!

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4 Comments -

0 votes

Jony

very usefull ..tnx!

0 votes

Anonymous

Cool. Could we find video files in the cache?

0 votes

Ann Smarty

Yes, you can easily do that using the CacheView addon. I tried saving a .flv (flash video) file using the tool. It saves correctly but gives the get_video file a .htm extension which I had to manually change to .flv. Other than that its works fine.

0 votes

VkWaVe

very informative. Thanks for sharing :)