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Work with Bridge shared cache

Bridge lets you manage the cache in a robust way and provides ability to generate the shared cache in a collaborative environment. When you work on shared drives, the shared cache mechanism in Bridge lets you import the already generated shared cache and reuse it.


In Bridge CC 2018 and the previous versions, the cache was primarily focused toward individual users working on their own folders. The cache was generated and maintained separately for each user, therefore, when you worked in collaborative environment (shared drives across networks, external hard disk drives) cache generation and maintainence on each user's machine used to take a considerable time.

Why and when do I need a shared cache?

When you work in a collaborative environment, you can build a shared cache for other Bridge users. This shared cache brings the following benefits:

  • Improves performance by faster browsing, searching, and filtering of cached items 
  • Prevents the need to build the cache again and saves the cache generation effort for other users

The shared cache management feature is useful only when you work in a multi-user collaborative environment. If you are a sole user, shared cache is of no use and may lead to space issues.

It's recommended that you do not use the shared cache feature if you are a sole user. In this case, the cache generation and management work in the same way as it used to be in Bridge CC 2018.

For better understanding, consider an organization that has designers, illustrators, and photographers who frequently work with images. These images are available in an image repository for which they use Bridge to browse, add, view, edit, or search images.

If you use Bridge CC 2018 and previous releases, a separate cache is generated for all the images on each individual's machine, which is a time-taking process. 

With Bridge CC 2019, you can use the shared cache management feature to export the shared cache and other users can import a copy of the shared cache to their local systems. Given that the systems are in synchronization, managing the cache at a centralized location lets you reuse the exported cache, without the need to rebuild the cache on different user machines.

Sharing of cache in a collaborative environment
Sharing of cache in a collaborative environment | User A exporting the cache and creating a shared cache folder | User B and C importing the cache from the shared cache folder to their local systems


Following are the two important cache folders that you should know:

  • Shared cache folder (.BridgeSharedCache): Folder on the shared network location in which the exported cache is present that can be reused by other Bridge users. This folder is created when you build and export the shared cache.
  • Imported cache folder: Folder on your local machine in which the imported shared cache is present. This folder is automatically created once you import the shared cache.

When do I perform export, import, and purge tasks on a shared cache?

When working on Bridge shared cache in a multi-user environment, you can perform the following operations:
  • Export: You can perform the export operation to manually generate a cache for the selected folder and its subfolders. While exporting, Bridge internally generates thumbnails, previews, and indexes and stores them in the shared cache folder within the selected folder. This folder includes the shared cache that can be reused by other users. In a multi-user environment, it is recommended that only one user, who has the write access, performs the export operation to generate the shared cache and no user should modify the shared cache folder.
  • Import: Once the shared cache is exported for reuse, you can perform the import operation to get a local copy of this shared cache onto your systems. Import can be done in two ways:
    • Explicit import (using the Manage Cache dialog box): Imports (copies) the exported cache from all folders in one go. 
    • Automatic cache import (controlled through a preference option): Imports (copies) the cache every time when you browse the folder via Bridge. 

When the import is performed using any of these ways, Bridge copies the contents of the shared cache folders to a folder (imported cache folder) on your machine.  

  • Purge: You can perform the following types of cache purge operations:
    • Purge exported (shared) cache: The exported cache is placed in the shared cache folder. You can purge this folder to delete the shared cache by choosing Purge a specific location on the Manage Cache dialog or right-click the cache and choose Purge cache for selection
    • Purge the imported cache for a folder: You can purge the imported cache for a folder by choosing Purge a specific location on the Manage Cache dialog or right-clicking the folder and choosing Purge cache for selection
    • Purge all the imported cache: You can purge all of the imported cache in the imported cache folder by choosing Purge all local cache files on the Manage Cache dialog.

The Bridge CC 2019 SDK provides the ManageCache object that includes the functionality to export, import, and purge a shared cache. You can also use this object to automate these operations. For more details, see

How do I export, import, and purge a shared cache?

To create and manage the cache for a folder that you want to share across multiple users, choose Tools Manage Cache. The Manage Cache dialog box is displayed. 

Manage Cache dialog

In the Manage Cache dialog box, do the following: 

  1. To create the cache for the selected folder and its subfolders, select Build and export cache for folder “selected folder name” and all enclosed folders. This option is selected by default.

    NoteThe access level of each folder is considered while creating the cache. The export operation internally creates indexes, thumbnails, previews, and store export version info. in the shared cache folder. Bridge also exports metadata information of the files.

    • Select Build 100% Previews to create the full preview of images in the cache. This option is disabled by default.

    TipIf you need to frequently work on magnified and zoomed images, it is recommended that you select the Build 100% Previews option. However, it consumes more disk space and increases the initial processing time significantly.

    • Click OK.
  2. To import the cache from a specific shared folder, select Import Cache. Click Next and choose a shared folder from which you want to import the cache. 

    During import, Bridge internally copies the thumbnails, previews, metadata information, indexes onto your local machine in a shared cache folder. This copy operation is faster than regenerating cache thumbnails and previews, therefore, you are able to view and search the images faster. Once the cache is imported and available in the shared cache folder, all further updates to the file also update the imported cache copy present in the shared cache folder.

    When you browse a folder that includes a shared cache, by default Bridge automatically downloads the cache on your computer. To disable this auto-import feature, deselect the Automatically import Cache From Folders When Possible option by choosing Edit Preferences Cache.

    Preference to import cache automatically

    For information about how to set cache preferences, see Work with the Adobe Bridge Cache.

  3. To delete the cache, select Clean Up Cache. You can use this option if you suspect that the cache for a folder is old and must be regenerated (for example, thumbnails and metadata are not updated).

    • To delete all the cache files on your computer, select Purge all local cache files. This option is selected by default. When you click Next, a warning message is displayed to confirm the action.
    Warning message

    • To selectively delete the cache files from a specific folder, select Purge cache for a specific location. Click Next and choose a folder from where you want to delete the files. If the folder you choose for deleting cache files is a folder with exported cache, a warning dialog box is displayed. In this box, select one of the following options:
      • Only purge my cache: Deletes only the local copy of cache files. The shared cache files remain unaffected. 
      • Purge cache for all users: Deletes both the shared cache files and local copies of cache files.
    • Select Include subfolders to delete the cache for the subfolders.
    • Click Continue.
    Warning message

    • If the folder you choose for deleting cache files does not have the exported cache, a warning dialog box is displayed.
      • Select Include subfolders to delete the cache for the subfolders.
      • Click Cancel to close this dialog box. 
      • Click Continue to delete the local cache.
    Warning message

Which permissions do I need for exporting and importing a shared cache?

If you are exporting the cache, then you must have read and write access on the entire repository. During export, Bridge tries to create the shared cache folder that contains the cache (thumbnails, previews, and indexes) for other users to import. If you do not have write access, then you are not able to create the shared cache folder.

Similarly, import and automatic import only import cache for folders for which you have read access. If you do not have read access to the folder, then Bridge is not able to read the shared cache folder and access the shared cache.


With Bridge CC 2019, you need to initiate an export to update the shared cache for a repository or you can also use Bridge SDK to schedule exports.

However, if the rate of addition or deletion of files to a repository is high, which causes a lot of churn on the disk, then the export process might become tedious. 

Error scenarios

Bridge stops the export operation and shows an error message in the following cases:

  • Disk full: If the disc or the network location is full during the generation of cache.
  • No read or write access: If you do not have access to the folder you are trying to export.
  • Network issue: If the network is down and export is in progress from a network location.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When you have files on the local machine and you are the sole user working on these files, then creating and exporting the shared cache is not useful. You can browse the files in Bridge and the existing Bridge cache mechanism can generate the cache for the files.

A shared cache is useful only when the assets are in a collaborative environment and multiple users are working on it. 

When you browse a folder containing a shared cache, Bridge automatically detects the presence of the shared cache folder and copies the indexes, thumbnails, and previews into the imported cache folder. By default, the auto-import feature is enabled. To disable auto-import, deselect Automatically Import Cache From Folders When Possible in the Preferences > Cache dialog.

The shared cache is generated in the same folder in which your files are present. When you export the cache for a shared folder, Bridge creates a shared cache folder (.BridgeSharedCache) within the parent folder and all its subfolders. The cache files (thumbnails for 256, 1024, full-size preview, and indexing information) for respective folders are generated and saved in the shared cache folder.

The imported cache resides at the following location on a local machine after import: 
macOS: ~/Library/Caches/Adobe/Bridge/SharedCache
Windows: %appdata%\Adobe\Bridge\SharedCache

This imported cache folder location cannot be changed.

Yes, the exported cache (present in the folder) becomes stale and it is recommended to export the cache again.

If you import the stale shared cache, Bridge intelligently detects that the file has been updated and automatically updates the imported cache on your local machine.

Bridge detecting and updating a shared cache
User B importing the cache from the shared cache folder (exported by user A) | User C updating the original files on the network for which the shared cache exists | Bridge on user B's system detecting a stale cache and automatically updating the local copy

After exporting a shared cache, if you add new files or modify existing files, then you need to export the same folder again. During re-export, the cache for only new or modified files is exported. 


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