The cache stores thumbnail and metadata information (as well as metadata that can’t be stored in the file, such as labels and ratings) to improve performance when you view thumbnails or search for files. However, storing the cache takes up disk space. When you build a cache, you can opt to export it for sharing or archiving, and you can choose to generate 100% previews. You can manage the cache by purging it and by setting preferences to control its size and location.

Build and manage the cache

  1. Choose either of the following commands from the Tools > Cache menu:

    Build And Export Cache

    Builds, as a background process, a cache for the selected folder and all the folders within it (except aliases or shortcuts to other folders). This command reduces the time spent waiting for thumbnails and file information to be displayed as you browse in subfolders. You can also generate 100% previews in cache to help improve performance when viewing images at 100% in slideshows and full-screen previews, or using the Loupe tool.

    The Export Cache To Folders option in the Build Cache dialog box creates a local cache for sharing or archiving to disc. When this option is selected, Adobe Bridge creates cache files for the selected folder and its subfolders. When a folder is copied to an external disc, such as a CD or DVD for archiving, the cache files are copied, too. When you navigate to a previously unviewed folder in Adobe Bridge, such as a folder on the archived CD, Adobe Bridge uses the exported cache to display thumbnails faster. The exported cache is based on the central cache and includes duplicate information.



    Exported cache files are hidden files. To view them in Adobe Bridge, choose View >Show Hidden Files.

    Purge Cache For Folder [Selected Folder]

    Clears the cache for the selected folder. This command is useful if you suspect that the cache for a folder is old and must be regenerated. (If, for example, thumbnails and metadata are not being updated.)

Purge the cache

Bridge optimizes cache by automatically purging the stale cache items when your app is idle. By default, the purge duration is set as 30 days. This means that any cache item which is older than 30 days is considered as stale and hence purged by Bridge.

However, you can customize the purge duration and set any value between 1 day and 180 days. You set the purge duration in the Cache Preferences dialog. See Set cache preferences for details.

If the preference for purging cache is not set and the cache has stale items, then sometime after launching the app, Bridge prompts you with the dialog shown below.


Compact cache on exit

The central cache of Adobe Bridge stores thumbnail, preview, and metadata information in a database to improve the performance when you browse or search for files. However, the larger the cache, the more disk space it uses. Cache preferences help you manage the trade-off between performance and cache size.

In Cache preferences, Compact Cache On Exit option allows you to set up an automatic clean-up of cache when you exit Bridge, in case the database size increases beyond 100 MB. See Set cache preferences for details.

However, if the preference for compacting cache is not set and the cache database size grows beyond 100 MB on your machine, the following dialog is displayed when you quit Bridge.

The dialog prompting you to compact the cache.


This dialog appears only if Compact Cache On Exit preference is not selected in Cache Preferences and your cache database size has grown beyond 100 MB.

In this dialog, you can do any of the following:

Automatically Compact Cache On Exit When Required

Sets the preference for automatically compacting cache. You can also set it in the Cache Preferences dialog. See Set cache preferences for details.

Compact Cache And Exit

Optimizes the cache by removing obsolete records and quits Bridge.

Remind Me Later

No action is performed. This dialog reappears on next the launch of Adobe Bridge prompting you to compact the cache.

Set cache preferences

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Adobe Bridge > Preferences (Mac OS).

  2. Click Cache.
  3. Do any of the following:

    Keep 100% Previews In Cache

    Keeps 100% previews of images in the cache to speed zoom operations in a slideshow or in full-screen preview, and when using the Loupe tool. Keeping 100% previews in cache, however, can use significant disk space.

    Automatically Export Caches To Folders When Possible

    Creates exported cache files in the viewed folder, if possible. For example, you cannot place cache files in a folder on a read-only disc. Exporting cache files is useful when, for example, you share images, because the images can display faster when viewed in Adobe Bridge on a different computer.


    Specify a new location for the cache. The new location takes effect the next time you start Adobe Bridge.

    Cache Size

    Drag the slider to specify a larger or smaller cache size. If the cache is near the defined limit (500,000 records) or the volume that contains the cache is too full, older cached items are removed when you exit Adobe Bridge.

    Compact Cache Now

    Optimizes cache by removing obsolete cache records and the associated JPEG files. 

    Compact Cache On Exit

    If selected, automatically compacts cache when you close Adobe Bridge if cache database size grows beyond 100 MB. Recommended to keep your cache optimized.

    Purge All Cache Now

    Deletes the entire cache, freeing room on the hard drive.

    Purge Cache Older Than 'N' Days, When Bridge Is Idle

    Specify the purge duration (between 1 day and 180 days). Previously cached items that are older than the specified days are considered as stale and automatically removed when Bridge is idle.

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