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Media Cache management in Premiere Pro

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Clearing old or unused media cache files can help maintain optimal performance.

When importing video and audio into Premiere Pro, it processes versions of these files that it can readily access for faster performance. These are referred to as media cache files. These are stored in the Media Cache Files folder. In addition, there is a folder containing a database, which retains links to each of the media cache files. These are referred to as media cache database files. They are located in the Media Cache folder.

The Media Cache is where Premiere Pro stores accelerator files, including peak files (.pek) and conformed audio (.cfa) files.

Clearing old or unused media cache files can help maintain optimal performance. Deleted cache files are recreated whenever source media requires them. Clearing the media cache regularly is a best practice for optimum Premiere Pro performance or troubleshooting.

You can clear the media cache while launching the app, from within the app, or you can manually delete the files.

Clear Media Cache on app launch

Before updating to a new version of the app or identifying and resolving app problems, use reset options in Premiere Pro at launch to do routine maintenance and cleanup on your system.

Press and hold Command (macOS) or Ctrl (Windows) while Premiere Pro launches to activate the reset option. When the Reset options dialogue opens, select Clear media cache files.

Clear Media Cache using Premiere Pro preferences

You can also remove or clear the media cache while the Premiere Pro app is open. 

  1. Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) > Media Cache or Premiere Pro > Settings (macOS) > Media Cache.

    Obs!
    • To delete all media cache, select File > Close All Projects. Now select Preferences (Windows)> Media Cache and Settings (macOS) > Media Cache.
  2. To remove media cache files, click the Delete button next to Remove Media Cache Files.

    Option to remove media cache files
    Option to remove media cache files

  3. In the Delete Media Cache Files dialog box that opens, you can choose to:

    • Delete unused media cache files - Deleting unused media cache files removes files that were created for source media that can no longer be found.
    • Delete all media cache files from the system - Deleting all media cache files deletes all cache files from the current location. Deleted cache files are recreated automatically whenever source media requires them. To remove all media cache files, restart Premiere Pro and select this option before opening any project.
  4. Click OK.

Delete media cache files manually

With Premiere Pro closed, navigate to the location of these folders and delete the files manually. After you delete the files, then empty the trash.

File locations:
Mac: /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common

Windows: \Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common

 Deleting the files manually with Premiere Pro closed deletes the current media cache files, as well, which is what you want to do when troubleshooting errors.

After deleting the files, you should see additional hard drive space become available. If you have older projects you have completed, it is a good idea to delete these files to save storage space and to keep your computer's hard drive tidier.

Remember that a delay occurs after you delete all cache files and open a current project, as the files need time to rebuild. If you have a large project, budget enough time for the media cache files to rebuild. This can be done overnight, for example.

Where to store Media Cache files?

For best performance, choose a fast SSD or NVME drive for your Media Cache - ideally a on a dedicated drive. You can change the locations of the media cache files by clicking Browse and navigating to the desired folder location. If needed, you can save the Media Cache on the same drive as your media.

Automatically manage your Media Cache files

You can set your preferences for the media cache using the following options:

  • Do not delete cache files automatically - This setting is enabled by default in the Media Cache Preferences. Automatic deletion of media cache files applies only to .pek, .cfa and .ims files within the subdirectory folders Peak Files and Media Cache Files.
  • Automatically delete cache files older than - The default value is 90 days. You can change it to a time period of your preference.
  • Automatically delete oldest cache files when cache exceeds - The default is 10% of the volume size where the media cache is located.
Obs!

When either the age or size preference is enabled, changes take place after quitting and restarting Premiere Pro. On the next application launch, Premiere Pro determines whether the media cache files meet the criteria for deletion, and if so, begins deletion 10 minutes after launch.

This housekeeping then occurs on a weekly basis from that point onward.


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