As a designer, After Effects is an unavoidable tool, and it is quite a popular tool. However, there is a possibility that you are unfamiliar with the disc cache in After Effects even though it is an essential part of the application. To be more specific, it's a huge deal, and it's a crucial element of the process you're going through.

You have been using the disc cache for the whole existence of After Effects. The disc cache plays such an important role in motion design. Interesting, isn't it?

In this blog, we will tell you what is After Effects Cache and what it does. This will be worth knowing while making motion graphicsanimated videos, or anything in After Effects.

Let us begin by exploring what a disc cache is.

What is disc cache?

Disc cache is not unique to After Effects. There are other applications outside After Effects that make use of the disc cache as well. Given that practically all software uses some disc caching in some way, its use is much more widespread than that. 

The process by which software retrieves material from the disc that was only read recently and stored in a cache is called the “disc cache,” and its name derives from the phrase. This makes it possible for the software to more quickly access the data in the event that it wants to read it again at some point in the future.

After Effects will try to preserve the frames and data processed and rendered on your computer system. Due to the fact that this data will be called and reused After Effects will be able to complete its responsibilities in a more timely manner. While space is still available in the RAM cache, a newly inserted frame will replace an older one that was previously cached. 

The process of rendering frames in After Effects stops when the picture cache can no longer hold any more images. As soon as the RAM on your device is full, it will begin to play only the frames that can do so.

Pre-render and cache in After Effects

You can pre-render and cache your comp in After Effects in two ways.

Disc Cache

  • Saved to: Hard Drive
  • Indicator: Blue bar

It is possible to generate a disc cache on which the information obtained from the preview render is saved in a directory. When you do this After Effects is able to read the data more quickly, which in turn allows it to provide you with a more rapid preview.

After your computer has been cached to the disc, there will be a blue bar at the beginning of the time ruler of the timeline.

RAM (Random Access Memory) Cache

  • Saved to: RAM
  • Indicator: Green bar

After Effects' RAM Cache stores RAM Preview frames like the disc cache stores data. This is done in the same manner as caching data on the disc. In addition, After Effects is working to improve the efficiency of its users by doing away with the requirement that composition is re-rendered every time the spacebar is used. 

When you look at the timeline, you will notice a green bar indicating the RAM Cache has been utilized. Because After Effects transfers any necessary video from the disc cache into the RAM cache, the playback of your timeline will be altered.

Effects of disk and RAM cache on hard drive space

Both of these things will take up space on your computer's hard drive. RAM previews are saved in RAM, but when After Effects is closed, they are removed from RAM without a trace. This application will store the disc cache on your local hard drive. 

Even after you have closed the window, it will not be erased. It is essential that you are aware that your cache has the potential to amass a significant amount of data over time and consume a significant portion of the storage space available on your hard drive. You do not need to be concerned; you can clean up your system by removing those unused disc spaces.

Adjusting your Disk Cache Size

You can examine the size of your disc cache by going to the After Effects > Preferences > Media & Disk Cache menu option. You may determine the amount of space it occupies on your disc by adjusting the size of the disc cache. 

If you use After Effects somewhat frequently, you can raise that quantity to be unlimited if you so choose after Effects suggests that you save your video to a hard disc that is distinct from the SSD whenever it is practicable.

Clearing (purge) the Disk Cache in After Effects

One can take two distinct approaches to purge and clear the contents of the disc cache. Ensure that Edit > Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache is selected. Note that this will also have the same effect on the RAM Cache. The second option is to select Preferences > Media & Disk Cache from the menu.

 Clearing (purge) the RAM cache in After Effects

To remove the contents of your RAM cache before you exit After Effects, select Edit > Purge > All Memory from the menu bar. This will clear the RAM cache, but before you do so, be aware that you will lose whatever progress you have made in the preview and will need to run RAM Preview again.

Got a clear understanding of After Effects Cache?

With experience, you learn more. After Effects is not that tough, but not that easy too, it can be said to be one of the main tools in a designer's toolkit. There is so much to explore in After Effects.

Through this blog, we hope you understand what After Effects cache is and what it does. This can help you save space and time in many aspects. 

If you are looking to make video animations, logo animations, motion graphics, or searching for video editing services, the video team at webdew will be happy to find space to make your videos.

To know more, visit or contact us straightaway.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it's generally safe to delete cache files in After Effects. Cache files are temporary data used to speed up project rendering and previews. Clearing them can free up storage space and resolve issues like corrupted cache data. After Effects will automatically regenerate cache files as needed.

After Effects cache files are temporary data, the software generates to store rendered frames, previews, and other elements used during project editing and playback. These files help improve performance by reducing the need to re-render frames each time you change your composition.

  1. After Effects cache stores a range of data, including rendered frames, previews, audio waveform information, and even project-specific cache. It's designed to speed up workflow and playback by storing frequently used assets and reducing the need for time-consuming re-rendering.

Yes, you can delete the Adobe After Effects cache folder without major issues. It's a common troubleshooting step to resolve problems related to cache corruption or when cache files take up too much storage space. After Effects will recreate the cache files as needed, so deleting the cache folder can help improve software performance and free up disk space.