Dumping Java cache improves browser performance

Dennis o'reilly By Dennis O’Reilly

If your browser takes forever to open, it could be due to an overloaded Java cache.

The Java Control Panel applet lets you clear Java’s temporary Internet cache and reset the default cache size to a more reasonable amount.

For many people, the most-important application on their PCs is their browser. But sometimes it seems to take forever for the program to open. Bruce Sobut discovered a fix for slow-as-molasses launches of Firefox:

  • “Whenever I loaded a Web page with Java the first time after rebooting, it would take an extremely long time (over a minute). After looking into it a little on Google, I found references to the Java cache. On two different computers, it was set to 2GB (default?).

    “Since I had never done it before, I cleared the Java cache, which took over an hour. I then reduced the cache to 20MB (my understanding is some Java programs require the cache). Since doing this, Java pages load quickly and all is well.”

To clear your Java cache, click Start, Control Panel, Programs (if necessary), Java. In the Temporary Internet Files section under the General tab, choose the Settings button. In the Temporary Files Settings dialog, click Delete Files. (See Figure 1.) The process may have taken more than an hour for Bruce, but on my test Vista system, it took just a few seconds to delete the 790MB of files in the cache.

Java temporary internet files dialog
Figure 1. Improve your browser’s performance by clearing Java’s Temporary Internet Files cache.

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