What Is a CACHE File?

The ins and outs of cache files

A file with the CACHE file extension contains temporary information that a program sets aside because it assumes you'll want to use it again soon. Doing this allows the software to load the information faster than it would take to find the original data.

CACHE files aren't meant to be opened by anyone because the program that uses it will use it when it needs to and then discard the CACHE files when necessary. Some CACHE files can get pretty large in size depending on the program and data you're working with.

If your CACHE file is under a different format, it may instead be a Snacc-1.3 VDA file, which is a file associated with the Snacc (Sample Neufeld ASN.1 to C Compiler) program.

A green recycling symbol.
Paul Guzzo / Getty Images

This article only pertains to opening the file type .CACHE. This could be confused with clearing your browser's cache, which rarely ends in the .CACHE file extension.

How to Open a CACHE File

Most CACHE files you encounter aren't meant to be opened by you. You can open one if you want to view it as a text document, but it likely won't help you read the file like you're used to with regular text-based formats like TXT, DOCX, etc. The program that created the CACHE file is the only software that can use it.

To open a CACHE file to see it in its text form, just use a regular text editor like Windows Notepad or one of the many other free text editors available. Again, the text is most likely scrambled, so it probably won't serve any real purpose.

Since these text editors don't recognize the .CACHE file extension as a text document, you have to open the program first and then browse for the CACHE file from within the program.

How to Convert a CACHE File

CACHE files aren't in a regular format like other files, so you can't convert CACHE to JPG, MP3, DOCX, PDF, MP4, etc. While those file types can be converted using a file converter tool, trying to use one on a CACHE file won't be of any help.

However, CACHE files that are 100% viewable in a text editor can be converted to another text-based format like HTM, RTF, TXT, etc. You can do this through the text editor itself.

If you have a CACHE file from a game built using Digital Extreme's Evolution Engine, the Evolution Engine Cache Extractor might be able to open it.

More Information on Cache Folders

Some programs may create a .CACHE folder. Dropbox is one example — it creates a hidden .dropbox.cache folder after it's installed. It has nothing to do with .CACHE files.

Some programs let you view the files cached by your web browser, but as mentioned above, the cached files probably don't use the .CACHE file extension. You can use a program like ChromeCacheView to see the files that Google Chrome has saved in its cache folder or MZCacheView for Firefox.