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 of these files can get pretty large, 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.

A green recycling symbol.
Paul Guzzo / Getty Images

This article only pertains to opening files that end in .CACHE. This could be confused with cache files that are often deleted through a browser to fix specific errors. Those types of cache files rarely end in this 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 these free text editors. 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.

CACHE files that are Snacc-1.3 VDA files are associated with the Snacc (Sample Neufeld ASN.1 to C Compiler) program.

How to Convert a CACHE File

CACHE files aren't in a regular format like other files, so you can't convert one 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, if the file is 100 percent viewable in a text editor, it can be converted to another text-based format like HTM, RTF, TXT, etc. You can do this through the text editor itself. Notepad++ is one example of a text editor that supports lots of export formats.

Converting a CACHE file with Notepad++
Converting a CACHE file with Notepad++.

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.

Still Can't Open It?

If you've tried the suggestions above but your file still doesn't open, check the file extension again. You might have misread it, confusing another file extension for this one.

For example, CASE files share some of the same file extension letters, but they're actually in the SlipCover Case Template file format and are used for a different reason and therefore can't be opened with the same software that use CACHE files.

Another one you might be mixing up with CACHE is ASH. This one has a few possible formats: Nintendo Wii menu file, KoLmafia script file, or Audiosurf metadata file.

More Information on Cache Folders

Some programs 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 Chrome has saved in its cache folder, or MZCacheView for Firefox.

  • How do I delete app cache files in Windows 10?

    You can clear out your system cache using the Disk Cleanup tool. Go to Settings > System > Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run it now > Clean.

  • Where are my Windows app cache files?

    Most temporary files are stored in the Windows Temp folder. Although the location varies by computer and even by user, you can access it using the Run dialog. Press Windows Key + R, type %temp% and click OK.


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