Microsoft has unveiled a new feature in Edge called Disk Caching. The technology saves the storage space used by the browser, without impacting performance.
The company explained how compression works. But first, let’s talk briefly about disk caching in browsers.
What is Disk Caching in Microsoft Edge
All web browsers save certain files related to the websites you visit. Data is cached locally on your hard drive, in the form of cookies, media (images), and other data. It also includes some resources that can be reused by the browser, i.e. they can help the program load pages faster on subsequent visits, because the browser does not have to redownload them from the Internet. from zero.
It’s useful, but it’s also problematic. As the cache grows over time, it can end up taking up a lot of space, often consuming several gigabytes of storage. While this may seem insignificant for users who have a large capacity hard drive, it may be a problem for those with less storage space, such as laptops with a small capacity SSD. A large disk footprint (caused by data cache) can also lead to overall system performance degradation, you may have noticed that your computer is slowing down as the browser hogs all available resources.
Clearing the cache will of course help users reclaim space, but will result in a slower browsing experience. Microsoft’s solution for this is disk cache compression. By compressing the data used for the cache, it prevents the data from using a lot of storage. Microsoft Edge will automatically compress data as needed, this is determined by the storage space available for use.
This is the extent of the explanation provided by Microsoft articleit’s a shame that it doesn’t go into the technical side of things related to such an important feature.
According to the announcement, disk caching is available in Microsoft Edge 102 and above, on Windows. Edge 102 was released last month and has already been replaced by Edge 103, so you should already have the new feature. But there is a catch. Microsoft says Edge will automatically compress the cache on devices that meet certain eligibility checks. However, he did not reveal what those requirements are.
It’s also unclear whether the company will extend the feature to macOS and Linux versions of the browser, but I think it may be exclusive to Windows as it uses WOF (WofCompressedData Binaries) to compress data.