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Delete or Reinitialize offline files cache in Windows XP

On Windows XP/2003 machines we can delete or reinitialize offline files/CSC cache in any of the following ways.

User Interface

  • Open My computer from start menu
  • Click on Tools
  • Click on Folder Options
  • Select Offline Files tab
  • Press CTRL+Shift and click on Delete Files.

Using Registry key

  • Add a new value named FormatDatabase of type REG_DWORD under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\NetCache.
  • Assign 1 to this new registry value.

From command line, you can do it as below.

REG ADD HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\NetCache /v FormatDatabase /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Cache will not be reset with every reboot of the machine as the FormatDatabase value will be deleted from the registry after the first reboot.
Note that in both the methods we need to reboot the machine to clear the cache.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • rslygh September 30, 2010, 7:53 pm

    Thanks for posting and this worked great for the problem I ran into. I did receive your comment and modified the post on my blog to only link to your article, rather than reiterate the entire thing.

  • Unknown August 22, 2012, 4:33 am

    I have completed the steps above but the CSC folder is still taking up 48GB on my 80GB drive. Can I delete the contents of this folder after turning off Offline files?

  • Srini August 22, 2012, 4:50 am

    The above method should work..
    Which windows version you have? If it's Windows 7, do it this way Deleting offline cache in Windows 7

  • Anonymous January 30, 2013, 12:20 pm

    How about simply disabling the cache in file folder properties? Or is this software specific ? I am having problems with Act! files on the server being cached locally.

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