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What is Cached Data?

 , May 31, 2018
Cached data is a copy of data that is used to improve the performance of a service. The term implies data that is temporary that can be deleted at any time. The following are illustrative examples.

Websites

It is common for web browsers to cache website data such as images in order to improve performance. For example, a website may have a logo image on each page that can be cached such that you don't need to reload it over a network with each page view. This increases the speed of webpages and can reduce bandwidth consumption.

Mobile Apps

A mobile app may connect to an internet service to obtain data. Such data is often cached by the app. For example, a weather app may connect to a service that provides weather data. This may be prefetched and cached to improve the speed of the app.

Servers

Servers may cache data from other servers. For example, a web server may cache data from a database in order to improve performance.

Clearing Cached Data

The term cache implies that data is a temporary copy of data that can be easily refreshed from its source at any time. As such, it should be possible to delete, or "clear", cached data with little or no impact. There are exceptions to this. For example, if you are not connected to the internet and you refresh your cache you may lose access to offline websites or app data until you are able to connect again.

Notes

It is common for a cache to be managed to use a predefined amount of data storage. This serves as a maximum that is never exceeded. For example, a mobile device may have 1 gigabyte of web browser cache. If you clear this cache, it will free space but will quickly fill up again as you browse the web.
A cache may be in memory or stored on a data storage device. It is common to maintain both. For example, a weather app may store weather for your default city in memory and weather for other cities you have checked recently in your device's data storage.
Overview: Cached Data
Type
Definition
A copy of data that is used to improve the performance of a service.
Pronunciation
Pronounced like "cash"
Related Concepts

Computing Basics

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Automation
Binary
Caching
Client-Server
Computer
Computer Examples
Computer Program
Data
Data Processing
I/O
Networking
Runtime Error
Sensors
System Program
Systems
Unicode
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