Did you know that you can set up content caching on your Mac to help reduce data usage and speed up Apple software updates and iCloud downloads? This handy feature can be used across multiple Apple devices—Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs.
Below, we’ll show you how to enable and configure content caching on your Mac. But before that, let’s take a quick look at the feature so you can understand exactly how it works.
What is content caching?
Content caching is a feature of Apple that speeds up Apple software and iCloud downloads. You can enjoy this feature by enabling it on your Mac. Here’s how it works: When you download Apple software or an iCloud file to one device, your Mac stores a copy of it locally so that if you need to download the content to another device , so it’s downloaded from a Mac instead of the Internet. ,
To use content caching, your Mac and other Apple devices, known clients, must be connected to the same local network. It is recommended to set up content caching on a Mac that uses a single wired Ethernet connection. However, it’s also fine if your Mac uses a Wi-Fi connection.
An Ethernet connection is faster than Wi-Fi and thus, better. You can also share content stored on your Mac with iOS devices connected via USB.
Therefore, when content caching is enabled on your Mac, your Mac caches the content you download on client devices, such as your iPhone. You can then download it from the Mac to another client like your iPad. Content caching supports a variety of content, such as software updates, app downloads, books, iCloud data, and more.
When you have multiple content caches on your local network, they are called peers and can share cached content with each other. This means that if a client requests content that is not available on the content cache but is available on the peer, the content is downloaded from the peer. If the content is not available on Peer, it will be downloaded from Apple’s servers via the Internet.
One downside to content caching is that it takes up some storage space on your Mac because it stores a copy of all the content downloaded by the client. However, considering the amount of internet data you’ll save on downloads and updates, and the fact that apps will download to your device much faster, this may be a fair tradeoff for you. And you can always free up space on your Mac when you need it.
Set up content caching on Mac
In this section, we’ll teach you how to turn on content caching, choose a storage volume for caching, choose a cache size, and clear your cached content.
Select the content you want to cache in the Content Caching pop-up menu. If you select All content, your Mac will store software updates and iCloud content. If you select Shared content only, your Mac will only store software updates and Apple apps. If you choose iCloud Content Only, your Mac will only store iCloud data.
If you want the cached content to appear immediately on the client, restart the client. If you don’t, the cached content will still appear but it will take longer.
To disable content caching on your Mac, go back to the Sharing menu and toggle off Content Caching.
Select a storage volume for content caching
By default, your Mac stores cached content on its startup or boot volume. This storage space provides a fixed amount of storage for data on the device. If you’ve created another volume on your Mac, you can store cached content there instead.
Once the available storage space for cached content becomes low, content that has not been used recently is removed to make room for new content; This may result in you having to re-download the content from the Internet. You can prevent this by setting a higher cache size limit.
Use Activity Monitor to keep track of content cache activity on your Mac. You can use it to view statistics such as the amount of data provided by customers in the last hour, last 24 hours, last seven days and last 30 days.
Enable content caching for faster downloads
Content caching is a feature you should consider using if you have multiple Apple devices other than Macs. You get to save internet bandwidth and download software and iCloud content faster than if you were downloading it from the internet.
So, turn on content caching, choose a volume for caching, choose your cache size, and enjoy the benefits of content caching on your Mac.
Sometimes, you’ll want to know how much free space is left on your Mac’s internal drive. For example, if you have a large file to download or many movies and videos to transfer to your Mac, it may be helpful to know about the available space.