How To Enable Automatic Media Cache Deletion After Project Close in After Effects?

After Effects is a powerhouse for crafting stunning motion graphics and visual effects. However, the creative magic behind your projects comes at a hidden storage cost – the media cache. While essential for smooth playback during editing, the cache can accumulate over time, consuming valuable disk space.

Unfortunately, After Effects doesn't offer a built-in feature to automatically delete the media cache upon closing a project. But fear not, there are workarounds you can employ to achieve a similar effect and streamline your workflow. Here, we'll explore two effective methods to enable automatic media cache deletion after project close in After Effects.

Method 1: Utilizing Batch Scripts (For Technically Adept Users)

This method involves creating a batch script (a series of commands) that automatically clears the media cache when you close your After Effects project. It requires some technical knowledge but offers a powerful and customizable solution.

Here's a breakdown of the steps:

  1. Script Creation: Open a text editor (e.g., Notepad on Windows, TextEdit on Mac). Paste the following code, replacing [DRIVE_LETTER] with the actual drive letter where your After Effects cache resides:

Code snippet

del /f /q "[DRIVE_LETTER]:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Adobe\After Effects\<version>\Media Cache*"


Use code with caution.content_copy


  • @ECHO OFF - Hides the script execution commands in the command prompt window.
  • del /f /q - Deletes files forcefully and quietly (without confirmation prompts).
  • [DRIVE_LETTER]:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Adobe\After Effects\<version>\Media Cache* - Specifies the target directory for cache deletion. Replace <username> with your actual username and <version> with your After Effects version (e.g., 17.0).
  1. Saving the Script: Save the file with a .bat extension (e.g., ClearCache.bat).
  2. Assigning a Shortcut: Right-click the saved script and choose "Send to" > "Desktop (create shortcut)". This creates a shortcut on your desktop for easy access.
  3. Automating Project Close: There are two ways to automate script execution:
    • Task Scheduler (Windows): Create a scheduled task in the Windows Task Scheduler to run the script whenever After Effects is closed.
    • Automator (Mac): Utilize Automator on Mac to create a workflow that triggers the script upon closing After Effects.

Important Considerations:

  • Technical Knowledge: This method requires some understanding of batch scripting and automation tools.
  • Accidental Deletion: Be cautious, as the script forcefully deletes the cache. Ensure you have backups of your project files before running it.

Method 2: Leveraging Third-Party Tools (For a User-Friendly Approach)

Several third-party tools designed for After Effects can automate cache management tasks, including deletion upon project close. These tools offer a more user-friendly experience but might require additional installation and potentially a subscription fee.

Here's what to consider when using third-party tools:

  1. Research and Selection: Explore available options and choose a tool with a good reputation and features that suit your needs. Popular choices include aescripts + plugins and Mister Horse.
  2. Installation and Configuration: Follow the tool's specific installation and configuration instructions. Most tools offer an intuitive interface to set up automatic cache deletion upon project close.
  3. Trial Period and Cost: Many tools offer trial periods. Utilize this time to evaluate the software's functionality before committing to a purchase.

Benefits of Third-Party Tools:

  • User-Friendly: These tools generally offer a user-friendly interface compared to scripting.
  • Additional Features: Many tools come with additional functionalities beyond cache management, such as project organization and preset management.


  • Cost: Some tools require a subscription or one-time purchase fee.
  • Software Reliance: You become reliant on the third-party software for cache management functionality.


While After Effects itself lacks a built-in automatic cache deletion feature, the two methods outlined above empower you to achieve a similar effect. For technically inclined users, batch scripting offers a powerful and customizable solution. If you prefer a user-friendly approach, consider exploring third-party tools designed for After Effects workflow management.

By implementing one of these methods, you can automate media cache deletion after project close, freeing up valuable disk space, and streamlining your After Effects workflow. Remember, a well-managed cache translates to a smoother and more efficient creative experience!

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