What is DXCache (DirectX Shader Cache) & How to Delete It: 3 Easy Ways + 1 Bonus

Gaming Solved issue

Question asked by:

Greg L.


My DXCache folder is taking up a lot of space.. Should I delete it?


my dxcache folder is taking literally gigabytes of my disk space -- is it safe to delete it?
Or will it cause some malfunctions?

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If you’ve got NVIDIA on your computer, you may come across various files and folders on their systems that are tied to NVIDIA’s operations. 

One of these folders is called DXCache inside the NVIDIA directory. This folder can sometimes take up a lot of disk space, making some users ask: what is DXCache, and how do you delete it?

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about NVIDIA’s DXCache and whether and how you can delete it.

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What is DirectX Shader Cache?

The DXCache folder holds something called the DirectX Shader Cache1.

Let’s define these two words: shaders and cache. 

Shaders are like minor programs used by your GPU to process your computer graphics. Every time your computer needs to use them, it needs to spend time compiling and running them.

This is where ‘cache’ comes into the picture. In order to save time, your computer stores the results of this constant compilation and recompilation in a designated space called a cache.

By combining the two, you’ll end up with the DirectX Shader Cache folder – where your computer keeps these files to speed up your loading times and keep everything performing smoothly. 

Should You Delete the DXCache Folder?

Over time, the DXCache folder can accumulate a lot of files.

If you’re starting to run out of space, you might think about potentially deleting this folder. But should you do it? Is it safe?

Luckily, the answer is pretty short: yes.

Deleting this folder shouldn’t harm your computer in any way. That said, you have to keep this in mind:

  1. After you delete this folder, your games and programs may load slower the first time you run them again. But don’t worry, they’ll get faster as you keep using them.
  2. You can clean out this folder occasionally if you think it occupies a lot of space. We don’t recommend this for those who want their programs running smoothly all the time, though.

In other words, deleting the DXCache folder is a good way to make some extra room on your computer, but keep in mind it’s not a permanent measure. The cache will always fill up again when you use apps that rely on DirectX.

3 Ways to Delete DXCache from Your PC

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If you do decide to delete DXCache from your PC, here are three easy ways below.

1. By Manual Deletion

The first way to delete DXCache is to do it straight from the settings. It’s easy and doesn’t need any extra software. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the Start button and choose Settings.
  2. Go to System and select Storage.
  3. You’ll see some data you can clean up on the right side.
  4. Select the drive where you installed Windows and click on “Temporary files.
  5. Scroll down and find “DirectX Shader Cache.”
  6. ClickRemove files.

2. Via Disk Cleanup

Windows also has a handy tool called Disk Cleanup. It helps you get rid of unnecessary stuff, including the DirectX Shader Cache.

Here are the steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and type “Disk Cleanup.”
  2. Select “Disk Cleanup.”
  3. Choose the drive where you installed Windows and click OK.
  4. Wait for the tool to finish.
  5. A list will appear. Find and check “DirectX Shader Cache.”
  6. Click OK.
  7. Confirm your decision by clicking “Delete Files.”

3. With Third-Party Software

You can use third-party tools if you’re worried that you might make a mistake while trying to delete the DXCache folder.

There are plenty of options out there, such as CCleaner, Fortect, and IObit. Most of them are paid apps, but some have free trials or limited free versions.

One option that offers a limited free version is CCleaner. It’s a utility software that allows you to remove temporary files and cached data.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download CCleaner from the official website and install it.
  2. Once it’s installed, launch the app.
  3. You’ll see some choices on the screen. Pick “Custom Clean.”
  4. On the left side, you can choose from the list which kinds of files you want to check or clean. Choose “Temporary files.”
  5. Once you’re ready, click “Run Cleaner” to start the cleaning process.

Bonus: Using Microsoft PC Manager on Windows 11

If you’ve got Windows 11, you’re in luck.

Windows 11 has its own free PC cleaner called Microsoft PC Manager. It was designed specifically for Windows 11 and offers a straightforward way to clear out unnecessary files, like the cached files inside the DXCache folder.

Here’s a step-by-step process:

  1. Download Microsoft PC Manager from the official website.
  2. Install the program and launch it.
  3. Click “Storage Management.”
  4. Select “Deep cleanup” at the top.
  5. You’ll be presented with a list of items you can clean up. CheckDirectX shader cache” under the “System cleanup” tab.
  6. Click “Proceed.”
  7. Wait for the cleanup to finish and click “Done.”

Final Thoughts

So, can you delete the DirectX Shader Cache folder or not? Yes, definitely. The methods we listed above will help you do that quickly. 

But whether or not you should do it still depends on you. If you’re okay with the downsides we mentioned, then go ahead and feel free to delete your PC’s DXCache folder & free up some disk space!

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  1. What is DXCache & can you delete it? — discussion on Reddit []
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About the author
Iggy Shells
Iggy Shells - IT & PC repair expert

Iggy is the founder of WindowsGuided.com. He’s been involved in custom IT and security solutions for more than a decade.

Now he and his team are sharing their knowledge with the world by helping casual users solve a myriad of different computer issues, system errors, and virus/malware infections.