Bridge: Delete cache in the bridge stops collections from working.

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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I deleted the cache in the Bridge because it was taking up 30G and my computer was running out of storage.  But now my Bridge collections do not work, even though the keywords are still there.  And even if I create new collections, they cannot access the existing keywords.  I googled deleting the cache before I did it, and didn't find any warnings about losing keyword functionality (although I subsequently found someone else online had complained about exactly the same issue).   There should be a clear warning when you are about to delete the cache that it will invalidate all your collections and that your existing keywords will not be usable for creating future collections.   I have spent hours on the phone to Adobe support this week to see if there is a way round this, but they have concluded that there isn't.  So beware!!  Adobe - please warn people.  It will take me hours to get back to where I was at the start of the week, because I use keywords and collections in the Bridge as my main file management system.  It is hugely problematic for me to have lost the functionality of all my previous keywords.
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Jane Ashley

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  • very frustrated

Posted 2 years ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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> There should be a clear warning when you are about to delete the cache that it will invalidate all your collections and that your existing keywords will not be usable for creating future collections.>

It would be helpful if you told us what version of Bridge you're using, what OS you're running, and the exact steps you took to delete your cache. I delete cache all the time, and have done so for years, using each of the 3 methods at various times (on launch, manually within the cache folder, and through Preferences > Cache > Purge All Cache).

Never once have I lost my Collections OR my existing keywords. They're kept in the Settings file, separate from Cache. So I'm puzzled as to what happened to invalidate your Collections as well as make it impossible to create new Collections based on keywords???

Going forward, I strongly suggest you regularly back up your Collections and Keywords to a separate directory/drive so you can easily repair any damage done by some action that does cause you to lose them. On a Mac, you'll find them in the user Library> Application Support> Adobe> Bridge CC 2017 (or whatever).  You can also Export your Keywords from that panel's menu. It exports to a plain text file which can later be imported (Clear and Import) should your keywords file become corrupt.

You have my sympathy. It's really pretty awful having something like that happen.
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Jane Ashley

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Hello Cristen,
Thank you so much for your helpful email. It is a great puzzle and there seem conflicting views about the importance of the cach in all this.  The person who helped me from Adobe was convinced that all the information needed to link keywords with collections is stored in the cache.   I'll try what you suggest about backing up next time.
All best,
Jane
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Stephen Marsh

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Do you mean Collections or Smart Collections?

Collections should not rely on keywords, they use an absolute path to the image.

Smart Collections could rely on keywords if the search criteria was using keywords.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> he person who helped me from Adobe was convinced that all the information needed to link keywords with collections is stored in the cache. >

That would make the big button in Preferences > Cache> Purge all Cache Now the most dangerous button Bridge has.  We're supposed to purge cache on a regular basis. In fact, they instituted a new command to purge cache older than X days just to keep Bridge running efficiently. It's not associated with the Purge Cache command.

If you can follow the path (Windows has something similar you use to get to Application Support), see if you don't have your Collections and Keywords still in your Bridge folder. You might be somewhat relieved to find it is still intact, unless somehow you were directed to wipe out that entire folder that is unrelated to Cache. As you should be able to see, no Cache folder anywhere in this one, but Collections and Keywords are.

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Jane Ashley

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EVEN WORSE  - I have now discovered that the search function no longer works on my photos.  I used to search for photos by name and can't do that any more.  I am at a loss to know what to do.  I haven't been able to find the route suggested by Christen.  Does anyone know if there is any route to get somone seriously good on the case from Adobe who can help me with this? The people on the helpline seemed to just think this was an inevitable consequence of deleting the cache. Is there any kind of appeals procedure about getting referreed further up the chain?  Or complaints procedure/ compensation when things go this badly wrong? WARNING TO EVERYONE - DO NOT DELETE YOUR CACHE!!!!
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Jane Ashley

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In fact the name of the photos is still attached to them, so I can search for them just using finder on my mac, but I am unable to search for them in The Bridge.  It seems I may have to abandon The Bridge altogether and look for a different file management system.  Can anyone recommend one? 
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Cristen Gillespie

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I'm so sorry you've having such a difficult time. I'm afraid "do not delete your cache" is not good advice, but I will add, don't do it unless you use one of the standard Bridge methods for doing so. You still haven't said how you deleted Bridge's cache (or what OS you're using), but since keywords and collections are not stored in the same folder as the Bridge cache folder (unless perhaps you chose to move it there, and if so, why?) I'm still not seeing how deleting cache had any effect on your keywords and collections.

Windows settings folder, as best I can determine, but I'm sure someone can confirm or better direct you, is located along this general path. Your keywords file and your Collections folder should still be there unless you deleted that folder.

C:\Users\"username"\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Bridge xxx
Mac is the path I mentioned above.

Searching is performed  according to the criteria you set, preferably in Find (Cmd/Ctrl-F) for best results, including whether or not to search in subfolders, and whether or not to search non-indexed folders, recommended if you want to be certain. Quick Search in the menu bar is more prone to failing to find what you know is there. Keywords have nothing to do with searching by filename. You can search by filename without ever having added a single keyword to your files.

I honestly have no idea what is going on with your Bridge installation. I hope Adobe will respond to help you troubleshoot.



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Jane Ashley

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Hello again Christen,
I deleted the cache by going to my Bridge preferences, then cache, then ticking the box which says 'purge all cached now' .  See attached screenshot.  My mac is on OSX Yosemite. It was bad enough having lost the collections etc, but much worse now that The Bridge can no longer do searches by file name.  I will try the helpline again on the latest problem, but without much optimism.  I'll also try to find someone more techie than me to help me find the files you mentioned previously.  I searched and searched without success, but I am no computer wizz.  Thanks again for your suggestions. At least 2 other people have said that they have had the same problem on this feedback site so it must be a bug of some sort that sometimes throws lots of things off track when you delete the cache. All best jane
 
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Cristen Gillespie

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> I'll also try to find someone more techie than me to help me find the files you mentioned previously. >

If you're not sure of your way around the OS, the user Library is hidden by default on Yosemite. With a Finder window open, go to the menu Go> Go To Folder. . . > and in the dialog type "~/Library" without the quotes. That should take you to your User Library. From there, you can follow the path I gave: Application Support > Adobe > Bridge 2017. That's where you'll find your settings.

But I suspect the Keywords list will have been overwritten by now if you created new keywords. Your Collections should still be safe unless you created new Collections with the same name.

You should also be able to get  a lot of your keywords back as you browse to files that had the keywords applied. The keywords should be added in the Keywords panel to your current list in italics when you click on an image to make it active, which indicates they are keywords from another source. You can right-click (control-click) on a keyword and choose Make Persistent to add that keyword to your list.

Admittedly, this is a bit of a pain, but it is one way to get them back if you haven't saved them as a .txt file to reimport.

I am worried something has gotten corrupted with your Bridge installation, though, which someone else would be be better able to help you with.  There are other 3rd party browsers for the Mac. I haven't used any to recommend them, however. I am very dependent upon Bridge features that work specifically with Adobe software, and I haven't found any that replicate what Bridge can do. If you come across one that respects Stacks, allows Smart and dumb Collections,  and previews Adobe file formats, etc., do let me know.
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Jane Ashley

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Thanks again Cristen.  Do you think it would be worth asking adobe support to help me to deinstall and reinstall the bridge? Might that be a way around any corruption?
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Stephen Marsh

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Often reinstalls do not clear/fix/remove everything – one may have to manually delete specific preference, cache or other files first as these files may not be replaced on a “clean install”. Sometimes deleting/renaming/moving these files is all that is required to fix a problem.

https://helpx.adobe.com/bridge/kb/troubleshoot-errors-freezes-bridge-windows.html

https://forums.adobe.com/message/4188197#4188197

https://forums.adobe.com/community/bridge
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Jane Ashley

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Thank you Stephen
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Jane Ashley

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Well that was very helpful Cristen.  Following your guide as to how to find the user library, I followed the path you gave me and got The Bridge 2017.  All my collections are still there!  I think the adobe support person who tried to help me thought they had been deleted along with the cache.  I will have another go with the helpline when they next open, to see if another person might have more success in linking up the keywords and the collections --and can hopefully sort out why the seach function no longer works. Thanks again.  You give me hope that maybe my system can be restored. All best, Jane
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Cristen Gillespie

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Be sure, though, before you uninstall, you copy your Collections (and maybe the Keywords File—or simply Export from the Keywords panel) to a safe location! Just to be on the safe side.   Then you can follow Stephen's links (he has a LOT of experience with this sort of thing, btw).  If you have Workspaces you created, be sure to back them up, too. That way, if it becomes necessary to delete all your preferences, you know that those are in a location Adobe doesn't even know exists. '-}  Yes, I'm a belt and suspenders type of person. <G>

Personally, I've never had the slightest success with their Cleaner app, but others have. Most of the time with any of the apps, merely uninstalling AND removing all my preferences (annoying, but sometimes necessary) has worked for me.
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Stephen Marsh

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Collections have a “.filelist” extension.

Smart Collections have a “.collections” extension.

Which exact files are having the problem?
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Stephen Marsh

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A quick test on the Mac in CC2015.5 reveals that although there is some obscurification when compared to a .filelist, the .collection XML file created by a Smart Collection does NOT rely on the keyword being resident in the Bridge keywords panel or in the cache (which I purged with no issues). Of course, we don’t know if or why this is a problem on Jane’s machine. The keyword only needs to be in the files for the search criteria used by the Smart Collection to work.
(Edited)
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Jane Ashley

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Hello Cristen and Stephen,
I have had some success in restoring parts of my bridge functionality after reading your suggestions and talking to the adobe helpline.  I am now able to use the search function again, as long as I first take files to a different location, then bring them back in with a different name.  Exactly as you said. 
And although my collections don't work, I will be able to recreate them because my keywords are still intact and I can filter by keyword, so can then assign new keywords and create new collections.  A bit laborious, but it means I don't have to go through individual photos assigning keywords again.
I may be able to do more to sort things out,  but these are good enough work arounds for now,   Thank you both so much for the time and trouble you have taken with your kind responses and advice.  With best wishes, Jane
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Cristen Gillespie

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You're quite welcome. I'm very glad I was able to make the experience at least a little less frustrating and such a miserable loss at it first seemed to be. Bit by bit, you will now be able to get back to functioning, and now you also know how to find the files you want to back up in case something disastrous happens to your installation.