macOS Content Caching

If you have used a Mac for any length of time, you are familiar with installing various updates to the operating system (and other Apple devices as well). It is important to keep the macOS up to date for security reasons and just overall compatibility. Many of you have more than one Mac computer or other Apple device in your house. It can be a drag to install updates to each device when it is released. There is a way around that in the macOS called Content Caching. Here is how to setup Content Caching and how it works.

Content Caching

The Content Caching feature has been available in several of the last macOS iterations. Here is a definition of Content Caching from Apple.

Content caching speeds up downloading of software distributed by Apple and data that users store in iCloud by saving content that local Mac computers, iOS and iPadOS devices, and Apple TV devices have already downloaded. The saved content is stored in a content cache on a Mac, and is available for other devices to retrieve without going out over the internet.

It you have several devices to update, it really is handy to just download the updates one time and then install them on several devices.

You activate Content Caching in the Sharing System Preference Pane.

Sharing Pane

Once in this area, you will see Content Caching in the left sidebar.

Content Caching Sidebar

You cannot just turn on Content Caching. You have to setup a location for the cached files first by clicking on “Select Cache Volume”.

Cache Settings

Once you do that, you have to decide whether to cache “All Content” or just “Only Shared Content”. If you select “Only Shared Content” like I have, then you will not be sharing any iCloud Content.1

Options

If you click on the “Options” button in the lower right corner, you can set the cache size which is not a bad idea.

When you check the box to activate Content Caching, it takes a while to setup

Activate Content Caching

Once it is setup, you are good to go.

Content Caching Running

Obviously, you can turn Content Caching off by unchecking the box.

Conclusion

If you have several devices in your home that need updating, it might be worthwhile to activate Content Caching.

  1. You can see that when you click on the drop down menu[]