Microsoft Explains Why Microsoft Edge Disk Cache Compression Improves Performance

In Microsoft Edge version 102, Microsoft has added the disk cache compression feature, which can automatically compress the disk cache to improve performance and reduce disk usage.
Microsoft said that Microsoft Edge aims to be the best performing browser on Windows and other platforms, and when the browser uses too many resources, it not only affects the browsing experience but also slows down the system.
Microsoft Edge Windows 11

Our goal on the Microsoft Edge team is to deliver the best performing browser possible on Windows and other platforms,” Microsoft writes in the blog post. “When a browser uses too many resources, it not only impacts the browsing experience but can also slow down the entire system. However, when it comes to performance optimizations, we often need to balance optimizing for the entire system, since optimizing for one resource can often come at a cost increasing the use of another resource.

One such example is the disk cache, the browser needs to use the disk cache function to store the various resources it fetches from the network so that it can quickly access them when needed. The more cached data, the more likely the requested resources will be obtained from disk. It is much faster to obtain resources from the local cache than to download them from the Internet. The intuitive experience is that certain pages are loaded very quickly.

But an unlimited cache can cause the system to run out of hard drive space, so Microsoft needs to carefully manage the size of the cache, especially on devices that run low on disk space.

… We need to carefully manage the size of the cache especially on devices with low disk space, since an unbounded cache can lead to the system running out of disk space,” it explains. “To prevent the browser cache from consuming all available disk space, browsers already moderate disk cache use based on available space. This issue becomes critical especially on systems with low disk space.

Microsoft improves performance by maximizing cache usage while reducing disk usage by compressing local cache files, which are usually highly compressible. Starting from Microsoft Edge version 102, if Microsoft detects that the system meets the conditions for automatic compression, it will automatically enable cache file compression. Enabling this feature will not cause performance degradation. On the contrary, it will help users save space and improve user experience.