DiskCache plugin

Writes resized images directly to disk, then lets IIS serve them as normal images. Uses URL rewriting, not URL redirects - this maintains the filename for SEO and reduces latency.

With this plugin, a server can usually process as many concurrent 'dynamic' image requests as 'static' image requests, since there is only a 1-time hit (and it's small to begin with) for resizing an image.

Suggested for all live sites. Works well in combination with the CloudFront plugin, which adds edge-caching. Also works great with the PsdReader, SqlReader, S3Reader, and AnimatedGifs plugin; these benefit greatly from caching due to their slightly higher resource cost.

Compatible with all plugins.

This plugin only applies to the URL API, not the managed API. It integrates deeply with ASP.NET and IIS to provide ideal performance. In the future, it may offer an API for use from MVC actions or HttpHandlers, but it will be an API with reduced performance, as MVC actions and HttpHandlers are executed too late for IIS to handle the serving of the file.

When disabling DiskCache on a site that hosts protected images, it is best to use <diskcache enabled="false" /> instead of removing <add name="DiskCache" />. The existing /imagecache/ folder will otherwise become publicly accessible when the plugin is removed. Keep this in mind with sub-applications as well.


Either run Install-Package ImageResizer.Plugins.DiskCache in the NuGet package manager, or:

  1. Add a reference to ImageResizer.Plugins.DiskCache.dll file in your project.
  2. In the plugins section, insert <add name="DiskCache" />.

You're done. If you want to configure the cache directory, you can set <diskcache dir="~/app-relative-path-here" />.

Other plugins included with DiskCache

The DiskCache assembly includes 3 additional caching plugins

SourceMemCache (beta)

Caches up to 10MB of original image files in memory. Files not accessed for more than 10 minutes are removed from the cache.

Improves performance for real-time image editing (such as via StudioJS or jCrop).

Only images with &scache=mem are cached.

Install by adding <add name="SourceMemCache" />.

Output MemCache (alpha)

Caches up to 10MB of output image files in memory. Files not accessed for more than 10 minutes are removed from the cache.

Useful for few-time-use image processing, such as a live camera feed.

Only images with &mcache=true are cached.

Install by adding <add name="MemCache" />.

SourceDiskCache (beta)

Like DiskCache, but for source files. Not advisable if your source image collection is larger than available local storage.

Only images with &scache=disk are cached.

Install by adding <add name="SourceDiskCache" />.

Default cache folder is ~/cache/sourceimages. No configuration options available through XML installation - only through code installation.

DiskCache Configuration

The defaults are good - you don't actually need to specify any configuration.

The following is what the default settings look like. Only specify what you need to change.


Where to store the images. This can specify an IIS virtual directory if you want to cache images outside the site folder.

Should be in virtual path form, like /vdir/cache or ~/imagecache.


When true, will keep a background thread running to 'clean' unused items from the disk cache. This background thread uses smart 'activity sensing' to avoid doing cleanup work when the site is busy. Defaults to false, since the cleanup system is still in beta.


If true, when a source file is changed, a new file will be created instead of overwriting the old cached file. This helps prevent file lock contention on high-traffic servers. Defaults to true. Changes the hash function, so you should delete the cache folder whenever this setting is modified.

Never use 'False' in a Web Garden scenario - it will cause random failed requests. False may also cause rare failed requests during an overlapped recycle (which is the default for IIS). False may also cause failed requests if a source image is updated while the older version is still being streamed to clients, and those requests take over 'cacheAccessTimeout' seconds. False has the benefit of creating less 'cache trash', since extra files are not left around for a while; however, the benefits rarely outweigh the disadvantages.


true by default. False disables the plugin completely.


Controls how many subfolders to use for disk caching. Rounded to the next power of two. (1->2, 3->4, 5->8, 9->16, 17->32, 33->64, 65->128,129->256,etc.)

NTFS does not handle more than 8,000 files per folder well. Larger folders also make cleanup more resource-intensive.

Defaults to 32, which combined with the default setting of 400 images per folder, allows for scalability to 12,800 actively used image versions.

For example, given a desired cache size of 100,000 items, this should be set to 256.


Defaults to 15 seconds. How long to wait for a file lock to become available before giving up on the request.

asyncWrites (new in v3.1)

When true, writing to the disk cache will occur on separate threads, permitting the request to complete faster in the case of a cache miss. This adds a bit more overhead on the server, but makes the client experience more responsive. Very helpful on slow or overwhelmed I/O systems.

asyncBufferSize (new in v3.1)

The number of bytes to allowed to be used for the async write queue. Defaults to 10MB (10485760). This is the maximum amount of RAM that will be used for the write cache. If this value would be exceeded, the disk cache switches to synchronous mode until the queue has emptied enough to permit another job to be added without exceeding the maximum.


Controls how the background thread determines which files to 'clean up'. Not used unless autoClean='true'

Changing the 'cleanupStrategy' settings may void your warranty - it's tricky business.

Times are parsed in the following format: { s | d.hh:mm[:ss[.ff]] | hh:mm[:ss[.ff]] }. If you just enter a number, it's considered seconds.

This plugin (DiskCache plugin) is part of the Performance Edition

Where is the plugins section?

The <plugins> section is located in Web.config, and is nested inside the <resizer> element, which is nested inside <configuration>. For examples, see this sample Web.config file.

Where can I find the dll?

We prefer that you install via NuGet, but you can also find the plugin DLL files in the /dlls/release folder of your download.

How do I typically install a plugin via Web.Config?

  1. In Visual Studio, right click on your project and choose "Add reference". Browse to the plugin DLL and click "OK".
  2. In the <plugins> section of Web.config, insert <add name="PluginName" />
  3. Look at the plugin documentation to see what configuration options (if any) are available.

How do I typically install a plugin via code?