Caching <caching>


The <caching> element allows you to enable or disable page output caching for an Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 application. This element also allows you to configure whether IIS caches page output in user mode, kernel mode, or both and what, if any, output caching limits you want to impose.

The <caching> element also contains a <profiles> element that contains a collection of output cache settings that you can apply to ASP.NET pages.

Page output caching stores a response of a dynamic page, such as an ASP page or an ASP.NET page, in memory after a browser requests it. When subsequent requests arrive for the page, the server sends the cached response instead of re-processing the page. The ASP.NET page output cache is separate from the IIS 7 output cache. In applications that use the Integrated ASP.NET mode, the ASP.NET page output cache can be used programmatically for any content-type, much like the IIS 7 output cache.

Page output caching reduces server load and response time. Output caching works best with pages that are semi-dynamic, such as an ASP.NET page that is dependent on a database table that does not change often.

Output caching is unnecessary for static files, such as HTML, JPG, or GIF files, and can cause more memory overhead for dynamic ASP.NET or PHP pages that read from a database that changes frequently.


Version Notes
IIS 7.5 The <caching> element was not modified in IIS 7.5.
IIS 7.0 The <caching> element was introduced in IIS 7.0.
IIS 6.0 N/A


The <caching> element is included in the default installation of IIS 7.

How To

How to configure page output caching

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager:
    • If you are using Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
    • If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
      • Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In the Connections pane, go to the connection, site, application, or directory for which you want to configure page output caching.
  3. In the Home pane, scroll to Output Caching, and then double-click Output Caching.

  4. In the Actions pane, click Add...
  5. In the Add Cache Rule dialog box, type the file name extension you want to cache in the File name extension box, and then select the User-mode caching option, the Kernel-mode caching option, or both.
  6. Select the options that you want to use for caching, and then click OK.


You can configure the <caching> element at the server level in the ApplicationHost.config file or at the site, application, or at the directory level in a Web.config file.


Attribute Description
enabled Optional Boolean attribute.

Specifies whether page output caching is enabled.

The default value is true.
enableKernelCache Optional Boolean attribute.

Specifies whether kernel caching is enabled.

The default value is true.
maxCacheSize Optional uint attribute.

Specifies the maximum size of the output cache.

Note: This setting is effective only at the level of the ApplicationHost.config file. If you set this property at a lower level, it will have no effect.

The default value is 0.
maxResponseSize Optional uint attribute.

Specifies the maximum response size that can be cached.

Note: This setting is effective only at the level of the ApplicationHost.config file. If you set this property at a lower level, it will have no effect.

The default value is 262144.

Child Elements

Element Description
profiles Optional element.

Contains a group of output cache settings that can be applied to ASP.NET pages.

Configuration Sample

The following configuration example enables user-mode caching and kernel-mode caching, both of which are enabled by default in IIS 7.0. It also uses the <add> element contained by the <profiles> element to enable output caching for files with the .asp file name extension. It also uses the policy attribute to output cache the page until it changes; it does the same for kernel caching using the kernelCachePolicy attribute.

      <caching enabled="true" enableKernelCache="true">
            <add extension=".asp" policy="CacheUntilChange" kernelCachePolicy="CacheUntilChange" />

The following code example sets the maximum output cache size to 1 gigabyte and sets the maximum size of a response that can be stored in the output cache to 512 kilobytes.

      <caching enabled="true" enableKernelCache="true" maxCacheSize="1000" maxResponseSize="512000"/>

Sample Code

The following examples configure page output caching for files with the .asp file name extension, and configure IIS to cache in user mode and kernel mode until ASP files change.


appcmd.exe set config -section:system.webServer/caching /+"profiles.[extension='asp',policy='CacheUntilChange',kernelCachePolicy='CacheUntilChange']" /commit:apphost

Note: You must be sure to set the commit parameter to apphost when you use AppCmd.exe to configure these settings. This commits the configuration settings to the appropriate location section in the ApplicationHost.config file.


using System;
using System.Text;
using Microsoft.Web.Administration;

internal static class Sample {
   private static void Main() {
      using(ServerManager serverManager = new ServerManager()) { 
         Configuration config = serverManager.GetApplicationHostConfiguration();
         ConfigurationSection cachingSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/caching");
         ConfigurationElementCollection profilesCollection = cachingSection.GetCollection("profiles");

         ConfigurationElement addElement = profilesCollection.CreateElement("add");
         addElement["extension"] = @"asp";
         addElement["policy"] = @"CacheUntilChange";
         addElement["kernelCachePolicy"] = @"CacheUntilChange";
         profilesCollection.AddAt(0, addElement);



Imports System
Imports System.Text
Imports Microsoft.Web.Administration

Module Sample
   Sub Main()
      Dim serverManager As ServerManager = New ServerManager
      Dim config As Configuration = serverManager.GetApplicationHostConfiguration
      Dim cachingSection As ConfigurationSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/caching")
      Dim profilesCollection As ConfigurationElementCollection = cachingSection.GetCollection("profiles")
      Dim addElement As ConfigurationElement = profilesCollection.CreateElement("add")
      addElement("extension") = "asp"
      addElement("policy") = "CacheUntilChange"
      addElement("kernelCachePolicy") = "CacheUntilChange"
      profilesCollection.AddAt(0, addElement)
   End Sub
End Module


var adminManager = new ActiveXObject('Microsoft.ApplicationHost.WritableAdminManager');
adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST";
var cachingSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/caching", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST");
var profilesCollection = cachingSection.ChildElements.Item("profiles").Collection;

var addElement = profilesCollection.CreateNewElement("add");
addElement.Properties.Item("extension").Value = "asp";
addElement.Properties.Item("policy").Value = "CacheUntilChange";
addElement.Properties.Item("kernelCachePolicy").Value = "CacheUntilChange";
profilesCollection.AddElement(addElement, 0);



Set adminManager = createObject("Microsoft.ApplicationHost.WritableAdminManager")
adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"
Set cachingSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/caching", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST")
Set profilesCollection = cachingSection.ChildElements.Item("profiles").Collection

Set addElement = profilesCollection.CreateNewElement("add")
addElement.Properties.Item("extension").Value = "asp"
addElement.Properties.Item("policy").Value = "CacheUntilChange"
addElement.Properties.Item("kernelCachePolicy").Value = "CacheUntilChange"
profilesCollection.AddElement addElement, 0

Deprecated Elements