I tend to run a fair number of widgets (two displays), and it seems like Dashboard has been getting slower and slower. Thanks to a tip in the February issue of Macworld magazine, I was able to solve this problem.
Every widget creates a cache file. In theory, these cache files are meant to speed up Dashboard performance. But, the cache files can get bloated or corrupted, resulting in the exact opposite effect. If your Dashboard seems to be running unusually slow, you may want to try clearing those caches.
Go to YourUserFolder/Library/Caches/DashboardClient. You’ll find a cryptic set of folders with no names, just numbers. Delete everything inside the “DashboardClient” folder.
In order to complete the process, you need to restart the Dock (it controls Dashboard). You can do this in two ways:
killall Dockin the Terminal. This will quit and restart the Dock.
- Open the Activity Monitor application (in your Utilities folder). Type “dock” in the search field. Once you find it, select it and hit the “Quit Process” button. The Dock will quit and restart.
That’s it. You’ve successfully cleared the cache files for your widgets. For me, this resulted in a significant performance boost. Dashboard is actually usable again.
note: If you run several widgets, it will probably take several seconds for Dashboard to display the info in each widget the first time it’s activated after clearing the caches. Dashboard needs to rebuild the cache for each widget. Don’t be alarmed when they initially come up blank.
It should also be noted that the caches do NOT hold the actual data in the widgets. So, if you’re running widgets like, Mint, iClip lite, or Daily Grind Timer, the data will NOT be lost by clearing the cache.