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IIS: How to Disable Caching of Specific MIME Types

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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Web administrators may need to periodically disable the caching of content that changes frequently. This article describes a method to disable caching of document types.
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MIME stands for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions," which refers to a way of configuring browsers or mail clients to view files that are in multiple formats based on a "MIME type." "MIME mapping" is a process by which Internet Information Server (IIS) "maps" files by their extensions to a particular MIME type. For example, a file with the extension .htm has a MIME type of "text/html", whereas a file with the extension .gif has a MIME Type of "image/gif".

When a request is made by a client for a particular file, IIS uses the MIME map to determine the correct MIME type to tell a client it will be receiving. IIS contains a large list of default MIME types to use and will return a MIME type of "application/octet-stream" for any file extension that is not explicitly mapped.

Cache Disabling Techniques

  • The easiest way to disable caching of a given MIME type is to create folders based on the types to disable and then set custom headers for those folders. For example, the following steps will disable caching of files in an images folder:

    1. Create a folder under your Wwwroot folder named Images.
    2. Open the Internet Services Manager (ISM).
    3. Locate the Images folder under your default Web site.
    4. Right-click the Images folder and select Properties.
    5. Select the HTTP Headers tab.
    6. Click Add in the Custom HTTP Headers section.
    7. Add a header named Cache-Control with a value of no-cache.
    8. Click ok to apply the changes.
    When creating content, any files stored in this folder will no longer be cached. This is especially useful when working with images that are frequently updated.
  • The following steps describe an unsupported method of tricking IIS using Windows Scripting Host (WSH) and Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) into returning a "no-cache" header for a specific MIME type, in this case .gif files, for an entire Web server by modifying the IIS metabase.

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    1. Save the following WSH code in your %SystemDrive%\InetPub\AdminScripts folder as MimeChange.vbs:
      Option ExplicitDim boolFoundDim intCountDim intMimeMapDim objMimeMapDim varMimeMapDim varMimeExtDim varMimeTyp' specify the extension and MIME type to work withvarMimeExt = ".gif"' NOTE - this entry stores an extra HTTP header with the MIME information' this "tricks" IIS into sending the extra cache control headervarMimeTyp = "image/gif" & vbCrLf & "Cache-Control: no-cache"' create the ADSI object & current MIME map at that pathSet objMimeMap = GetObject("IIS://localhost/w3svc")varMimeMap = objMimeMap.GetEx("MimeMap")' get the MIME map count & set search status to falseintCount = UBound(varMimeMap) + 1boolFound = False' loop through MIME map searching for existing extension informationFor intMimeMap = 0 to intCount - 1  If varMimeMap(intMimeMap).Extension = varMimeExt Then    boolFound = True    Exit For  End IfNext' if no extension information is found, create the new mappingIf boolFound = False Then  intMimeMap = intCount  ReDim Preserve varMimeMap(intMimeMap)  Set varMimeMap(intMimeMap) = CreateObject("MimeMap")  varMimeMap(intMimeMap).Extension = varMimeExtEnd If' store the new information in the MIME mapvarMimeMap(intMimeMap).MimeType = varMimeTypobjMimeMap.PutEx 2,"MimeMap",varMimeMapobjMimeMap.SetInfo							
    2. Execute the following command to modify the metabase:CSCRIPT %SystemDrive%\InetPub\AdminScripts\MimeChange.vbs

      Future requests for .gif files will now returned with the desired "no-cache" header.

Article ID: 247389 - Last Review: 06/19/2014 06:32:00 - Revision: 4.0

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