I have developed a top bar cart functionality for store front that displays latest three products added to the cart this works great when cache is disabled but when i enable the cache it showing weird subtotal in top cart and weird products in cart.

This make me sad :'(

I know this is happening because of cache. Is there anything that I can disable the cache for this section only? I have tried disabling the block html cache and check now this was working great but I found the category flat is having unspecified issues when block HTML is disabled.

  • 2
    Did you solve your problem? How? Please share the details with us. Thanks! Commented May 9, 2013 at 7:06

3 Answers 3


You can try

    <reference name="needed block">
        <action method="setCacheLifetime"><s>null</s></action>


    <reference name="needed block">
        <action method="setCacheLifetime" />

to set it to null.

But probably it is better to use ajax.

There is a good article about null or 0 meaning http://blog.kyp.fr/make-a-clean-sweep-of-commons-magento-cache_lifetime-workarounds-usage-in-cache-block-policy/ (link is broken)

  • hmm use of ajax could solve the problem. I will try this thanks for your help.
    – Ravi Soni
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 5:49
  • 2
    I thought null = never cache and 0 = cache permanently?
    – benmarks
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 11:02
  • 1
    null = never cache, right. However, I'm not sure it is possible to argument value to null with <action> directive. Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 11:02
  • 2
    <action method="setCacheLifetime"><s>null</s></action> worked for me. TNX!
    – ruuter
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 21:21
  • 6
    Setting the Cache Lifetime to "0" does not disable the cache. Only "null" will disable it! Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 14:10

You can disable cache in getChildHtml(). This is what the signature looks like:

public function getChildHtml($name = '', $useCache = true, $sorted = false)

This should do the trick:

echo $this->getChildHtml('block', false);
  • i have tried this.. actually is have coded in top.phtml this is not working in that case
    – Ravi Soni
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 14:49
  • That might be cached as well so I guess it wouldn't have much effect. Is there a chance you can pull it outside of that part? I don't think there are any other options... Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 14:53

In the particular xml file. Say catalog.xml

In that for particular reference block In that block set the action of cache limit to null

Example of catalog.xml

<reference name="right">
    <block type="catalog/navigation" name="catalog.product.cat.related" as="related_cat" template="catalog/navigation/list_cat.phtml" after="-" >
        <action method="unsetData"><key>cache_lifetime</key></action>
        <action method="unsetData"><key>cache_tags</key></action>

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