How to Clear Cache Android (And When You Should)
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What exactly are app files that are only temporary? How exactly does one go about emptying the Android cache? When is the best time to carry it out? Everything that you need to know is included below.
The limited storage space on your Android phone might become full very rapidly. And one of the reasons behind this, which is easy to overlook, is the fact that programs constantly create newly stored information in order to function at their peak performance.
The term “cache” refers to these temporary data files; it’s possible that a significant portion of the storage space on your Android phone is already occupied by cache files. First, let’s take a look at what temporary app files are, and then we’ll go through how to clear the cache on an Android device.
What Is Cached Data?
When you open an application on your phone, it makes use of the temporary data saved in cache files so that it may rapidly retrieve connected information. For instance, Spotify may store a cached version of your most-used playlists so that it does not need to load the complete song lists of those playlists every time you view them. When you visit a website frequently, Google Chrome may save a large image to its cache so that it does not have to download the image each time the page is opened. This saves you time and bandwidth.
A cache file is solely beneficial to the software that it is associated with; for example, Spotify has no use for the cache file that Instagram uses. When an application determines that the temporary information it has been storing is no longer useful, it will often delete the cache files that go along with it. Cache files are utilized by websites, applications, and games in order to provide you with a more seamless experience.
The cache is a function that is utilized by desktop browsers in addition to other apps. It is not only employed by your Android phone. If your device did not have a cache, it would have to reload images and other items every time you accessed them, which would be an inefficient process.
How to Delete Content from Your Android Device’s Cache
When using more recent versions of Android, you must clear the cache files for each individual app before moving on. Take note that it is not very often necessary for you to clear all of the caches on your smartphone. The majority of the time, resolving storage or performance issues can be as simple as emptying the cache from a few problematic applications.
If you want to clear the cached data for an Android app, follow these instructions. For the purposes of these instructions, we will be using stock Android 12; however, your device may look somewhat different or have different menu names.
To access the Storage menu, open the Settings menu.
Tap the Apps entry that appears in the resultant list (Other Apps on Android 11 and earlier). Following this link will bring up a list of all the applications that you have downloaded onto your phone.
Select the application whose cache you want to remove from the list. To see which apps are taking up the most room on your device, hit the menu button with the three dots in the upper-right corner and select Sort by size. For this example, we’ll use Google Chrome.
Tap the Clear Cache option that may be found on the app’s details page.
To delete the cache files for any app on your Android phone, all you need to do is follow those steps. Be aware that if you choose to choose Clear Storage instead, all of the data stored within the app will be deleted. This effectively returns it to its original condition, as if you had just downloaded it from the Play Store and started using it. You should only do this if the software is acting in a very strange manner.
You had the ability to erase all cached files at once in earlier versions of Android by navigating to Settings > Storage > Cached Data. When you get to the screen where you can erase all cached files, simply press OK when you see it. It is unfortunate that more recent versions of Android do not include a built-in method for clearing all of the caches; therefore, you will need to repeat the steps above in order to clear the cache for various applications.
What Happens After Clearing Android Cache?
The app’s functionality will not be affected in any way, and you will be able to reclaim some storage space after clearing the cached files. However, because you deleted the data that was used to ensure optimal performance, certain components of the app (including those that were just stated) will load more slowly the next time you use it.
It’s possible that you’ve noticed that even after clearing the cache, it still appears eventually. This is expected behavior; depending on how you use the applications over time, the cache will be rebuilt. You shouldn’t be concerned if an app builds up cached files on your device because caching might be useful.
If you clear your cache, you shouldn’t be logged out of any apps or experience any other significant changes. You won’t lose data like game progress, browser bookmarks, or similar. If you would want to follow a removal process that is more comprehensive, have a look at our comprehensive guide on clearing cache and data on Android.
Advantages of Erasing Cache on an Android Device
The cache files are very important, and you should avoid messing with them as much as possible. Nevertheless, there are situations when it’s beneficial to manually clear the cache files on your Android phone.
The following is a list of the ways in which emptying the cache on an Android device might be helpful:
Clearing your cache will help you save some space on your mobile device’s storage in the near run. However, this is really a band-aid solution because fresh cache files are constantly being generated as you use different applications. If you’re running so low on storage space on your cellphone that you have to clear the cache on a consistent basis, it’s probably time to update to a new phone.
It is possible for older cache files to get corrupted at times. When this occurs, the performance of applications may become problematic. These problems can be fixed by removing corrupted cache files from your computer.
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In principle, outdated cache files can present both privacy and security risk. It’s possible that pages from websites you’ve visited before are stored in your browser’s cache. In the event that these files were accessed by an unauthorized person, that person might be able to exploit them to discover confidential information.
Clearing the cache of a web browser or other application can coerce it into updating when it refuses to retrieve the most recent version of a page.
Should You Perform Regular Cache Clearing?
It’s possible that, now that you are aware of the benefits of cleaning the cache, you are considering manually removing the cache on a predetermined timetable. However, this will not achieve the desired results. It is important to keep in mind that cached files serve the useful aim of accelerating access to content that is used frequently.
This is the reason why it is not a good idea to erase old cache files manually on a regular basis. There is already a system for deleting unnecessary files built into Android, and in the vast majority of situations, it performs admirably. The following are the most common situations in which manually clearing cached files is necessary:
The cache files of an application are corrupted, which causes the application to behave improperly.
You wish to protect your privacy by getting rid of any files that hold sensitive information about you.
You’re about to run out of storage space on your phone, but you don’t want to have to erase any of your films, photos, or apps. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution; in the long run, you will need to find other ways to free up space on your Android device’s storage.
Should I Use Apps That Clean My Android Device?
There are a lot of apps available in the Play Store that make a promise that they can clean off unneeded images and videos as well as cache files on your phone in a rapid and secure manner. These apps, despite the fact that they might occasionally be of some utility, are typically not worth using for a number of reasons, including the following:
They frequently make unfounded claims, such as the fact that deleting cached files can significantly boost the performance of your mobile device.
Because they are always running in the background, the applications take up more storage space on your device and may even cause performance issues.
They frequently contain annoying advertisements as well as in-app purchases.
Be careful if you choose to utilize programs designed to clean Android devices. Stay as far away from them as you possibly can. Because the vast majority of Android phones already come equipped with some form of intelligent storage that can delete obsolete files, users do not need to download any third-party apps specifically designed for this function.
When resolving app difficulties on an Android device, clearing unused cache files is an effective technique to make some space available temporarily and is a good practice overall. However, this is not something you should do frequently or through apps that are not reputable third parties. Only employ it as a specialized tool when absolutely necessary for the operation of the gadget.
There is a lot more to learn about the inner workings of Android, which will come in handy when diagnosing and fixing other frequent Android issues.