To make an Android smartphone run more efficiently, it uses a basic system called a cache. This system helps the device run applications more smoothly by temporarily saving specific information from apps and websites to make using them faster. However, learning how to clear the cache on Androids can help your phone run smoother.
After using your Android device for some time, you might notice your device becomes slower or an app starts giving you problems. While this could result from many different things, one reason could be that some of the files in the cache have become corrupted. To remedy this situation, you will need to know how to clear the cache on Android.
What Is a Cache Exactly?
Every app you’ve downloaded and started using has created a cache on your device. Cache data is temporary data that enables an app or website to complete a specific task quicker by allowing it to refer back to the information. Generally speaking, apps create caches to remember how to do something they’ve done before to speed up the process.
Cache data is not only for apps — websites also use them. For example, when you visit a website you’ve seen before, only some things on that website will need to download again. Temporary data can be retrieved from the cache. Because of this, the website will open up faster than the first time you launched it.
The cache consists of different data, such as images, scripts and files. Another thing to note is it’s not unique to Android — other devices and software also use cache data.
Why Is Cache Data Important?
Without cache data, your device would need to download all the required information a website or app would need to function whenever you intend to use it. This would make for a slow, tedious and inefficient process. In order to make the procedure faster, apps and websites need to be able to access specific information that is stored temporarily.
How to Clear the Cache on Android Smartphones
Clearing the cache on your Android is a relatively straightforward procedure. Note that the process might differ slightly from what’s shown here due to the many Android devices and versions available. This should give you a general idea of what to look for when clearing your cache:
- Step 1: Go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Storage.’
- Step 2: Go to the app section. This will take you to all the apps installed on your device.
- Step 3: Tap on the intended app whose cache you want to clear. After this, simply select the ‘Clear cache’ option.
Remember, you can always click on the three dots in the upper right corner to filter the apps by size. This will allow you to see which apps are taking up the most space easily.
As mentioned, this process can be different on some devices. Yours might not have the ‘Storage’ option. Instead, tap directly on the apps section — you’ll be able to clear the cache of the intended app there.
It’s also worth mentioning there are different ways to do this. Some apps allow the user to clear the cache from within the app itself. Spotify has this particular feature to clear up lagging problems.
When Should You Clear Cache Data?
When you clear the cache, the data from it will delete, which will result in more storage space on your device. The cache will start filling up as you use the app again. When the cache is cleared, it doesn’t delete any login information, downloaded files or custom settings — it only removes the temporary files.
Clearing the cache is something that is done infrequently because Android has a built-in feature that automatically removes it after a set amount of time. It’s recommended to leave the cache data alone and only clean it when your device suffers from regular issues. Clearing the cache of some apps might even do more harm than good.
For example, clearing a system app your Android device uses can result in some functions not working correctly. In most cases, try to leave system apps alone and only empty the cache of third-party apps. Here are some common reasons to clear your cache on Android.
- Clearing up space: This is not a recommended practice. The amount of storage space you would get after clearing your cache is usually minimal. A better recommendation would be to remove files and apps from your device you don’t use or to upgrade your smartphone.
- App not working properly: Clearing the cache can help in some cases, such as if the app is not working correctly or if the data is corrupted. The app would then need to redownload all the necessary information as soon as you open it again.
- Removing sensitive information: It is recommended to clear your cache if you want to remove private and personal information.
Clear Cache vs. Clear Storage
When following the steps mentioned above, you’ll also see another option called ‘Clear storage.’ This is not the same as the ‘Clear cache’ option and will result in losing all the data associated with that app. Essentially this will erase everything stored on the app, returning it to how it was when you first installed it.
You could utilize this feature when you want to clear an app or site of all your information. Doing so can be useful if you needed to enter sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or your bank account.
Knowing How to Clear Your Cache on Android Devices
It’s essential to know precisely when to clear your cache. As mentioned earlier, there may be better alternatives than cleaning your cache to increase storage space. If you constantly struggle with storage space, consider uninstalling some of your unused apps instead.
You should only clear the cache when encountering specific issues, such as the device becoming slower or an app crashing unexpectedly. This could fix the problems and ultimately lead to your Android device running smoothly again.
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