The limited storage on your Android phone can quickly fill up. This is due to the fact that apps create stored data to make their phones run at their best.
These temporary files are also known as cache. A large portion of your Android’s storage space could be occupied by cache files. Let’s look at the temporary app files and how to clear cache in Android.
What is cached data?
To quickly recall information associated with an app, your phone stores temporary data in cache files. Spotify may store your most used playlists in cache files so that it doesn’t load the full song list every time you open them. Google Chrome may cache large images on websites you frequent so that it doesn’t need to download them every time you open the page.
A cache file can only be used by the program associated with it. For example, Spotify does not use Instagram’s cache. In most cases, an app will delete any cache files that it finds no longer relevant. To provide a smoother experience, websites, apps, and even games use cache files.
Your Android phone doesn’t use cache; it also functions with desktop browsers and other software. Your device would need to reload images or other elements each time you access them. This is inefficient.
How to clear the cache on Android devices
Modern Android versions require that you delete each app’s cache files individually. You don’t usually need to clear all cache on your device. Clearing cache from just a few apps will resolve most storage and performance problems.
These steps will clear your cache data from an Android app. These instructions were based on stock Android 12. Your device might have different icons or menu names.
- Select Storage from the Settings menu.
- Tap the Apps Entry ( Other apps for Android 11 or earlier). This will bring up a list listing all apps on your phone.
- Clear the cache of the app you wish to delete. To find out which apps take up the most space, tap on the three dots menu at the top-right corner. Select Sort. Chrome is an example.
- Tap the Clear Cache button on the app’s information page.
This will clear all cache files from any Android app. You can also tap Clear Data to delete all data. It basically resets the app to a new state just like when you downloaded it from Google Play Store. This should only be done if the app is really acting badly.
You could delete all cached files in older Android versions by going to Storage > Cached data. Simply tap OK to see the option for deleting all cache files. Modern Android versions don’t have a built-in method to clear all cache files. You’ll need to repeat the steps above for each app.
What happens after clearing the Android cache?
Clearing cached files will allow you to regain some storage space, and the app will still work as usual. Some elements, such as those listed above, will load slower because you deleted the data necessary for optimal performance.
It is possible that cache comes back after you clear it. This is normal. Apps will continue to build cache based on how you use them. Cache is important and should not be ignored.
Clearing your cache won’t cause you to be locked out of any apps or make other significant changes. Clearing cache won’t cause you to lose game progress, bookmarks, or other data. You can follow our detailed guide to deleting cache and data from Android.
Clearing cache on Android has many benefits
Cache files are vital and should not be ignored. Sometimes, however, you may need to manually delete cache files from Android phones.
These are some ways to clear the cache on Android.
- Clearing cache can help you save space on your phone in the short term. This is only temporary as new cache files are created every time you use apps. It’s time to get a new phone if your cache space is low enough that you have to regularly clean it.
- Sometimes old cache files can get corrupted. Apps may experience performance issues if this happens. These issues can be solved by deleting faulty cache files.
- Old cache files could pose privacy and security threats. Your browser might store sensitive information on web pages. These files could be accessible by an unauthorized individual to gain private information.
- Clearing cache can make a browser or another app fetch the most recent version of a webpage.
Do You Need to Clear Your Cache Often?
You might now think that clearing the cache is a good idea. This is counterproductive. Keep in mind that cached files can be used to speed up your access to the content you use frequently.
It’s not a good idea for users to delete cache files manually. Android has an automatic mechanism to delete unused files that work in most cases. There are two main reasons to manually delete cache files:
- The app’s cache files have been corrupted and caused it to behave badly.
- To protect your privacy, you want to delete files that contain personal information.
- Your phone is running out of space and you don’t want your photos, videos, or apps to be deleted. This is only temporary. You’ll need other methods to free up Android storage space eventually.
Do I need to use Android Cleaner Apps?
Many apps available on the Play Store claim to quickly and safely clear your phone’s cache, photos, and videos. These apps can be useful, but they are not always worth the effort.
- Many false claims are made by these people, such as that clearing cache files will drastically increase your phone’s speed.
- These apps take up more space and can slow down your phone’s performance.
- They are often full of spammy ads or in-app purchases.
Use Android cleaner applications with caution. Avoid them if possible. Many Android phones have some sort of smart storage, which deletes old files and renders third-party apps useless.
Our guide to speeding Android will show you what works and what is a scam.
Clearing cache on Android quickly and easily
Clearing out Android’s cache files is a good way to temporarily free up space and can be useful when troubleshooting issues with apps. It’s not something that you should do frequently or with unreliable third-party apps. It should be used only when it is necessary for device performance.