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Clearing the app cache is a contentious issue when managing your Android phone. Many individuals remove app cache on instinct to free up extra storage space or protect their phone and applications from becoming slow. Should you, however, erase the app cache on Android? If so, how to clear the cache on Android? Is it even effective, or is it simply a placebo?
Many users think that Android should manage app cache and that tampering with the normal caching approach is a recipe for disaster. But the truth is significantly hazier. Some programs waste cache space, others crash when they consume too much-cached data, and others will only start after an update if manually cached. Blanket remarks aren’t useful in this situation. It’s helpful to understand what app cache is, why it’s important, and why you might want to remove it on your Android phone.
What Exactly is Cached Data?
When you start an app, your phone uses temporary data saved in cache files to remember associated information rapidly. Spotify, for example, may store your most frequently used playlists so that it does not have to load the whole song lists from the start each time you access them. Google Chrome may cache a huge image on a website you frequently visit so that you do not have to download the image each time you access the page.
A cache file is exclusively beneficial to the connected software; Spotify, for example, has no use for Instagram’s cache. In many circumstances, once an app determines that the stored temporary information is no longer relevant, it deletes the cache files that go with it. Websites, applications, and games use cache files to provide a seamless experience.
The cache is utilized by more than just your Android phone; it’s also a feature of desktop browsers and other apps. Without cached data, your device would have to reload frequently visited photos and other content, which is wasteful.
The Difference Between Clearing App Cache and Apps Data
While we frequently reference wiping cache and data in the same sentence, these are two separate operations on Android. When you use the Spotify app, for example, it caches information such as new artists you’ve watched, album art you’ve browsed, and search history. When the app cache is deleted, all previously specified data is erased.
As data, the program keeps more critical information such as user settings, databases, and login information. When you clean the data, you erase both the cache and the data. Clearing data is the same as starting an app from scratch as if you were installing it for the first time.
What is The Purpose of Clearing The App Cache?
The major reason for clearing the application cache is to free up storage, which may affect the phone’s speed. Clearing data, on the other hand, is a far more drastic action usually reserved for when an app is problematic or fails to start. This might be due to faulty cache files, untested server-side updates, malfunctioning software, or an Android OS upgrade.
Some poorly constructed or sandboxed applications may represent a security risk if they save sensitive user data in their cache and storage. In this case, it makes sense to clean them both.
How To Clear The Cache on Android?
On recent Android versions, you must delete the cache files for each app separately; there is no system-wide option to erase all cache. It is important to note that deleting all cache from your device is rarely necessary. Clearing the cache from a few troublesome applications will alleviate storage or performance issues.
To remove cached data for an Android app, follow these instructions. For these instructions, we utilized stock Android 12; your device may appear different or have different menu names.
- Select Storage from the Settings menu.
- Tap the Apps entry in the following list (Other Apps on Android 11 and earlier). This will bring you to a list of all the apps on your phone.
- Select the program whose cache you wish to empty. Tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner and choose Sort by size to discover which applications take up the most space. As an example, let’s look at Chrome.
- Tap the Clear Cache option on the app’s info page.
That’s all it takes to remove the cache files for any Android app. Remember that tapping Clear Storage instead would delete all data from the app. This effectively restores it to its original condition, as if you had just installed the app from the Play Store. Only do this if the app is acting badly.
You could erase all cached files at once in older Android versions by heading to Settings > Storage > Cached Data. When you can erase all cache files, simply touch OK. Unfortunately, there is no built-in mechanism to delete all cache on recent versions of Android. Thus you’ll have to repeat the above steps to clean the cache for various apps.
What Happens After You Delete Android Cache?
After clearing cached data, you’ll reclaim some storage space, and the program will continue to function normally. However, because you deleted the performance data, some items (such as those indicated above) will load more slowly the next time you use the program.
You may find that even when you erase the cache, it reappears. This is typical; programs will rebuild cached data based on your usage over time. Because the cache is helpful, you should not be concerned when an app creates cached files.
Clearing the cache should not force you to be logged out of applications or make any other substantial changes. You will not lose data such as game progress, browser bookmarks, or anything else. See our complete guide on erasing cache and data on Android for a more thorough removal procedure.
Clearing unnecessary cache files on Android is a good technique to clear up space temporarily and comes in helpful while debugging app difficulties. However, you should refrain from doing it frequently or through untrustworthy third-party apps. Use it just as a particular tool to improve device performance. Furthermore, it is helpful to understand the symptoms of poor Android performance and how to diagnose them.