This is a great tip to know if you use an Android phone or tablet. It allows you to free up space and even fix some performance issues that cached files can sometimes cause. Before we dive into how you can clear cache on Android phones, it’s important to first know what is cache and why it exists.
What is Android cache?
The apps on your devices temporarily download files either when you launch them for the first time or continue using them. These files may include images, scripts, videos and other multimedia.
It’s not just apps. Websites also store a lot of cached data on your device. This is done to improve performance and reduce load times. Since the temporary files are already stored on the device, the app or webpage can load and perform faster.
For example, a website will store visual elements in the cache so that they don’t need to be downloaded every time you revisit the website. It helps save both time and data.
There are two caches on your Android phone that you need to clear. The app cache is where all of the temporary files required by apps are stored. The Chrome cache is where websites store their files.
Chrome is the default web browser on Android devices so we’re using that as the browser cache here. Other browsers will have their own cache.
Why you need to clear cache on Android
Now you might be wondering why do I need to learn how to clear cache on Android. You’ll be surprised to know that these temporary files can take up gigabytes of storage on your device. If you’re using one of Samsung’s latest devices that don’t have a microSD slot, you’ll be well aware of just how precious those extra gigs of storage can be.
Mid-range or entry-level devices that aren’t super-fast to begin with can really get bogged down once the cache fills up. Clearing the cache can help speed them up a bit. It also frees up valuable storage space. It also happens that sometimes apps and websites can act up. Clearing the cache can address those issues as well.
It’s not something that you need to do on a daily basis. Once every few months will be fine. It’ just best to keep an eye on the cache storage. Once it starts taking up a bit too much, or it feels that the device is being bogged down, go ahead and clear it.
How to clear app cache on Android
Step 1: To clear app cache, long press on the app icon and tap on the icon in the upper right-hand corner. Scroll down and tap on Storage. The next screen will show you exactly how much storage the app cache is taking up.
On non-Samsung phones, you can also access the app list through the Settings menu.
Step 2: Tap Clear cache in the lower right-hand corner to immediately delete all of the temporary files stored by the app.
How to clear Chrome cache on Android
Step 1: Tap on the three-dot icon in the upper right-hand corner followed by History.
Step 2: In the History section, tap on Clear browsing data… at the very top.
Step 3: Chrome gives you an option to select the time range. Open the dropdown menu and choose the desired range. Selecting All time will clear the entire cache.
Step 4: Make sure that the Cached images and files option is selected. You can choose to select the Browsing history and Cookies and site data options as well if you want to delete them too. Otherwise, simply uncheck them.
Step 5: Press the Clear data button in the lower right-hand corner to clear the browser’s cache.
Does clearing the Android cache delete your data?
The cache is where temporary files are stored. It has nothing to do with your data. For example, if you clear the cache for Facebook, it won’t delete your account or any of your posts, comments, photos, etc.
All of the data stored on your device remains untouched. So once you clear Android cache on your phone, all of the contacts are still going to be there. Your photos and videos will be just fine in the gallery. Your music won’t be gone and none of your apps will disappear.
It’s perfectly safe to clear cache on an Android phone or tablet. The temporary files are deleted permanently but that doesn’t affect the functionality of your apps or the browser. The cache will slowly rebuild over time.
Just think of clearing the cache as deep cleaning. Do it once in a while to keep everything in tip-top shape. Your phone will thank you.