How to clear your Android cache

Learn how to clear app cache on your Android device and improve performance.

How to clear your Android cache

You might have seen the word “cache” and assumed it was a snooty way to say cash, which, of course, isn’t true. In a nutshell, cache is a space for temporary files on your Android phone that may hold website data, images, videos, and audio. But unlike the cash in your pocket, a lot of Android cache isn’t always a good thing.

Typically, cache helps apps on your Android device run faster. For example, the freeware messenger app WhatsApp, uses cache from a Data subfolder to quickly load older media. Instead of downloading all the pictures your contact sent you again, WhatsApp loads them from its folder instantly for your viewing pleasures. Likewise, the Google Chrome app on your mobile device loads regularly visited websites quickly by drawing data from cache.

Over time, however, cache can be counterproductive. Unlike laptop or desktop computers, Android devices usually have less storage space. When cache starts maximizing storage space, your device slows down. Ultimately, some apps like Camera stop functioning because they can’t store data.

Cache data can also corrupt, resulting in performance issues. Sometimes cache causes your web browser to throw up outdated information. Some government pages that carry essential documents recommend that users clear their cache for the latest online forms.

One way to create more space is to visit the Settings app and remove programs from the Apps option. But you may want to clear your cache first, especially if don’t want to remove any of your programs. Before you do, you may want to backup some files, like media on your communication apps.

How do I clear Android cache?

You’ll have to clear app cache individually if your device is using a relatively modern Android operating system. While this may feel tedious, it also offers you more control. Follow these steps to clear Android cache:

1. Unlock your device.

2. Locate and tap the Settings icon.

3. Scroll down and tap Storage.

4. Tap Apps.

5. Tap the three dots on the top-right of the screen.

6. Tap Sort by.

7. Select Size to arrange apps by size in ascending order.

8. Choose an app.

9. Tap it for the App info page.

10. Tap Storage.

11. Tap Clear cache to delete cache.

Please note that some apps store temporary files in their data folders. You’ll need to use the My Files app to explore these locations and delete large chunks of data. You can also use the steps listed above to delete Data indiscriminately, but this erases more than temporary files.

Is it safe to clear cache on Android phone?

Clearing cache is generally safe for your Android phone. It also enhances performances if your cache is outdated, corrupt, or consuming excess space. But you’ll always recreate cache, so consider removing some big apps for a long-term solution to space problems.

Sometimes, malware can cause Android devices to run low on space. If you are frequently running out of space despite regularly clearing your cache and removing large apps, run an anti-malware utility for mobile devices, like Malwarebytes for Android. Not only does this software block malicious apps that may reduce your storage capacity, but it also consumes very little memory.

What is taking up all my storage?

To check what is taking up all the storage on your Android device, open the Settings app and locate Apps. Now, open Apps and use the top-right menu to sort your list of apps by size in ascending order. Here, you can see the largest apps. Alternatively, tap My Files and scroll down. Tap Analyze storage for an in-depth look at your internal storage.

Will clearing cache delete photos?

Clearing cache will not affect the photos taken by your camera. It also shouldn’t impact temporary photos in your social media or communication apps. Usually, temporary pictures are classified as Data rather than cache, even though they are temporary.

What should I delete when my phone storage is full?

Start by removing apps you never use. Those unused programs you downloaded for your nephew a few years ago are a good place to start. If this doesn’t resolve your storage problems, try clearing cache, though this may slow some apps down that rely on temporary files to run efficiently. You can also connect your Android device to your computer, back up your pictures and videos, and clear them from your device for potentially a sizable gain in storage space.

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