In this article, we will discuss the different possible ways to clear cache android. Before jumping into the how-to steps, we will get to know all about what cache is. Why is it used? Why do we have to clear the cache? What are the advantages or disadvantages of clearing cache? How frequently should one do it? What exactly happens in the back end when you clear cache and so on? After going through the entire article you will be in a good position to make a decision for yourself regarding any of the cache-related queries. Each human being is different and therefore the way they do different activities is also different. This is the major reason why there are hundreds and thousands of different methods to do a single task.
Talking about the cache, it is pronounced in multiple different ways but the correct pronunciation of the word is “cash”. It is available in all kinds of devices like android, Mac, or web browsers. We will discover in this article further that this is a very useful feature provided by the manufacturers. It enhances the overall user experience without the end user even realizing anything. It comes in-built with the devices and there is no extra setup or cost involved to have it enabled. Isn’t that great? Without further ado let us get into what cache is exactly and proceed from there to understand in depth about it.
What is cache?
A cache could be a hardware or software storage space component in our devices. It is a specially dedicated storage space that stores temporary files. When you open an app for the first time, a few temporary files related to that app get cached, that is it gets stored in this special temporary memory. It is important to call out that the main memory is different from the cache memory in the discussion here. Usually when a link on any browser behaves differently on launch, or an app acts up on our mobile, the first step to start troubleshooting is checking its cache memory.
Nothing major changes in terms of application data stored or the look and feel of the app if you clear the cache memory. But only the temporarily stored data gets cleared. Sometimes the cache memory gets corrupted due to which it becomes difficult to access an app or the browser links efficiently. The cache is designed to improve the overall end-user experience and it succeeds in doing that most of the time. Only sometimes there is an external push required to make it work and we will discuss that in the coming segment.
Advantages of cache
In this segment, let us discuss a few of the advantages of cache memory.
In simple words, cache speeds things up and makes everything work faster. It stores a few app-related data which is crucial for the loading and working of the application. When a person launches an app, it does not go looking for this data in the main memory. It readily finds the data in the cache and simply uses it to work flawlessly. The same concept is used in browser caching as well. When a website is loaded for the first time, it takes a few extra seconds to load.
Next, whenever it is reloaded, it finds all the necessary information to process in the cache and quickly picks it up from there. If each individual application on a device shows some performance improvement. In addition to that, even the websites on browsers load quickly without any delay. It sums up to overall system performance enhancement and a better user experience.
As we have discussed multiple times in this article, cache memory stores temporary files for loading applications faster and easier. If an app does not have to go online to look for the necessary files which are already available offline, then it will save a lot of data, isn’t it? We use multiple apps hundreds of times throughout the day without even realizing it. If the data is saved for each click then it sums up to a decent amount of data saved. The cache also lets some apps run in offline mode by saving the important files on the device. Being able to run an entire application in offline mode is great. If the application usage is more it would directly translate to more data being saved by caching than without it.
Increases battery life
The third advantage of incorporating cache is that it helps increase the battery life to some extent. The change won’t be dramatic but you will feel the difference. So, if on one charge and extensive usage your phone ran for 12 hours. With cache, it might increase by an hour or so. Since all necessary files are available within the system, it does not have to go and search extensively elsewhere and some apps might even be able to run in offline mode which saves other system resources as well as the battery life.
Disadvantages of cache
Every coin has two sides. If something has advantages, it will have a few drawbacks or disadvantages. Let us discuss a few of those below.
Occupies storage space
As we have been discussing, cache memory stores temporary files. Although the size of these temporary files is very small, accumulating them over long periods of time can lead to a huge size. It will consume the internal or external memory which otherwise can be used to run different processes. In this case, the cache can prove to be counterproductive as it will deteriorate the overall system performance. For any process thread to run it requires a certain portion of the storage.
If some amount of storage space gets locked by the cache store then it is directly proportional to that many lesser processes being able to run at the same time. In this case, very unlikely but there is a possibility that one might not be able to download any new file onto the device which will dramatically hamper the user experience. And that isn’t what any manufacturer wants, right?
Prevents apps or websites to load normally
This is another common problem faced by end users. Sometimes, the temporary cached files stored in the cache memory get corrupted. This leads to users not being able to load or access the apps and websites normally. They might experience some lags or glitches, and some portions of the website may even not load properly. Sometimes the old cached files do not let the latest version of the application or website be accessed.
When you download a file from any application or website, it might be possible that due to some network issue the file does not get downloaded properly. This also sometimes forms a corrupted cache and leads to an unpleasant user experience. In conclusion, if an app or website is behaving abnormally, one of the simplest things to check is to clear the cache and retry as it resolves such issues with just a few clicks.
Why clear cache on android mobile?
Now that we are well aware of the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of cache memory, it becomes very easy to answer why to clear the cache memory. Simply to overcome the disadvantages. To release some space and get rid of any temporary files that may have gotten corrupted and are causing issues in running anything on the device. This is pretty self-explanatory and you will gain more insight on this in the next segments.
When to clear cache?
Clearing cache very frequently would defy its purpose of storing temporary files to load applications quickly. But at the same time, not clearing cache for very long periods of time also could lead to the accumulation of huge cache files. That, as we discussed earlier, will occupy internal and external memory and not serve the purpose as well.
Therefore, it is advised to clear the cache every couple of months. However, even if you clear it in a short span of time it would not cause any harm to the system. Sometimes if you observe that an app or browser is not functioning normally, then clearing the cache should be the first step to troubleshooting. It totally depends on the device’s behavior and you are the best judge of how your device behaves. If you feel that everything is running smoothly, then there is no need to clear cache at all for even more than a few months.
How to clear cache?
In this segment, we will discuss the different possible ways to clear the android cache. It is a fairly simple process and can be achieved by following the simple steps mentioned below.
Using Android’s inbuilt feature
Android comes with in-built functionality to clear cache files. This is the safest and most used method to clear the app cache. Below are the simple steps that you can follow.
- Unlock your phone and go to Settings.
- Scroll down and click on the Storage option.
- Further, select the Internal Storage option from the device Storage page.
- Scroll down to find the Cached Data option and click on it.
- You will next receive a pop-up on the screen to confirm that you want to clear the cache for all the apps.
- Click on OK to confirm and all the cache files will be cleared in a second.
- You may confirm the same by looking at the Cache Data size. The size earlier would be in MBs but now it should reduce and ideally be 0B.
Using third-party apps
There are a lot of apps on the google play store that can help clean up cache files or other junk files on the device. They claim to identify duplicate images, audio, and videos and clear them. One may use these third-party apps as well but it is very important to be extremely cautious while downloading any external app on your phone. Such apps require permission to scan through all your documents, images, and personal content on your device and hence possess a privacy risk.
Download and allow permissions to apps only when you trust them completely. The ratings, reviews, and number of downloads of that app on the play store might help you make that decision. These apps have a very simple and understandable user interface and users should not face any difficulty in using them. Another notable point here is that downloading a new app on your device would again consume the memory that you are trying to free. Therefore, we would recommend going for the previous inbuilt feature method as it is the safest and most efficient one.
Clearing the android browser cache
In case some of the websites on your device do not load properly, there might be an issue with the browser cache. I am listing down the steps below to easily clear the android browser cache.
- Unlock your device and open the Chrome application.
- On the top right, you will see a 3 dots icon. Click on it to open the browser options.
- Click on the history tab and it will open a new page.
- Click on clear browsing data.
- On the next page select the “cached images and files” option.
- Select the time period or if you are not sure select “All time” which will clear the entire chrome cache.
- Hit the clear data option at the bottom and all your browser cache files will be cleared in a few seconds.
Wrapping it all up, in this article we discussed the different possible ways to clear cache android. We took a deep dive to understand the various aspects of cache: what cache is, what are the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of cache. How and when one should clear cache and so on. At this moment, I hope that you are in a position to understand the functionality and implement it in a way to decide for yourself what is to be done and when! A cache is a very useful concept designed by engineers to constantly improve the system performance and thereby enhance the user experience. We are always thankful to the wonderful engineers for their world-class innovations and for making our lives easier, right?
No, deleting cached files has absolutely no impact on saved app data like the profile setup or other details. It will just delete the temporary files.
Absolutely not, this will be counterproductive and will lead to system performance degradation as applications will have to load everything from scratch every time.
No, cache memory is totally different from the main memory. Cache memory is used only to store the temporary cache files for performance improvement whereas the main memory is used for the main processing and storage purpose.