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How to clear cache on Android and why would you do it

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Published 11/25/2019

When running, apps create temporary files which are used for performing system operations. These files are stored in cache and they should speed up the operation of apps. If there is too much cache stored, your smartphone can start working slower. 

The amount of temporary files stored in cache without influencing the performance of your phone depends on the total amount of RAM. In order to help your device perform operations quickly and work stably, you have to regularly get rid of cache. There are several ways to clear cache on Android, which we're going to discuss later.

What is cache?

Cache data is required to speed up the download of apps, photos, videos and audio files. For example, when a user turns on music. Audio tracks are cached so that there is no delay when they're played. A smartphone remembers the actions of its user and then performs them faster. If cached files for a particular operation are stored in the memory of your device, this operation will be run faster. 

Why would I clear cache?

If you regularly use 1 or 2 apps, it makes no sense to keep on constantly clearing the cache on your phone. Clearing is required when there are many different apps installed in the device memory with some of them being deleted or rarely used.

An ordinary smartphone with the capacity of 4-8 GB of RAM gets swamped pretty quickly. Cached files are stored in the memory of your operating system. With no clearing, this data can occupy the whole memory of your device, so that there will be no resources for the operation of your Android.

The frequency of the clearing process depends on the technical characteristics of your phone and the amount of apps stored on it. We recommend to delete cache when the memory of your device is almost full.

Clearing cache too often will cause the opposite effect: there will be a lot of free memory on your phone, but temporary app files will be erased which will lead to malfunctions, instability and slow operation. 

Before deleting cache we recommend to check the amount of free memory and only then delete the data, if necessary.

The ways to clear Android cache data

There are several ways how you can get rid of cached files. Android operating system has a simple tool for erasing old data. Moreover, Google Play offers special optimizing apps. They increase the performance of your phone and clear your system garbage. 

Let's take a closer look at all methods of clearing cache. Before deleting files, make sure to close every running apps except clearing apps or phone settings.

The settings of Android

You can clear cache on Android via its standard tools. In order to do this you have to:

1. Open the Settings menu;

2. Scroll down the list, find Device care > "Storage" and tap it;

3. Again scroll down to "Cache Data";

4. Choose it and a window offering to clear cache will appear;

5. Confirm the operation tapping on "Clean now" and wait for the system to delete all files.

Via "Storage" you can also read the information on how much memory is occupied and/or free. If there is enough free RAM, it's better not to clear cache.

Clean Master app

This is a special app aimed at improving the performance of your phone, deleting old and unnecessary files and clearing cache. In order to clear cache:

  1. Download Clean Master from Google Play and wait for it to be installed;
  2. Launch the app, tap "Clean Now" (this button can be found at the top of the menu) and then choose "Clean Junk";
  3. On its own Clean Master will analyze and remove every unneeded file which interferes with the stable operation of your phone.

Clean Master is distributed for free, but there is additional paid and promotional content. The app has additional features, for example, switching inactive apps to sleep mode. This feature allows you to free up some memory for productive work of your smartphone.

Download Clean Master

Piriform CCleaner app

Initially CCleaner was a program for clearing the memory of computers and laptops. Then its developers created a mobile version for working with Android operating system.

The process of clearing cached files is similar to the one via Clean Master:

  1. Download and run the app;
  2. Go to "Cleaner" section
  3. Tap on "Analyze" button;
  4. Select unneeded files from the menu and tap on "Clean" button;
  5. Wait for the program to get rid of your cache.

CCleaner has paid features (the cost of its annual subscription is $12.49), but the free version of the app is suitable for removing system trash. 

Download CCleaner for Android

App Cache Cleaner

It works almost in the same way as the previous apps, but has several differences. App Cache Cleaner clears your phone at a given time (on schedule). Moreover, you can also configure the transfer of cached files to a storage device such as an SD card.

Note: Clearing cache on Android can speed up the operation of apps, but it can also slow down your operating system. Don't get carried away with clearing cache data too often: your smartphone can perform operations slower and behave unpredictably.

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