We love to get the most out of our Android phones, and that means doing everything we can to optimize how well they run. There are a lot of little tweaks we can make to help improve performance, but there’s one trick that is sometimes missed: clearing out the cache.
A cache is temporary data storage that apps use so they don’t have to keep downloading the same information over and over again. It’s useful and can make websites load a lot faster than they would otherwise, but sometimes it helps to clean out the cache for your Android phone apps.
Clearing the cache may help boost your phone’s performance or fix problems with an app that’s acting up. It’s also a way to free up valuable storage space, especially on older phones with limited room.
As Android users are well aware, there can be a lot of variations between different versions of the operating system, and not all phones can run the latest OS. This means you may need to hunt around a bit in your Android or app settings to find the right place to clear your cache.
Clear Android web browser cache
You can manually clear out the cache on some apps yourself. Try this if you’re noticing slowness or bugginess with a particular app.
Let’s take a look at Chrome, Google’s popular web browser, first. Open Chrome and tap on the three dots at the top. Tap on History and then on "Clear browsing data." You will see the option for Basic or Advanced. Tap on Advanced and make sure "Cached images and files" is checked, then tap on the Clear data button and confirm. On my phone, this added up to over 95 MB of cached data.
Most mobile web browsers will have a way to clear the cache within their settings. You may have to look around a little, but check in history or privacy settings to find the right spot to clear this data.
Clear the cache for other apps
To clear the cache for an individual app, head on into your Android Settings and tap on Storage. You will likely see a variety of app types listed here, including Games, Movie & TV apps, and Other apps. Tap on a category and then tap on an app’s name. Most apps will give you the option to Clear Data and Clear Cache. Tap on the Clear Cache button to clean it out.
Try a cache-clearing app
Apps that promise to clean up and optimize your Android phone are all over Google’s Play Store, but we’ll take a look at two that are popular, free and have pulled in positive reviews. A cleaning app is a convenient way to clear a lot cache data in one fell swoop.
Norton Clean, Junk Removal
The same people who make Norton security software also offer this Norton Clean junk removal app. One of its main functions is to clean and clear your phone’s cache system, including files that may have been left behind by uninstalled apps.
When I ran Norton Clean on my Moto G5 Plus, it found 367 MB of junk files, with 352 of those showing up in cache. It also makes it easy to see exactly which apps are storing data and how much. This app looks good and is friendly to use.
The Cleaner - Speed up & Clean
The Cleaner features a set of tabs at the top that let you choose what parts of your Android system to analyze. Tap on the one that looks like a stack of pancakes to analyze your storage and find out how much data is hanging out in your app cache. You can uncheck any apps you don’t want to clear the cache from and then hit the Clean button at the bottom to clear out the rest. This app located the same amount of cached data on my phone as the Norton app did.
There are some other good cleaning apps out there on the App Store, but either one of these will get you going and leave you with a more streamlined Android phone.
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