What’s the Point of Clearing Cache and Data on Android?
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If you’ve ever peeked in your Android app drawer, you’ve noticed that every app has two actions: Clear Cache and Clear Data. But do you know the difference? And more importantly, do you know when each one comes in handy?

Clearing App Cache

As you use an Android app, you may need to periodically pull data from the internet — images, for example. Instead of pulling it every time you use the app, the image gets stored in a cache. It’s faster to access next time, plus you save on bandwidth.

But sometimes the cache can fall out of sync with what the data should actually be, which can lead to out-of-date info. Other times, the cache fills up with too much data, which can slow down app performance. When this happens, it can help to clear the cache.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Apps.
  3. Tap on the app you want to clear.
  4. Tap on Clear Cache.

Clearing App Data

As you use Android apps, certain settings and inputs get stored between sessions. For example, logging into an app and checking “Remember me” will store your details to data. Data also stores things like account settings, app preferences, etc.

Some apps, like Spotify, may store offline audio data, while others, like Maps, may store offline map data. This can take up a LOT more storage space that you were expecting, which is a good reason to wipe app data from time to time. In short, clearing app data “resets” an app back to how it would be when first installed.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Apps.
  3. Tap on the app you want to clear.
  4. Tap on Clear Data.

Want to learn more about becoming an Android master? Check out these essential Android tips and tricks! And don’t forget about these proven tips for extending Android battery life.

How often do you clear an app’s data and/or cache? Got any other Android questions or tips? Feel free to share them with us in the comments!

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  1. Kelsey Tidwell
    December 20, 2016 at 1:19 am

    Let's not forget how handy clearing the cache can be when you try to download the latest app...or even just update what you already have...and you get the dreaded, "Insufficient Storage Available". You know you have space available, but for some reason only a Google geek could explain, it just ain't happening.

    On the phone I'm using at the moment, I usually start getting worried little triangles in my notification bar at any amount below 400MB. Crazy, huh? I bomb it all with SD Maid Pro and BOOM...installation is in effect.

  2. Elisabetta
    December 19, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Wipe cache in recovery, is more efficient and resolve some problem, for example with play store issues. But in general delete cache from app if you need. Some times delete cache and data can slow the app, delete only if you need.

  3. Zhong
    December 19, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Did you wrote an article about going into recovery mode and clearing cache from there? Is there any difference between the app settings and this troubleshooting step?