Mobile screen showing memory management options with 'Application', 'Data', 'Cache' and 'Total' highlighted.
Marcial Triguero / tecnoandroid ©

This is how you can clear the cache on Android and benefit from it

We show you how to clear the cache of your Android device and the benefits it offers us (and even its disadvantages, which it also has).

Martial Triguero
By Martial Triguero
Fast answer

Clearing the cache on Android devices frees up storage space and improves app performance. Cache files, temporary data used to speed up application loading, can accumulate and take up space unnecessarily. Manually clearing the cache can resolve app issues and protect privacy. It is not necessary to do this regularly, but it can be useful in specific cases, such as malfunctioning applications or to free up urgent storage space.

It's happened to all of us: suddenly, our faithful Android companion begins to drag as if it had years of use behind it in a matter of months. Apps take forever to open, photos slide by with exasperating laziness, and every “tap” on the screen is a leap of faith. But before you start sighing about investing in a newer model, let me show you the hidden world of maintaining your device, particularly the magic of clearing the cache. You would think it's just a first aid measure, but believe me it's much more than that.

Simply updating your phone or cleaning the cache can give your device new life. Therefore, today I am going to teach you how something as simple as this can lighten your phone so that your experience with it stops being a nightmare.

Understanding cache memory in Android

Cache memory It may sound like distant technical jargon to you, but I can tell you that it is as much a part of your phone on a daily basis as the screen we deal with day in and day out. It is a temporary storage area where applications store data so that access to it is faster and more agile every time you need it. The cache could be said to be like the drawers in your desk, where you keep the tools you use constantly (to give a practical example).

What data is cached?

To be specific, the cache contains everything from image thumbnails and web page snippets, to login data that means you don't have to enter your password every now and then. (Yes, that is one of the reasons why you can move from one app to another without entering your data again).

Benefits and disadvantages of caching

As it could not be otherwise, cache memory has its pros, but also its cons. On the one hand, it saves you time and data by not having to reload information every time you open an app (this is pure gold if your data plan is limited or if you have a slow internet connection at any given time…). An excessive cache can “eat up” storage space almost without us realizing it, and even in some extreme cases it can even become corrupted and cause errors or malfunctions in the apps themselves (for example, those mysterious “unexpected closures” may be due to a bad cache).

And the cache memory on Android is a double-edged sword. She can be our unsung heroine who makes your favorite apps load quickly. But if neglected, it can directly become the absolute villain that slows down your device to unsuspected limits. So as with any good self-care regimen, moderation and regular maintenance are key.

The difference between cache and data on Android

Surely you've ever wondered what really happens when you 'clean' your phone. Here I explain it to you in a simple way. Each app on your Android device uses two types of storage: Cache y data. And you know what? They are not the same, although we often clean them together. I'll explain.

Understanding cache vs data

The cache memory, as I told you before, is like a notepad for quick notes that apps use to work more agilely. When we talk about data, we are referring to all the personal information that you have entered in the app itself, such as your configuration preferences, your saved games in games or your playlists on Spotify.

  • Cache: temporary data for quick access (for example, images or web page data).
  • Data: user information and settings that personalize your experience in the app (such as access credentials and preferences).

What happens when you clear cache or data?

When you clear only the cache, apps may take a little longer to open the next time because they will have to recreate that temporary data again. But don't worry, you won't lose important information. Now (be very careful), if you decide to delete the data, it is like resetting the app; You will have to configure it again, as if you had just installed it.

(Warning: Before deleting an app's data, make sure you have a backup of your information if you don't want to start from scratch.)

Warning

Before deleting data from an app, make sure you have a backup (in case you need it) of your information if you don't want to start from scratch.

Why it is important to clear the application cache

Conceptual illustration of a broom cleaning a smartphone with app icons splashing around.
Midjourney / edited by tecnoandroid ©

Cleaning it regularly (not excessively) can significantly improve the performance of your phone. It's a bit like what happens when you tidy up your room; Not only do you look better, but you find things faster (and even feel better).

Reasons to keep cache under control

  1. Free up storage space, especially if you have a device with limited capacity.
  2. Resolves errors and unexpected application closures. (Believe me, sometimes it's that simple).
  3. Avoid the accumulation of obsolete data that could be slowing down your device.

And did you know that clearing the cache also involves a security issue? Old information that is not needed can be a risk if it falls into the wrong hands (something we definitely want to avoid).

It is important to note that although clearing the cache is beneficial, it is not a miracle cure for all your Android's ills. If your device is still slow after a good cleaning, there may be other reasons why it is not performing as it should, such as hardware that is already on its last legs.

Step by Step: how to clear cache and data on Android

You already know the basics about caching and why it's crucial to keep it at bay, but how exactly do you do it? Don't worry, you don't need to be a technology wizard or do any kind of master's degree. Follow these steps and your Android will thank you.

Instructions for Google Pixel

  • Opens Settings.
  • Go to Apps & notifications and touches See all applications.
  • Select the application you want to clean.
  • Tap on Storage and cache, and then on Clear cache.
  • If you decide you need a fresh start, press Clear storage.

(Remember, if you choose to clear storage, you will have to reconfigure the app from scratch.)

For Samsung Galaxy

  • Go to Settings and select Apps.
  • Find and tap the app you want to debug.
  • Sign in Storage and there you will find the options to clear both the cache and the data.

OnePlus users

  • Navigate to Settings and then Applications and notifications.
  • Choose See all applications and select the one that is giving you headaches.
  • Tap on Storage and cache and carry out the cleaning that you consider necessary.

And if you have a Xiaomi...

  • Go to Settings and then to Apps.
  • Choose Manage applications and then the app in question.
  • Sign in Storage and decide if you want to clear the cache or go all out by deleting the data as well.
Note

Don't forget that if you delete the data, everything personalized in the app will be ruined, so use that option with caution. Before acting, think.

The debate over cache cleaning apps

Screenshot of the CCleaner application on an Android mobile showing options to clean 'Hidden Caches' and 'Visible Caches'.
Marcial Triguero / tecnoandroid ©

Surely you've seen those third-party tools floating around the Google Play Store (and even in some advertising) that promise to leave your Android looking like gold. I'm going to warn you: not all of them are as harmless as they seem. Some applications that also work as file manager on your Android They can even compromise your privacy or fill your screen with invasive ads.

It is true that there are reliable options such as CCleaner (I have been using this one for more than 10 years, even on my PC) or Google files. The first is a Swiss army knife to clean unnecessary files or optimize your Android and the second, a simple way to identify what is taking up space on your device and locate downloaded files. But as a general rule, I prefer to stick to the tools that already come preinstalled with the operating system.

Council

Before downloading a cleaning app, do some research. Read reviews, compare permissions and decide if it's really worth it.

Other ways to keep your Android in shape

Clearing the cache is only part of the equation for a tip-top Android device. Here are some other tips that may come in handy:

  • Keep your operating system and applications up to date.
  • Uninstall apps you don't use (be honest, when was the last time you opened that photo editing app?).
  • Thoroughly review applications running in the background and limit their access if not necessary. This will improve the health of your battery and its autonomy.
  • Consider the possibility of doing a factory reset if all else fails (but don't forget to make a backup copy of the most important things first).

A relationship of two that must be taken care of

Taking care of your Android is like taking care of anything else you use in your daily life, such as your car: it needs attention, care and a little knowledge (even if it's minimal). Good maintenance will result in a longer lifespan for your device.

It doesn't require black magic or anything like that, just a little common sense and attention. He treats your phone well, and he will treat you well. It's a relationship of two, after all.

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Technology veteran with more than 20 years of experience, passionate about mobile devices, home automation and artificial intelligence. In addition to my fascination with movies and series, I have solid experience in server and database administration. Committed to continuous learning, I always seek to stay up to date with the latest technological trends.
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