Cache is a term many people hear but few people understand. When talking about cache it’s important to understand there are a few different types of it too.
First, there is website cache, which is created when you open a browser and navigate to a website. Here cache is a collection of files a website stores on your device–in this case an Android phone or tablet.
A website is actually just a collection of thousands of files, including text documents and images. When we go to a website for the first time, our smartphone’s browser needs to pull every single one of these files from the website’s servers. This often slows down the loading time of a site the first time you visit it.
The reason the site loads faster the subsequent times you return to it is because the site has cached–or stored–some of its files locally on your device. This means your web browser can quickly access these local files from your computer instead of having to download them again, which means the site loads faster.
Then there is app cache, which is simply just files and folders an individual app download to your Android device when you launch it. Like website cache, app cache can help apps run more smoothly when you launch them subsequent times.
Why You May Want To Clear Cache
So if cache helps speed up the Internet and apps on your Android devices, why should you clear the cache from time to time?
The main reason you want to delete your device’s cache is if you’re having certain issues with a website or app. Perhaps images are displaying right–or you’re having problems logging in.
Deleting cache can also help you reclaim valuable space on your 16GB Android device. If you never clear your cache, you could literally have gigabytes of cache on your device.
Clearing Cache On Your Android Device All At Once
Android gives you two ways to clear cache: all at once or on a per-app basis. Let’s look at clearing all the cache from your Android device. “All” means all app and web browser cache.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap on Storage or Storage & Memory (the wording differs by Android version and device).
- Now, tap on “Cached Data” which displays the amount of cached data on your device.
- A popup will appear asking you if you want to “Clear cached data”. Tap OK to clear all the cache on your device.
Clearing App Caches Individually On Android
As mentioned, you can also just clear the cache from a single app on your Android device, like a game or a web browser. To do this follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app.
- Swipe down and tap on “Apps”.
- From the list of apps, tap on the one you want to clear the cache of.
- On the app’s App Info screen, tap “Storage”.
- On the next screen you’ll see a button that says “Clear Cache”. Tap it to clear the individual app’s cache.
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