How to Clear Cache Data on Your Android

Android running slowly? Clearing the cache should speed things up

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > Apps. Tap and app, then tap Storage > Clear Cache.
  • Recent Android versions no longer offer the ability to clear the device's entire cache at once.
  • Pre-Oreo: Tap Settings > Storage > Devices (or similar) > Cached data > Clear cached data > OK.

This article explains how to wipe cached data for individual apps in Android versions 8 and later. Earlier versions offer the ability to wipe the phone's entire cache at once, instructions for which are also included.

How to Wipe an App's Cache Data

Here's how to clear data for an app you know (or suspect) is causing problems or using up data.

  1. Open Settings > Apps.

  2. Select the app whose cache you want to clear.

    Android Apps > Storage

    The amount of storage space each app uses displays below the name of the app.

  3. Tap Storage.

  4. Tap Clear Cache to clear the app cache. Tap Clear Data to erase the data associated with the app.

    Android Storage > Clear cache

Clearing the cache deletes temporary files the app uses while it's running. Clearing data deletes settings, passwords, and other information you added and resets the app to its defaults.

How Clearing an App's Cache Can Help

The cache contains temporary files that are used to speed up the app. Sometimes, though, they're too much of a good thing. They might be duplicated and stored permanently elsewhere, be outdated, or be corrupted. All of this can cause the app to behave erratically or crash.

Clearing the cache can solve these problems, and it's generally a key step in troubleshooting problems with your device.

Frequent Cache Culprits

Often, you'll know which app is acting up simply by its behavior. If this isn't the case, start your cache-clearing with the browser, then move onto social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter. Turn next to other apps that access the internet, and then to those that take up the most overall space.

Clearing a cache is a temporary method to gain storage space. As you use an app, it will build up a new cache of temporary files.

On Pre-Oreo Android: Clearing the Entire Phone's Cache at Once

Before the release of Oreo (Android version 8), the easiest way to deal with the device cache was to delete it all at once. However, Google removed this feature in newer versions.

If you're still running an old version, here's how to delete the entire device cache:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Device > Storage.

  3. Tap Cached data. Android calculates where the device storage is being used (apps, photos, or other places) and how much you will reclaim. When prompted, confirm your choice.

    Clearing the cache data does not erase any personal information or important data.

    Storage, Cached data, and OK button in Android settings
FAQ
  • How do I clear my browsing history on Android?

    To clear your Android browsing history in Chrome, tap the three dots > Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data. In the Samsung Internet app, tap the three dots > Settings > Privacy and security > Delete browsing data. Select Browsing history and tap Delete.

  • How do I free up space on my Android phone?

    To free up space on your Android, go to Settings > Storage > Manage Storage and delete unwanted apps, photos, and videos to create more space. Consider adding a microSD card to expand your storage needs.

  • How do I clear the clipboard on my Android?

    To clear your Android clipboard, download the Clipper Clipboard Manager app and tap the three dots > Delete. Alternatively, use the Gboard keyboard to enable the built-in clipboard manager.

  • What is a CACHE file?

    A file with the CACHE file extension contains temporary information that a program sets aside to make software load data faster. Not all cache files have the .CACHE extension.

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