If your Android phone has started feeling a bit sluggish lately, there’s a quick fix you can try before resorting to more drastic measures like factory resets. We’re talking about clearing the cached data that builds up from your apps over time. It’s an easy process that can breathe new life into a lagging device.

What is cached storage?

Cached data, or cache files, are like little notes your apps jot down temporarily to quickly retrieve stuff you use often. For example, Twitter/X might cache a few posts so that it doesn’t launch into an empty feed when the network is flaky. Or Netflix can cache movie posters so that it doesn’t have to load them again the next time you re-launch the app.

The idea is, instead of starting from scratch every single time, apps store commonly accessed pieces locally as cache files. Without cached data, your apps would be rebuilding stuff from the ground up constantly. A little local storage sacrifice keeps things running buttery smooth.

How to clear cache on Android

Clearing up the cache can be beneficial in some cases. Here’s how you can do so on Android:

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1. Head to Settings > Storage and tap on the “Apps” entry. This will pull up a list of everything installed on your phone.

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2. Go through and pick out any apps that have been acting up lately or ones that need a spring cleaning. The sorting option can help you find the biggest cache hogs.

3. Once you’ve singled out an app, tap it and then hit the “Clear Cache” button on the info page. This will dump that app’s cached files while leaving your actual data and settings alone.

4. Repeat for any other cached-up apps and you’re all set.

Alternatively, you can also press down on the app icon from the launcher and head to its info page. Just be careful not to clear the app data itself unless you want to nuke an app completely.

When should you clear cache?

While regularly clearing cache can be a good maintenance routine, it’s not something you need to do super frequently. Android is pretty good about ditching old cached files automatically to make room for new ones.

The best time to clear cache is when:

Your phone’s storage is running seriously low. Apps like Google Photos can use several hundred megabytes of storage and clearing the cache can help.
You’re experiencing frequent app crashes or glitches that could be cache-related.
It’s been a while since your last cache clearing and things are feeling sluggish.

On the flip side, clearing cache too often can actually make things worse since it forces apps to rebuild those cache files from scratch constantly. That puts extra strain on your phone’s processing power and battery.

That said, if an app’s misbehaving and clearing the cache doesn’t seem to be fixing the problem, you can also use the “Clear data” button to reset it. You can also simply re-install it.


 


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