What Is Cached Data And How To Clear It?

With a host of technological advancements wrapped around our lives, we have somehow, come to accept technical jargons without quite understanding what they really mean. Have you ever wondered what is cached data? Then you may not be the only person not aware of what it means.

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Our phones have become so much more than a mode of making and receiving calls. After all, that’s what phones were supposed to do when they were created. But now they are meant to help us juggle lives, notify us of communications through different apps and lastly, make and receive calls. All devices that connect to the internet use cached data in one form or another.

Read also: How To Clear App Cache And Data On Galaxy S7

Example to define cache

Let me take the help of an example to define cache. When you visit a place for the first time, your brain stores the route in your mind so that the next time you have to get to the same place, it is easier and quicker. This is somewhat the same way in which cached data behaves. When a device visits a website or uses an app, certain data is stored in the form of cache in the device memory. Next time when the device accesses the same web site, it is easier for the device to access it because of the cached data that was stored when the website was visited the first time.


Why cached data exists

The main reason why cached data exists is to make loading time faster. So if the device already has the layout of the website saved in the form of cached data, it will not have to load that same data once again. This helps in quickening the process of loading the website.

While cached data is helpful for computers, smartphones, and tablets; it can take up space on your device and it may, over a period of time, get corrupt. While the cached data on your device can be helpful for the websites you visit regularly, it can be considered a waste for those websites which you will be visiting just once.

Android devices manage app data very efficiently, and for most of the users, you will not have to worry about managing the cached data manually. However, when the phone begins to face issues and you are trying to fix a problem by following certain troubleshooting steps, then you may come across a step which may ask you to clear cache.

Cached files on your Android phone or tablet can exist for the apps which you access or use, and it will exist for the websites you visit using your smartphone. All apps, whether they are system apps or third party apps will have cached data. Since cached data is automatically created and it does not include any important data, wiping or clearing the cache for an app or a device is harmless.

Once the previous data is deleted, you will notice a slight change in the time it takes to accessing websites or using the app for the first time. This is when the cached data will be created once again. Once the data is recreated you will notice that your experience of accessing the app or the website the next time will be faster and smoother.

cached data

Why should we clear the system cache?

System cache will have data for all websites and apps that you may have used on your phone. There is a possibility that some of the data is for an app that you may have already uninstalled or for social media posts that you have read already and that you may not be opening again. It is good to clear the system cache every now and then so that you can free up some space on your phone or tablet.

Your Android device may have stored lots of information on the system cache and it gradually needs more and more storage space. It is unnecessary to give away important storage space for system cache.

Clearing cache is also necessary as a part of the troubleshooting process to resolve a number of problems that may arise because of corrupted cache data. With Android getting better with every update, most of the times you may not need to do it on your own. Android systems usually manage cache very effectively. The requirement may arise very rarely.


How to clear system cache on Android Kitkat, Lollipop, and Marshmallow?

The system cache is files created for accessing the Android system. This cache data is related to the system and the system files so that the working of your Android phone is smooth. Certain troubleshooting steps may require you to wipe the cache partition of your Android system so that the phone or tablet can build new cache files. The steps for clearing the cache partition is somewhat similar on Kitkat, Lollipop and Marshmallow. You first have to enter your phone’s Recovery menu in order to wipe the system’s cache partition. Follow these steps to delete the cache partition of your phone:


Android Kitkat

  • Switch off your Android kitkat device
  • Press and hold the Volume Down button
  • Press the Power key and release it
  • Continue to press the Volume Down key till you see the three Android icons appear on the screen
  • Highlight Recovery by using the Volume Down key and use your Power key to confirm the selection Clear cache on kitkat
  • Once you see a red triangle icon, press the Volume Up key and the Power key simultaneously.
  • Use the Volume Down key to highlight Wipe Cache Partition and use your Power key to confirm your selection.
  • The phone will begin wiping the cache partition of your Android device. It may take some time.
  • Once the cache partition has been deleted, use your Power key to choose the option Reboot System Now.

Your phone will restart.. When your phone restarts it will build new cache files all over again.


Android Lollipop

  • Power Off your Android device.
  • Press and hold the Volume Down and Power key of your device till you see a screen with some options
  • With the help of the Volume Down key, highlight Recovery and use the Power key to select it so that your phone boots into Recovery.
  • You will be on a black screen. Press and hold the Volume Up and Power key together till you see the Recovery menu.
  • With the help of the Volume Down key, navigate to the option that says Wipe cache partition and press the power key to select it.
  • Once the cache is deleted, use the Volume Down key once again to highlight the option that says Reboot System Now, and select it using the Power key.

Once the reboot is complete, you will have an Android Lollipop device with new system cache files created with the reboot.


Android Marshmallow

  • Power off your Android Marshmallow device.
  • Press and hold the Power and Volume button at the same time till you notice the Fastboot menu on the screen.
  • With the help of the Volume keys, highlight Recovery and use the Power key to confirm your selection.
  • When the screen shows the Android bot on its back, then press the power and volume key together just once and you will be on the Recovery menu.
  • Use the Volume keys once again to highlight Wipe Cache Partition and use the Power key to select the highlighted option.
  • Once the system cache has been deleted, reboot your device and your device should begin creating fresh system cache.


How to clear all apps cached data?

If you never deleted the cached data on your phone for the apps you use then you may have data on your phone that is not required any longer because you may have deleted a number of apps but the cache files for those apps still exist. They may even get corrupted and begin causing problems for your phone. This is why many troubleshooting steps require users to clear the cached data for all apps.

To clear cache for all the Android apps in one go, follow these steps:

  • Head into the Settings menu of your phone or tablet by pulling down the notification shade and tapping on the gear icon on the top.
  • Look for storage and tap on it.
  • Now tap on Cached Data.
  • You will notice a pop-up screen which will ask for confirmation.
  • Tap on OK to completely erase all cached data from the system.

Once you clear phone cache data, you will notice that your apps may take slightly longer to open. This is solely because it needs time to recreate the cache files again. You will find that the second time you use the same apps, they will open faster.


How to clear app cache data for specific apps only?

While clearing the entire system cache can be helpful, sometimes you may not want to delete everything, and instead, if you choose to delete the cache for specific apps only, then Android systems allow this too. In order to delete the cache for specific apps follow these steps:

  • Go to the Settings menu of your device.
  • Search for Apps and tap on it.
  • Here you will find all the apps on your system, tap on the app for which you want to clear the data.
  • Tap on Clear Cache to wipe the cache data for the specific app only.

Remember that clearing the cache for an app will not remove any important data and when you launch the app the next time, it will automatically create the cache files for the app once again.

You may also read- How To Clear App Cache And Data On Android Marshmallow