Data—this word is devilish to some people. Mobile data is expensive. Certain data can be used against them. Unfortunately, we live in an age of data mining and data theft. But that doesn’t mean that all data stored on a device is a problem.
Fortunately for you, cached data is a good thing! Cached data is information taken from a website, application, or program that is stored locally on your device so that when you access it again, the information will be stored. This will save you from using costly and limited mobile data.
Cache files take necessary information to load the important things without effort, and they do not take up much room on your hard drive at all. This concept is quite brilliant. Therefore, your favorite websites, applications, and programs run smoothly and quickly because the data that needs to be downloaded is already there. Brilliant!
Where Does It Go?
Cached data goes to your device’s memory system. You can always move, change, or even delete the files if you wish. When you uninstall a program or application, you will notice it usually asks you if you want to delete the program and all cached data associated with it. This means that you could get rid of a program or app, keep the cached data, re-install the program later, and keep all data associated with it, picking up where you left off.
Any data taken to the cache file is minimal at best, and the space it takes up on your memory drive will be negligible. You can access cached data in the folders of the applications or programs. Cached data for websites is sometimes found in the internet browser’s files or in a separate folder in the device’s memory. Whichever setup you have, it is easy to access the data through the file manager.
Is Cached Data Harmful?
If you are asking because you go to a less than reputable website frequently, the answer is still no. It is highly encouraged for you not to visit those non-kid-friendly sites, but to each their own. The data that is cached is only the data used to load the site or program application. There is nothing downloaded from a third party like viruses, malware, or spyware.
However, hackers and malicious persons on the internet are getting more efficient at ruining, well, everything. So, stay safe and stay away from those sites that are questionable.
If you absolutely must go to these types of websites, make sure you’re using a virus scanner and the incognito feature of your browser. Stay knowledgeable about modern malicious content and other harmful computer files that you may be subject to. Always keep your information safe with passwords, encryption, and password-protected internet. With all things considered, cached data is the least of your worries when you are on the internet.
What Happens if I Delete Cached Data?
The worst deleting cached data will is annoy you slightly because it takes an extra two seconds to load the site or application. Even then, the next time you do visit that site, it will store the data that you just deleted. It is generally best to just keep the data there. It makes internet browsers run smoother, faster, and more efficiently.
The data takes up a negligible amount of room and does not interfere with anything it pulls data from. If you truly feel that you need to delete that data, go for it, but you will lose all profiles, information input into the website or application, and anything else that you have put in there.
This can be a good thing if you want to wipe the slate clean on something you do not want your information on, such as financial information. But, keep in mind that if you input that information again, it will cache it again, reversing what you did.
How Do I Clear the Cached Data on My Phone?
It is a good idea to clear the data every now and again. If you visit websites just once but don’t clear data that frequently, then you should clear it more often. There is no sense in keeping the data on a website’s layout for fast loading if you are never going there again. If you only visit a few websites, say on a business phone, then you should keep the data.
To clear cached data, first swipe down the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. From there, you will see a cog icon, which is the settings button. Once you are in the settings, you will scroll down and see applications. Once you are there, you will have to go into the settings of each application you want to control the cached data on. Once you click on an application, you will see buttons like uninstall and force stop. Then, you will see technical information about the application.
Below that information will be the button that says “Clear cache.” Again, cached data contains login information, layouts of websites, and other useful information. Be sure you want to clear it before tapping that button. Remorse will set in quickly if you jump the gun. Once you hit that button, all cached information will be erased.
Are There Any Other Reasons to Clear Cached Data?
There sure are. Applications sometimes misbehave—those bad applications! You can try and clear the cached data on an app to get it to work again. Now, clearing cached data and clearing app data are two different things. Cached data only saves certain data needed to make the process run more smoothly. App data is everything else associated with the app. This means login information, saved data, profiles, and other vital information.
If you were to clear app data in the Facebook app, your login information that has been saved would be gone. If you cleared it in your favorite game, it would delete your saved progress, your profile, and any other personal information you saved. Clearing the app data is starting from the basic form of the application—starting from scratch, if you will.
If an app is acting up and needs some disciplining, try clearing the cache first. If that does not work, you may need to clear the app data as this will clear the cache data along with all other data to restore the application.
Try and remember that cached data is like a treasure box inside of the application. It puts your goodies inside of it so it can get them out later. Clearing the app data would be like smashing that treasure box with a sledgehammer and then taking it to the scrap yard, where they clean it up and hand it back to you in the state in which it was purchased.
This Sounds Difficult. Can I Just Clear It All in One Go?
Yes, you can. Head to the settings menu discussed earlier. Access it by pulling down the drop-down menu from the top of the screen. Once you are in the menu, find the storage tab. You may have to scroll down to find it. Click on the storage tab. It will give you the options to select from all the storage spaces you have on your phone or tablet.
You should see a button that says cached data towards the bottom of the screen. Click on that button. Once you hit that button, it will bring up a confirmation window that will ask you if you intend to clear all cached data.
Hopefully, if you are looking at this screen, you intend to do just that. Select the “yes” button, and it will wipe all cached information from your device. This means all cached data, including website, game, and application information that is used to smoothly run all those things. However, if you need some room on your device, this is a fantastic way to get some space needed.
Depending on how much cached data you have, you may get some significant space back. It is always a shame to see perfectly good memory space being wasted on useless cached data. If you do not need it, just delete that stuff as it is harmless to do so and honestly helpful in some areas.
There are also settings and apps that can be used to clear your cache automatically. However, there is also some evidence that these cleaning apps may be doing more harm than good, so use them sparingly and proceed with caution.
Clearing your cached data is an important thing to do. When you do, it will depend on how you use your Android system. Just as a reminder, remember the difference between clearing your cached data vs. clearing your app data.
Clear your cached data when you want some space or do not want a website to take .04 seconds longer to download. There really is not any way around it, because it will just download the information again.
So, clear it every couple of weeks, and do not clear app data unless you fully intend on smashing that app and building it back up again.
Any questions or comments? Let us know in the comments!