I use many different apps and websites on my Android device; they range from SoundCloud to others used for catching up on news, and others for gaming with my friends. So when an often-used app encounters issues it can be really frustrating.
If you have issues with an app on your device, wiping the data cache could be the quickest and easiest way to solve your problems while improving your phone’s performance in the long-term.
If you want to find out what the system cache is, what it does, and a few different methods for how to clear the data, check out the following guide for everything you need to know.
What does the System Cache do?
It sounds complicated, so let’s try to keep it simple. The system cache is found on every Android device.
The Android OS uses partitions to organize files and folders on your device, and one of these partitions is the system cache. This partition stores temporary system data for everyday tasks. These ‘temporary’ files are the images, text, and videos that are used to display things like web pages and adverts. They help to load things quickly when you revisit web pages or load your favorite apps.
The temporary files in the system cache are used for faster access when using apps (which can be useful if you’re constantly playing Clash of Clans or Candy Crush like most people I know). But these files can sometimes lead to problems when the settings become outdated, or if your device or a specific app starts to encounter general issues.
One solution to help is to wipe the system cache partition data. There’s no such thing as “too much clearing”, so you can wipe the device as many times as you want without causing any issues. It helps to keep apps running smoothly, and it’s recommended after a system update to keep your phone optimized. It also helps to free up some extra memory space. (But normally it’s not much as the files shouldn’t be too large.)
When you load up the app or web page for the first time after clearing the cache, it might take a little longer to start up, but your device will save new temporary files that are more relevant to your recent usage.
How to Wipe the Cache Partition:
Now we know what it is, how exactly do we clear the Android system cache? It’s pretty easy, and there are a few methods to choose from, which should take around a minute to complete if all goes to plan.
The first and second methods listed will clear all cache files on your device. The third method in this list details how to clear cache data for individual applications if you want to keep some of your files, so the choice is yours.
(These methods will not erase any personal data or settings on the device, just the temporary cache files.)
Android Clear Cache by Recovery Mode
Enter Recovery Mode on your device. This is usually done by holding the Power, Home, and Volume Up buttons when the device is switched off. However, some devices (such as the Moto G3 or Xperia Z3) have a different way of entering Recovery Mode, so if it isn’t working, check online to see how it’s done.
The device will load in Recovery mode when powered on. From this mode, you can select the option to clear the system cache, which will remove the files from your device. This option is labelled as ‘Wipe Cache Partition’. Use the volume buttons to navigate through the options carefully.
This will result in no loss of data or personal settings, but be careful NOT to select the ‘Wipe Data’ option, as this will cause your phone to reset to factory defaults.
That’s it, and from now the cache will begin to rebuild as you use your device.
Android Clear Cache From Settings
Go to Settings, tap Storage, and you’ll be able to see just how much memory is being used by the partition under Cached Data. To delete the data:
Tap Cached Data, and tap Okay if there’s a confirmation box to complete the process.
Note: some versions of the Android OS won’t let you delete cache this way.
It’s as simple as that. If it solves your problems it’s a reasonably painless quick-fix that has no chance of damaging your device, so it’s worth a try.
Clear Individual Apps Cache on Android
If you want to clear the cache data of a specific app, you can do so by:
- Going to Settings, and tapping Apps.
- Tap on the app that you want to clear.
- Tap Clear Cache, located near the bottom of the screen.
Why clear the Cache and how often to do so
So, what’s the point of it all? What’s in it for you? Your apps will run a little slower the first few times you open them. The reason for this is your device rebuilds the system cache. However, it will soon run as quickly as before, and it could be even faster if the phone hasn’t been properly optimized when updating the software.
It’s hard to say exactly how often the system cache should be wiped. It’s usually good practice to wipe the cache after a system update, (such as 4.2 to 4.3) because updated system apps won’t use the outdated optimization files. This can help to drastically improve battery life among other problems normally encountered when updating the Android software. There’s literally no reason why you shouldn’t give it a go.
It might seem like a hassle, but it can’t hurt to wipe the system cache partition from time to time. It might not clear up much space on your device, but it helps to keep everything running as smoothly as possible, and it’s harmless.
The extra memory will probably be nominal, but what’s the point of keeping data for forgotten apps and old web pages that you’re never likely to visit again, when it could be used for more important things, like a great puzzle game, or a few more episodes of your favorite show?
Did clearing the system cache solve a problem with your device? Let us know in the comments below, or you can also send us a message, (or a follow) on both Facebook and Twitter.
If we managed to help out or you have any problems with clearing your cache data let us know in the comments below.