What is Cached Data and How to Clear Cached Data
Technology has advanced to that level that we are unable to understand all the technical terms related to simple things. You must have definitely heard of cached data. Has it happened to you, that your phone stops working suddenly, and someone tells you to delete the cache to free up memory as a solution? But what exactly is cached data? Let us first understand the concept of cached data.
Phones today are not simply used for making and receiving calls, their original purpose when it was created. Now they are our helpmate, they help us to regulate our daily lives, notify us of communications through different applications and yes, even sending and receiving calls. Every device that connects to the internet uses cached data in some way.
Let us explain what cached data with an example is. Assuming you are visiting a place for the first time, your brain stores the route covered by you so that when you next visit the place it’s easier to reach there and takes less time.
This is how cached data behaves in a device when a device visits a website or uses its applications; certain data is stored in form of cache in your device. So that when the next time your device uses the same website it gets easier and quicker to access because of the saved data in the form of cache which was stored when the website was first visited.
Why Cached Data Important
If cache data uses up your device space and consequently makes it slower, then the question arises is why it actually exists. Cache data exists to reduce the loading time of a website. It saves the layout of an already visited website so that when the user accesses it again, it gets easier to load. This quickens the website loading process.
Cache data is helpful for your device, your website loads faster and also the data charges occurred are lower, but with time it takes up much-needed space in the device and after some time gets corrupt. So the more frequently you visit a website, more useful its cached data is for your device, But what about those websites that you visit only once or twice, the cached data just takes up space and is not that useful.
Android devices nowadays manage cache data automatically; your phone will not cause any issues due to cache data stored in it. For the majority of the users, this has never been an issue. An issue arises when your phone is facing some technical difficulty or you are trying to fix a bug in the phone by troubleshooting then the device may ask you to delete cache.
In your android devices, in your smartphone or tablet, cached data exists for the apps that you access or use and for the websites that you visit on your device. All applications, whether they be system apps or third party apps will store cached data. This data is automatically created and thus removing the cached data or wiping clear the cache, won’t cause any harm in the app data nor will it reduce its performance.
When you clear the cached data, a slight change is noticeable while loading a new website. It’s a bit slow from the previous times. The cached data is created once again in your device. So that when you access that website or use that app a second time, you will notice it has become a bit quicker and easier to access.
Is it necessary to delete the system cache?
Your system cache has stored all the data of the websites or social media applications that you have ever used. Now it can so happen that maybe some of those social media accounts you may have already uninstalled or deleted and would have no further use of that data. Or that you may not visit a particular website again so you don’t need to store its cache. This concurs that there is redundant data saved in your system which should be cleared after a period of time. It frees up space in your device and makes it faster.
Every android device stores loads of information on the system cache which gradually expands and requires more storage space. So it’s unnecessary to give away so much important space for the system cache.
There are various problems that arise when the cache data gets corrupted, in the troubleshooting process it causes a problem. Most of the time, users don’t generally need to clear the cache manually but the android device does it for them, today’s technology has advanced to that level where the devices generally manage their problems themselves. It happens in rare cases when the need arises to manage the cache data manually.
So what should we do when the need arises to clear cached data?
Let us go through the steps to be followed when required to clear cached data on an Android device with Android KitKat, Lollipop, and marshmallow.
System cache creates files that are required to access the Android system. These files are related to your system in such a way that working of your phone is smooth and easier to access. There are various troubleshooting processes which require you to delete cached data on your device before operating, so that when required your device can create new cache files.
Steps to clear cache are somewhat similar in all the android versions listed above i.e. KitKat, Lollipop, and Marshmallow. Enter your phone’s recovery menu initially to wipe down the system cache’s partition. How to enter the system recovery menu will be explained in the following steps.
Switch off your android device using the power button. Now press and hold down the volume button. Also, press the power key and release it.
Continue to press down the volume key until you see the android icon appears on the screen. When it does highlight the recovery key by using the volume down key and then use the power key for confirming the selection.
You will see a red triangle icon appearing on the screen, then press the volume up key and power key simultaneously. To choose the wipe cache selection, use the volume down to highlight your selection and then choose the power key to confirm the selection.
Your Android device will begin clearing the cache partition which will take some time. After it finishes, reboot the device by choosing the option using power key. After that once your phone restarts, your device will create new cache files and partition when using the internet.
These were the steps to be followed when deleting the system cache.
How to clear the app data cache
When you delete an app you no longer have any use of, the app and its related data files get deleted but the cache files created while the app was being used are still stored in the device. As the app is no longer in use, its cache files are useless and should be removed from the device to make storage space for the current in-use apps.
If you are thinking that your device has extensive storage and you don’t need to clear cache, keep in mind that this data gets corrupted after a period of time and may cause harm to your device. That’s why many troubleshooting applications as the first step of recovery, clear the cache for all the apps.
To clear cache of all the apps on your device simultaneously,
follow these steps:-
Go to the settings menu on your device. To go to the settings menu, pull down the notification panel from the top by sliding, and then select the gear icon on top right corner.
In the settings, the panel selects the storage option.
After the storage panel opens, select the option for cached data. A pop-up screen will appear to ask for confirmation on clearing the cached data. Select ‘Ok’ to confirm or ‘cancel’ to not confirm.
The device starts to clear all cached data from the system. Grab a cup of coffee; it may take some time, depending on the size of cache stored on your device. After you clear the cache, you may notice a slight change while opening your apps, it takes more time to load.
That’s when the system is creating new cache files, this happens every time you delete the cache and it has to be created again. Don’t worry, the next time you use the app, you will get the same loading time as before.
If you only require deleting cache for some specific apps and not every one of them, Android devices provide you with that option too. Go to the settings menu of your device as explained above. Search for the apps tab and select it. Here you will find all the current apps installed in your system. Now choose the app whose cache data you want to delete, and then select the option of clear cache to wipe out the cache for the specific app only.