How to clear the cache on your Android phone to make it run faster

Google PixelHollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • If you clear the cache on your Android phone periodically, you could help eliminate performance issues on the device.
  • Your Android phone's cache comprises stores of small bits of information that your apps and web browser use to speed up performance.
  • But cached files can become corrupted or overloaded and cause performance issues.
  • Cache needn't be constantly cleared, but a periodic clean out can be helpful.

Your apps and web browser store bits of information to speed up your experience using them.

Over time, your phone may collect a lot of files you don't really need. You can clear out the files to free up a little storage space on your device. Clearing cache can also help with website behavior issues.

Clearing browser cache and app cache from an Android phone is a quick and easy process.

Here's a short guide on how to do both.

Clear cache in the Chrome app (the default Android web browser)

1. Open the Chrome app on your device.

2. Tap the three-dot icon, found at the top right, to open a dropdown menu.

androidTap the three-dot dropdown menu.Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

3. Tap History, then Clear browsing data.

google chromeTap &quotHistory" on the dropdown menu.Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

4. If desired, select the oldest date you would like cleared using the Time Range dropdown menu.

5. Select Cached images and files.

6_advancedCheck &quotCached images and files" and then tap &quotClear data."Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

6. Tap the Clear data button to clear cache.

Clear cache from third-party apps

App cache is similar to browser cache. It's small bits of information stored to speed up your experience using an app. However, there may be times when an app suddenly closes or stops responding all together. Problems with cached data could be the culprit.

Clearing cache is a quick and easy way to free up space and (hopefully) fix a misbehaving app. Clearing app cache will not delete app data like account information.

Here's how to clear app cache:

1. Go to the Settings menu on your device.

2. Tap Storage.

storageTap &quotStorage" in your Android's settings.Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

3. Tap Internal Storage under Device Storage.

2 (2)Tap &quotInternal storage."Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

4. Tap Cached data.

cahceTap &quotCached data."Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

5. Tap OK when a dialog box appears asking if you're sure you want to clear all app cache.

4 (1)Tap &quotOK" to clear app cache.Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

Clearing app cache will not delete app data like account information. App data, like account information, can be deleted from the same menu - proceed with caution if you decide to do so.

Note: Phones without SD card storage will not be given a choice to select between internal storage or SD card as shown in the above screenshots.

How often you should clear cache

You may find it helpful to clear cache periodically, but a regular cache clearing schedule isn't required. If you find you're routinely clearing cache to free up space, you may consider removing unused apps or archiving stored video and photos in the cloud. Installing a high volume microSD card is another option to address phone storage needs.

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