How To Clear Cache on an Android? (And Why You Should)

Clearing the cache on your Android device will boost its performance and security and free up storage space. Here is how to do it step by step.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Proper Android maintenance includes clearing your cache regularly. It frees up storage space, removes outdated and corrupt files, and improves your user experience. You should also complement your good maintenance habits with a reliable antivirus program.

Keep reading to see why clearing Android cache is important and learn how to do it.

In this article
What is Android cache?
Why would you clear your Android cache?
How to clear cache on an Android
What happens if you don’t clear your Android cache?
How to clear cache on an Android FAQ
Bottom line

What is Android cache?

Android cache is a collection of data stored on your device. It can include app data, images, videos, scripts, visited websites, and much more. It’s all about loading apps and websites faster when you use them again. For example, an image-heavy page will load much quicker if it pulls the images from your cache.

Your Android phone or other device has three separate caches:

  • App cache: The app cache contains temporary files, images, and scripts from downloaded apps. Clearing the app cache will speed up your apps and improve their overall performance.
  • Browser cache: Whenever you visit a website, your browser stores some bulkier elements, such as images.
  • System cache: Android OS also has its separate cache. Clearing this data can improve performance, free up storage space, and fix some app problems.

Why would you clear your Android cache?

Data caching can ensure better performance up to a point. If you let it build up, it can actually slow you down and even cause security concerns.

So, let’s go over some of the benefits of clearing your Android cache:

  • Improving performance: When your cache gets too full, Android has to sift through a lot of files to find what it needs. Outdated temporary files can cause conflicts and crash your apps or browser. Clearing your cache essentially declutters your OS.
  • Freeing up storage space: Deleting unnecessary data will free up space for more important files and apps.
  • Improving stability: As mentioned, some of the cached files can become outdated or corrupt. When this happens, you’ll experience app crashes, browser glitches, and other unpleasant anomalies. Clearing the cache will prevent this.
  • Boosting your privacy and security: Sometimes hackers exploit cached data to launch a cyberattack. Clearing the cache of outdated and exploitable files can help protect your Android device.

How to clear cache on an Android

Clearing Android cache is very quick and easy. Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps:

Clearing Chrome browser cache

1. Open the Chrome browser on your Android device

2. Tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner

3. Tap on History

4. Choose Clear browsing data

5. Choose the time range. If you want to delete all browsing data, select All time.

6. Tick the boxes indicated in the image below and tap Clear data

Clear Browsing Data Tab

Clearing app cache

On an Android, you can’t clear the cache for all apps in a single step; you have to do it individually. Going through each app's cache could become tedious. However, if you’re facing problems with a specific app, it can help troubleshoot the issue.

Each manufacturer will have slightly different processes for deleting app caches. The general process, however, looks like this:

1. Open Settings

2. Tap Apps

3. A list of installed apps will appear. Select the app you want to clear.

4. Select Storage

5. Choose Clear cache to delete the app cache

Storage Tab

What happens if you don’t clear your Android cache?

Not clearing your cache could result in a lack of available storage and sluggish performance. However, there are also some privacy and security concerns to worry about:

  • Exposure of personal info: Android cache contains data like your browsing history, login credentials, and more. Hackers can steal and exploit this info with malware.
  • Tracking and profiling: If someone steals your sensitive data, they can sell it to third parties. Marketers and malicious actors can then track and profile you based on your habits.
  • Accumulation of malware: Android devices can cache malicious software and scripts, which can compromise them and create a backdoor for malware attacks.

We’ve already mentioned vulnerabilities caused by outdated and corrupt cache data. Clearing your cache is an excellent first step, but staying safe online requires reliable tools.

A good VPN (virtual private network) is one of the essentials. It masks your real IP address and encrypts your entire traffic. With such protection, hackers won’t know who you are and won’t see your online traffic.

What are the best VPNs for an Android?

The best VPNs for Android add several security benefits to your device. They allow you to safely connect to public Wi-Fi networks while encrypting your internet traffic. VPNs are a valuable tool for secure browsing and protecting your anonymity.

Take a look at our top picks:

  • NordVPN: NordVPN offers the best security/performance balance and operates over 6,200+ servers worldwide. Some of those servers are optimized for torrenting and bypassing online censorship. It has an excellent Android app with a beginner-friendly interface. Finally, its Threat Protection feature blocks malware, ads, trackers, and malicious websites.

    Get NordVPN | Read NordVPN Review

  • Surfshark: Surfshark supports unlimited simultaneous connections, which makes it ideal for large households. It operates 3,200+ servers and dishes out even better speeds than NordVPN. Its CleanWeb feature blocks malware, ads, trackers, and phishing. If you opt for the highest subscription tier, you’ll also get a proprietary antivirus program.

    Get Surfshark | Read Surfshark Review

  • ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is excellent but expensive. It offers RAM-only servers in 105 countries and a proprietary VPN protocol called Lightway. Its Android app is simplicity itself, which makes it ideal for complete beginners. Its Threat Manager feature blocks trackers and malicious websites. It’s also the only VPN provider with a proprietary VPN router.

    Get ExpressVPN | Read ExpressVPN Review

How to clear cache on an Android FAQ


+

How often should I clean my cache on Android?

It depends on how often you use your Android device – the more you use it, the quicker the cache will build up. For an average user, we recommend clearing your cache once a month.


+

Is it good to clear cache on an Android?

Yes. Cached data can build up and lead to lag, glitches, and app crashes. Clearing the cache will free up some storage space and improve your device's performance.


+

What happens when you wipe your Android cache?

Deleting the browser or app cache removes temporary files from your Android. It doesn't delete personal data like photos or contacts. Once the cache is wiped, your Android will rebuild it based on your current app or browsing history.


+

Does clearing cache on Android phones free up space?

Clearing cache on Android phones does free up space. The cache houses temporary files that may be outdated. This can build up over time and take up storage space. Clearing the cache will remove the temporary files and free up some space.


+

How do I clear cache for each app on Android?

To clear cache for each app on your Android, go to Settings > Apps. This will open a list of apps, and you can select which ones you want to clear. Just go to the app's storage and choose Clear cache.


+

Does clearing cache on Android delete passwords?

Clearing cache on Android doesn't delete passwords—it only removes temporary files. It won't delete login credentials, your photos, or other personal information. However, it may remove some site settings, so you might have to log in to a website or app again.

Bottom line

Clearing the cache on your Android device is a simple task that improves performance. It can solve slow loading times, app freezes, and browser glitches. It also frees up space for more important items.

More importantly, clearing cache can deal with security vulnerabilities. It will delete any cached malware or corrupt files hackers can exploit. We recommend clearing cache on your Android device at least once a month.

If you want to boost your online privacy and security even further, we recommend exploring our list of the best VPNs for this year.

Customizable Coverage That is Simple to Use
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN's website
VPN
NordVPN
Up to 72% off 2-year plans + a Saily eSIM data gift
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices

Author Details
Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity. She aims to help people protect their data while enjoying technology. She has written about online privacy and tech for over 5 years for several organizations. When she's not writing about the latest cybersecurity trends, you can find her on LinkedIn.