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When it comes to troubleshooting a misbehaving Android app, there are several things you can try. One of the easiest things to do is clear the app’s cache. We’ll explain the why, when, and how for this essential Android function.
Why Clear an Android App’s Cache?
Android apps create two different types of files on your device—data and cache. Data files contain important stuff like login information and app settings. When you delete data files, you’re essentially resetting the app.
Cache files, on the other hand, are temporary. They contain information that isn’t always needed. A common example is a streaming music app pre-downloading a song so it can play without buffering. Cache files can be cleared without significant disruption to the app.
Warning: Cached files will be redownloaded as needed. The cached files are typically much smaller than data files, but you should be aware of this if you have data caps or aren’t on Wi-Fi.
So why do it? Android—which has its own cache—and Android apps are supposed to handle cache files on their own, but that doesn’t always happen. Cache files can build up over time and cause the app to run poorly. Apps can use too much cache space and stop working. Cache files can also interfere with app updates.
The nice thing about cache files is you can delete them without resetting the app. It’s sorta like refreshing the app without logging out and losing all your saved preferences. Like restarting a phone, clearing the cache is just one of several simple troubleshooting things you can try when an app is misbehaving.
RELATED: Should You Clear the System Cache on Your Android Phone?
How to Clear App Cache on Android
To get started, swipe down from the top of the screen once or twice—depending on your phone—and tap the gear icon.
Now go to the “Apps” section in the Settings.
You’ll see a list of all the apps installed on your Android device (you may need to expand the list to see them all). Find the misbehaving app and tap it.
Select “Storage & Cache” or just “Storage” from the App Info page.
There are two options here—“Clear Data” and “Clear Cache.” We want the latter.
The cache will immediately be cleared, and you’ll see the amount of cache listed on the page go down to zero.
That’s all there is to it! This may solve any problems you’re having with the app. If not, the next step may be to totally clear all data/storage—the option is in the same place as “Clear Cache”—or reinstall the app.
RELATED: How to Uninstall Android Apps From Your Smartphone or Tablet