What is cached data? Indeed, that is the question on your mind if you have never heard of such a thing. Fine. If you are keen enough, you must have noticed something whenever you open an app, a blog, a webpage, or a website on your browser. It takes a while to load on your browser. It may be a few seconds or minutes depending on, among other dynamics, the speed of your device.

Close whatever you opened for the first time. From then henceforth, it will begin to load relatively faster than it did when you opened it for the first time. Ever wondered why? Well, that is the cache of your browser at work. It stores some data about the sites and apps you open while surfing the internet. That is what we call cached data in technical jargon. It helps browsers memorize whatever you open so that accessing and c it becomes faster.

What is Cache?

A cache is an inbuilt data store on your browser, and it stores data on what you open to make accessing it faster. A cache is either a hardware or software component or memory. Browser caches store such data as images, scripts, and multimedia files.

How Cached Data Works?

Once cached data has been stored, it remains on the cache until you delete it. The CPU cache works in a similar manner as the browser cache.

what is cache data - How cached data works

It memorizes the searches you do on your computer. When you search for a file on your computer, it takes a few moments to display the data. The next time you try to search for the same data in your windows explorer, it pops up faster. Why? Because your CPU cache has memorized it. The CPU cache is a high-speed memory and features high up on the computer memory hierarchy. Take a look at the hierarchy:

The cache comes immediately after the CPU register. It has three levels, i.e., L1, L2, and L3, as you can see in the hierarchy.

L1 is the primary level of the cache

L2 and L3 are the secondary levels of the cache. These two levels feed level one with data.

Accessing cache memory is faster because it has low latency. Perhaps you may want to do a random test to have a practical feel for the workability of the CPU cache. Search for a file on your computer and open it once it pops up. Close it and then reopen it to see what happens. You’ll notice subsequent searches for the file are faster because the cache has memorized the file. Besides, the name of the file pops up even before you finish typing it in your explorer.

How Significant Is Cached Data?

While cached data makes searching for information on the web and on your hard drive faster, it tends to slow down your computer. It crams your cache as you continue with your searches. You may probably open a link in your browser, which you will never open again. But your browser cache stores information about the link, nevertheless.

Therefore, it is advisable to clear unnecessary data on your browser cache.

what does clearing cache do?

It frees up space and improves your browsing experience. Failure to do so will eventually result in general sluggishness on your device as your cache continues to fill up.

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You can backup such files on external mass storage devices such as optical discs and external magnetic drives. Make good use of your cloud storage, such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

So how do you clear cached data? It depends on the application and device you are using.

Difference between clear cache or data on Android

Most of us think that these two actions are the same, but they are not. They are quite different when you are using your Android phone. Let’s say you are using Spotify, the cache info that it’s going to hold include artists you viewed outside your library, search history, and the art album you browsed. Once you clear the cache, all this info will be cleared too. Data, on the other hand, is vital information such as databases, user settings, and login info. When you clear cache data, you only get rid of the cache info, which holds less vital info. Clearing data will remove both cache and data. In other words, you will be starting your app afresh, as if you have just installed it.

How to Clear Cache on Android?

Newer Android versions require you to clear cache info individually for each app. However, it’s not a must that you clear all the cache. You only need to clear cache for all problematic apps that slow down your phone’s performance.

Below are steps that you can use to clear cache files from individual apps:

1. Go to Settings and tap on Storage.

what is cache data - clear cache in android

2. From the list that you will get, tap on Other Apps entry, where you will be taken to all installed apps on your phone.

 

what is cache data - Storage in android

3. Once there, pick the app that keeps a lot of cache files. You help you know exactly which apps occupy more space, click on the three-dot menu, and choose Sort by size. Let’s use Chrome as an example.

what is cache data - Manage apps

4. Tap the Clear Cache option on the info page of the app.

That’s how easy it is to clear cache data from your Android phone. If you want to delete all the data from the app, then all you have to do is tap Clear Storage. This will reset back to a new state as if you have just installed it.

With the older Android versions, an option was provided to clear all the cached files at once.
To do that, go to Settings > Storage > Cached Data. When you see the option for delete all cache files, simply tap OK.

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How to Clear Cache on iOS?

To clear cached data from your iOS device, do as follows:

Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

what is cache data - Iphone settings

There are a few options under iPhone Storage. The first option is Offload Unused Apps, and it lets you clear the entire cache.

what is cache data - twitter settings

There is a second option that enables you to scroll through all apps. You can then select whichever app you would like to clear from your iOS device. The beauty of this is that Apple lists the apps in the order of memory usage. The app that consumes a lot of memory space will be at the top of the list.

Therefore, offload the individual apps to create more space on your device. Note that clearing the cache only eliminates temporary files. Your downloaded data and login credentials remain intact.

How to Clear cache from Recovery?

Note: This advanced method is risky, and it may damage your device. We won’t be responsible if this happens as we have already warned you. If you are experienced in rooting your device, you can proceed with these steps. You can also proceed if you have learned these steps thoroughly and the type of device you are using on the Internet. 

For abnormalities on how your app perfumes or if it hangs most of the time, you can use the bootloader to clear the system cache partition. To do this:

  • Turn off your device.
  • You should Google first before proceeding since these methods apply differently depending on the device you are using. By holding on a combination of keys, load into your bootloader screen. Press the Power button and the Volume down button at the same time. Again, this will depend on the device you are using.
  • Navigate using the volume keys since the touchscreen won’t work at this moment.
  • On Recovery, tap press on the Power button to select it.
  • Head to the Wipe cache partition and select it by tapping on the Power button.
  • Once the cache files are cleared, tap on the Reboot system now.

This process of wiping the cache partition is done after any firmware upgrade or OTA update.

clear cache in android

How to Clear Cache on Chrome?

Step 1: Run Chrome

what is cache data - Clear cache on chrome

Step 2: Select the menu option with three dots (top right)

Clear cache on chrome

Step 3: Go down to More Tools and select

what is cache data - Clear cache on chrome

 

Step 4: Select Clear Browsing Data

what is cache data - Clear cache on chrome

Step 5: Tick “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files.”

Clear cache on chrome

Step 6: Select the time range at the top of the dialogue box and hit clear data.

what is cache data - Clear cache on chrome

How to Clear cache on Mozilla Firefox?

Step 1: Run your Mozilla Firefox browser

mozilla firefox

Step 2: Go the cogwheel at the top right

what is cache data - mozilla firefox

Step 3: Click Preferences

mozilla firefox

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Step 4: Select “Privacy and Security.”

what is cache data - mozilla firefox

Step 5: You should be able to see the “Cookies and Site Data” option.

mozilla firefox

Step 6: You can either select “Manage Data” and select whichever sites you would like to clear or simply click the “Clear data” option to clear everything.

what is cache data - mozilla firefox

Clear Cache on Safari

Step 1: Run your browser

clear the cache on Safari

Step 2: Go to the top bar and click Safari

what is cache data - clear the cache on Safari

Step 3: Click Preferences

what is cache data - clear the cache on Safari

Step 4: A box with several tabs will appear. Select advanced.

what is cache data - clear the cache on Safari

Step 5: Scroll down and tick the “Show Development menu in the menu bar.”

clear the cache on Safari

Step 6: Go back to the top bar, then hover over the Develop menu.

what is cache data - clear the cache on Safari

Step 7: Click the clear cache option.

clear the cache on Safari

What Happens After Clearing Cache?

The app will start to work normally once you clear all the cache data that was lagging it. That’s because you will have extra storage space on your phone. The downside is that all the data that was used to smooth performance will not be there. This means that it will need some time before it catches up. The app will build up the cache again after a while, depending on how you use it. When you clear cache files, you are not going to lose game progress or browser bookmarks. You will also not be forced to log into apps again since you won’t lose login info.

How Often Should I Clear My Cache?

The frequency at which you should clear your cache depends on the volume of your searches and how frequently you search. It also depends on the behavior of your device. Is it fast or getting slower? However, slowness doesn’t always mean your cache memory is full. Other factors such as malware infiltration and incompatibility of software components contribute to slowness too.

Having said that, clear the data that you really don’t need or use frequently. That is the only way to be sure the cache is not the cause of slowness. Therefore, clear your cache as soon as you begin noticing sluggishness on your device. You can as well clear from the hard drive files you don’t need. Note that keeping tons of videos on your phone or computer contributes to slowness.

Safe Way to Free Up Space in Android 

Your phone’s storage space is very important as it determines how your phone performs. The best way to free up space from your Android phone is to clear unused cache files. It is also a great way to troubleshoot app issues. However, avoid clearing cached data all the time or use third-party apps that are not reliable to do it.

Final Thoughts

Cached data makes searching for information on the web and your device fast. But the data stored on your cache memory keeps pilling and crams the cache. It occasions slowness on your device. Therefore, it is advisable to free up space on your cache by removing data that you no longer need. Clearing your cache improves the performance of your device.

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