How to clear the cache and free up space on Android

On many Android phones and tablets storage space is at a premium. Some devices have a very limited amount of internal storage, and though you can save large files—such as your movie and music collection—onto an SD card if the device supports one, all your apps will still go into the main storage area. Once this starts to fill up you’ll be restricted on what you can do with your device.



clean-master

It is possible to free up some space on your Android device by clearing the cache. The cache is an area where apps and the OS store data temporarily so that they can retrieve it more quickly later.

Generally speaking the cache is a good thing as it will help make the performance of your device smoother. If you’ve got a device with plenty of internal storage to spare then you can leave the cache alone. Android will clear it out as and when.

If you’re light on space, though, clearing it will give you more room to install apps.

There are two ways to do it. The first is a simple method available in the Android OS; the second uses a third party app and gives you greater control of exactly what you are deleting. We’ll look at both techniques in this tutorial.



Android’s clear cache function

Clearing the cache in Android is very simple. Go to Settings > Storage and you will see a breakdown of how the storage on your device is being used.

cached-data

Scroll down to where it says Cached data, tap it then tap OK to confirm. The cache will now be cleared. Note that this won’t include things like game saves or downloaded music within a streaming app like Spotify.

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Use Clean Master to clear your cache

For more control over what you are deleting download and install Clean Master from the Play Store. The app is free.

Launch Clean Master and tap Junk Files. The app will now calculate how much space is being used not only by the cache, but by unused files and folders such as the remnants of uninstalled apps.

clean-junk

From the results screen that opens the first category is called Memory boost and lists apps that can be closed to free up RAM. You can leave this ticked if you want, but can ignore it.

The next category is Cache junk. This shows the contents of the cache, and what is in it. Leave all of this ticked.

Scroll down further to the next category, Residual junk files. This is stuff that has been left over from uninstalled apps. Double check that there’s nothing listed here that shouldn’t be, but this is also safe to delete.

Now tap Clean Junk to clear everything that was ticked in the above categories.

cleaning

Free up even more space

You can also use Clean Master to tidy up the rest of your storage area. Tap the Advanced button to scan the storage—from the results screen you’ll see all your big files and folders listed. They will include useful things like gallery thumbnails, which will make your photo album load faster, as well as game downloads and movies. Be careful about anything you choose to delete from here because you cannot undo the action once it has gone.