Do you have a friend who gets a brand-new phone every six months? Maybe their extravagance irritates you. Maybe you find yourself sounding older than you actually are, bemoaning planned obsolescence and singing the praises of a day when things were built to last. If you’re one of these people, (I know I am) odds are you hang onto your phone for a while. And if you and your phone have a long-term relationship, odds are you need to clear up some space. Well, thankfully there are a few easy ways to do that, like cleaning out your cache data. Here’s how to clear cache on a Samsung phone in 6 easy steps:
Step 1: Open Settings
Open your Samsung phone’s Settings app. Do this by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping on the gear-shaped icon at the top right of the screen.
Step 2: Tap Device Care
Scroll down in the Settings menu until you reach the tab labeled “Device Care.” Tap it.
Step 3: Open Apps Not Used Recently
Depending upon the model of phone you have, you may have to scroll until you come to the tab “Apps Not Recently Used.” If you don’t see this option and a list of apps just appears, skip this step. If you see it, tap it. You may first need to choose either “Memory” or “Storage” before seeing the list of apps in “Device Care”.
Step 4: Clean Cache on Your Phone
Click on “Clean Cache” (or “Clean Now” depending on the model of your phone) and the cache for that apps you have selected will be cleared.
Step 5: Open Apps in Settings
Steps 5 to 8 are in case you were unable to clean the cache on your phone through the “Device Care” tab.
In this case, scroll down in the Settings app and open the “Apps” tab.
Step 6: Select Your App
Select the app from which you wish to clear the cache. Preferably, select an app that is using a lot of space and that you don’t use very often.
Step 7: Click Storage
Once you’ve selected the app, there should be a few pieces of information, such as how much memory and battery it is using. One of these should say “Storage.” Depending on the model of your phone, it may say “Memory,” “Data” or even “Cache.”
Step 8: Clean Cache on Your Phone
Click on “Clean Cache” (or “Clean Now” depending on the model of your phone) and the cache for that app will be cleared.
Just repeat steps 6-8 as needed for each app for which you wish to clear the cache data.
What is Cache?
Have you ever noticed that the second, third, and fourth times you visit an app or website have a faster load time than the first? Well, that’s thanks to cache (pronounced “cash”). Your phone, tablet, or computer actually saves pieces of data such as scripts, files, and multimedia like images or video, and stores them for easy access in case of repeat visits to a site or app. Think of it as your phone hanging on to the guide map of your first visit. That way, the next visit is smoother because your phone is better equipped to get its bearings quickly.
How Are Cache Files Different From Other Data Files?
There are two major differences between cache data files and other data files. The first is that cache data files are temporary, whereas other data files aren’t necessarily. The second major difference is that cache data files are high-priority files. In short, they are very high in the data hierarchy. That’s basically just a fancy way of saying that when given two commands to access data, your phone will prioritize certain pieces of data over others. At the top of the hierarchy are your CPU functions, which are essential for your phone to function at all. You might find it surprising, however, that cache data is second only to these essential pieces of functional CPU data on the priority list.
Getting a bit more technical, cache data addresses the problem of CPUs being much faster than device memory. In the past, when a CPU would issue a command for a memory file, the CPU would have to wait for quite a few of its own cycles in order for the device to have time to accommodate the request. Cache files have extremely low latency, so they can be accessed very quickly, thus eliminating the wait time for the CPU.
Why Should I Clear the Cache?
Naturally, all this stored data adds up and, in a bit of technological irony, an overloaded storage drive can slow down your phone. Yes, a process that was designed to speed up your phone’s loading time can actually have the opposite effect. The upside of this is that you can take action and improve the situation. As I mentioned, cache files are intended to be temporary, so if you are not using an app as often as others, there are only upsides as far as clearing out the app’s cache data.
Also, the next time you open the app all this essential data will be re-cached, so while you may have a longer loading time on that particular occasion, you will have enjoyed the benefits of a phone that isn’t bogged down carrying unnecessary data. There’s also the off-chance that you might inadvertently fix a glitch by removing a corrupted file in while clearing the cache.
Clearing Cache on Samsung Phones
With the importance of clearing out your cache data established, you may wonder if there is a quick, easy way to clear out the cache from all your apps at once. Well, if you’re one of those people I mentioned in the intro who hangs onto your phone for a while, you might be in luck. Some older versions of Android phones allow you to clear out unused files system-wide. Newer models, however, are missing this feature. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If you are experiencing performance issues, one app is typically the culprit. And there can be benefits to saving cache on certain apps. Twitter, for example, will remember where you last stopped scrolling, thanks to cache data. In other apps like Reddit, purple links turn blue when you clear the cache, eliminating the tool that lets you know what you’ve already clicked on. So, newer models forcing you to delete the cache from apps individually could have some benefits.
Internet Cache on Samsung Phones
So far we’ve only talked about clearing the cache data from your apps, but there is one app in particular that could be bogging down your phone’s performance, and that is your web browser. Whether you use Samsung Internet, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or any other browser, as you surf, your net browser is accumulating data like cache, cookies, and browser history. If you only revisit a handful of the same websites, this may not be an issue. But if you are like most people who use their web browser for everything from shopping to news, to random errands like looking for an affordable mechanic in your area, you should start here.
Clearing the Cache on Samsung Phones: Conclusion
There may be some debate about whether clearing out the cache from your phone is a good habit to get into. On one hand, those cache data files can speed up the loading process on an individual app. On the other hand, unnecessary clutter slows down your phone’s overall performance. This will probably have to be a judgment call on your part. Are there apps you don’t use often with cache data cluttering up your storage? It may be time for some spring cleaning. But also, it may not be in your best interest to become a neat freak, cleaning out the cache obsessively. As in all things, moderation and balance are key.