Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How to Wipe Cache Partition and Clear Data on Android

Going through your phone’s settings is a really good idea to make sure everything is all good and well. Some of the things you could stumble on are the Clear Cache and Clear Data options. There’s also something called the “cache partition,” which is different from the individual app caches. This tutorial explains how to wipe cache partition and clear data on Android.

Why do these all exist? What are the differences? What is their significance? And most importantly, is it possible to clear them when you need to free up space on your Android device? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Android app data, Android app cache, and Android system cache partition.

What is App Data on Android?

Anytime you install an app, either from the Google Play Store or by downloading a third-party APK, the executable app file along with any necessary runtime library files are stored in the system’s /data/app directory. This directory is inaccessible by file explorer, unless you root your device.

Each installed app also gets its own directory for private data, located in the system’s /data/data directory. This directory is also inaccessible except by rooting your device.

From the moment that you start to operate your Android apps, certain settings and inputs get stored between sessions. For example, logging into an app and checking “Remember me” will store your details to private data. Data also stores things like account settings, app preferences, etc.

Some apps (like Spotify or YouTube Music) may store offline audio data, while others (like Maps) may store offline map data. This can take up excess storage space than you were expecting, so it can be useful to know how to wipe app data in case your storage space runs low.

Clearing App Data on Android Phones

Clearing app data is basically removing all off the private info that was ever stored ever since you started using the app. In a way, it can be said to restore the app back to factory setting.

To clear app data for a specific Android app follow the steps below:

  • Open Settings.
  • Navigate to Apps.
  • Tap on the app you want to clear.
  • Tap on Clear Data.

What is App Cache on Android?

In simple terms, a cache is a special kind of storage that stores frequently accessed files and data. The purpose of cache is to make future access to those files and data faster, because cache storage is optimized for quick loading. The downside is that cache storage is limited and takes up space on your device. It can be said to be the Short- Term Memory of your device.

The more you use an Android app, the more you may need to periodically access data from the internet—for example, images. Instead of downloading a specific image every time it needs to be displayed on the screen, an app might store that image in the app’s cache. It’s immediately available the next time you need to display it, plus you save on bandwidth.

Clearing App Cache On Android Phones

Sometimes cached data can fall out of sync with what the data should actually be, which can lead to out-of-date information. Other times, the cache may fill up with too much data, which can reduce app performance. When this occurs, it can help to clear an app’s cache.

Cached data is meant to be temporary, so there’s no harm or risk in clearing an app’s cached data. To clear the cache for a specific Android app:

  • Open Settings.
  • Navigate to Apps.
  • Tap on the app you want to clear.
  • Tap on Clear Cache.

Also read: How to Fix the “Message Blocking is Active” on Android and iOS

What is the System Cache and What Data is Stored There?

Before the reign of Nougat, Android formerly used a system cache to store system update files. Android has since moved away from that, preferring a different method for installing updates.

Many phones currently don’t even have a system cache now. If yours has a system cache, it will be on a different partition from your primary phone storage. Files stored there don’t take up any user-accessible space—clearing your system cache won’t allow you to download any new apps, store files, or save more cat photos.

The system cache is also different from cached app data, which is data stored by apps and specific to that particular app. For example, YouTube stores streamed music in its cache file for faster (and offline) playback. Every app has its own cache file which is separate from the system cache file and does take up user-accessible space. Clearing that cache is a great way to free up space—just keep in mind that the app will rebuild the cache as you use it, so clearing it isn’t a permanent fix if you need more space.

How To Wipe Your Phone’s System Cache

To wipe your phone’s system cache, follow the steps below:

Firstly, restart the device in recovery mode. Do this by powering off the device, then press and hold the power and volume down button until the phone powers back on. If this fails, the button combination may be different on your device—refer to the user documentation if necessary.

Next, a password might be required. If so, enter your lock screen password to enter recovery mode.

On some devices, the touchscreen may work in recovery, allowing you to tap the option you want to select. On others, you’ll need to navigate the different options by pressing the volume up and down buttons, using the power button as the “enter” key.

From here, the process will be specific based on your kind of device, but what you’ll be looking for is a “Wipe cache” option of some kind. You may need to consult the user manual or guide for your particular device if you’re having issues.

Once you’ve found the correct option, however, select it. Since this is an irreversible decision, some devices may ask you to confirm that you want to proceed. Once you confirm, it should only take a few seconds to wipe that partition clean.

When it completes, use the reboot option in recovery to boot your phone back into the OS. Your phone will power up normally, and you’re all set!

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Diekola Yusuf
Diekola Yusufhttps://www.novabach.com
Founder & CEO of Novabach - Yusuf is a Tech enthusiast. Fascinated by Computers and all sorts of Technology. He writes news, updates, walkthroughs, guides, troubleshooting tips, and how-to tutorials on gadgets and consumer electronics.

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