App cache-data

Apps sometimes can misbehave. Before you go reaching for that task killer (don't do it!) here's something else to try. Above is the screen you'll see if you go to Settings>Applications>Manage appliations and tap on an app. You've got a bunch of buttons and numbers. The top buttons are pretty self-explanatory -- force stop makes an app quit. Uninstall either uninstalls an app -- or if it's permanently loaded onto the phone (like the Android Market should be), you'll have the option to uninstall updates.

But when we have a misbehaving app, first thing we'll try is to clear the cache. That wipes out temporary files that might be causing trouble. Your app's still there, as are all your settings.

Clearing data is a little more drastic, basically giving you a clean installation of the app, with all of your settings and log-ins returned to zero. It's pretty much the same as uninstalling and reinstalling, just quicker.

So if you're having trouble with an app, try clearing then cache, or go all-out and clear data and see if that doesn't do it for you.

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Reader comments

Android 201: How (and when) to clear app cache or data


Good tip. I actually just had to do that with the market about a half hour ago when SeekDroid wouldn't update. I'll have to remember to let my non-android savvy family members know about this.

had a droid for two years. had to clear cache, do complete wipes, even had the keyboard quit because the cache was full.....switched to iphone 4 in june and have restarted once, have not had to adjust any settings,i get 12 to 15 hours battery every day, etc etc.....

Really? Then why are you in an android forum instead of trolling in an apple forum where all the apple fritters go to hang out and talk about customizing home to a larger new SD to the apple gods begging for hot caramel...

Yeah, well the Droid is *Ancient* by today's standards, Motorola has vastly improved models now. Me- I use HTC phones and have never seen anything you are talking about.

Why are you trolling on an Android forum, comparing an ancient Droid to a new iPhone 4? Either you have no life, or you are very insecure about your switch.

had a iphone for two months, had to do alot of reading on how to jailbreak and what to use, even after the jailbreak had to keep reading on what updates to get, and not to do. constantly having to use itunes for even the smallest thing on iphone..Never finding any app worth having for FREE, swithched to a droid in March and havent had to do ANY of that at all like I did with the greedy apple iphone. I get apps worth having for FREE, etc, etc

I'm not saying you are making that up. But, I've had the exact same Galaxy S3 for over 2 years. Android 4.1.2. Came with it, still has it. I've never once had to even clear the cache for any app, let alone delete the data. Just saying, maybe it depends on the phone. Maybe the Android version. Maybe the exact day the hardware was made on and under which star system they were created on... right? Because somehow, our Androids do great, and yours are full of problems. It goes both ways, people who say their Androids are great and their iPhones were trash. All I can say is Android has treated me very good... although I've never had an iPhone.

Enough with the flaming. Each phone has it's own traits which make it good for the individual at hand, not for everyone. With 500,000+ activated devices every day there is a need for articles like this for people that aren't familiar with Android.

No phone is perfect. Android phones have issues, as do iPhones, Blackberries, WP7 devices, etc. My boss's iPhone had a bad sync the other day and completely froze in recovery mode on her. I've seen Android phones freeze and Blackberries need hard reboots because Bluetooth stopped working, and the phone refused to restart normally. Anyone who thinks any device is perfect hasn't had much experience with these beasts.

Does anyone know why you can not clear data on the Market app since Gingerbread? - At least on the HTC Incredible it is grayed out. When it starts acting up, its hard to tame now.

I love my DROID2.all I have been dointhe last few days is read forums. My Droid somehow got the 2.3.e update. I did not realize the significance at first but it gave the chance to learn my device the right way. In my ignorance, I have been teying to root my phone all day. Now I understand that I need to revert it back to 2.2, root that, then upgrade back to 2.3.3 and root that. I just don't want to make any major mistakes. Will be moving up to a DROID 3 this weekend so this will make good practice. My thanks to everyone for all the input. I did not realize how much one could so differnt from another of the same m odel and OS. I look forward to putting everyones hard work to good use. Thanks again.

dude, not trolling. still very interested in android, and besides...the wife is still liking her droid x. it just seems android is not where it needs to be. sorry i pissed in your cereal. try not to take things so serious. if someone was to read this and be on the edge about what phone to go with, they have some insight. have a nice day!!!

oh, and when i said droid,that included three weeks with the droid 3 having the same issues. i exchanged that phone for the iphone. i should have tried an htc since they seem to be the best reviewed ones, but i am sticking with the iphone for now. :)

its really annoying how the app cache takes from your available app space. I could have 400MB of space, browse the YouTube player, then look back and that took 10MB of space, like wth...I have to keep going in and clearing cache to get my 10MB back..

I use an app called CacheCleaner NG to keep my app cache usage low. I hope that Google improves Android OS to automatically handle app cache as they do with task killing. It took me 4 factory resets to realize my app cache issue. I'm sure the less tech savvy users won't know this issue is hitting them unless pointed out.

Btw, thanks AC! I just requested this topic in the RAM article comments. Speedy feedback.

This is a great article! Thanks Phil. I've always known about cache problems, but what I still don't know are:

1) Where are these files exactly located?
2) What is the advantage to keeping these files vs. clearing them out?
3) Why doesn't Android do a better job of maintaining cache files?

Thanks for the tips. I am new to Android and it will have to do unless some company buys web os and puts it on some good hardware. Web OS is much easier to use.

But thanks again Android is ok for now.

hi, i had a problem with my GFive president G7 android 4.2.2 jelly bean phone.when i trying to download skype from playstore then at the end it give"unknown error code during application install -24" so i checked it on internet.some people says install root browser and then go to data/data/folder and delete the relevant application(skype)but i couldnot get that folder but when i opened data folder there is nothing in there. some says go to setting and then apps and google play store and clear all data and restart your phone i done that but still same message.after that i did restore factory and start my phone from the start and try to download skype still same message.please help me i will be very thankfull to android phone got 1GB RAM and 4GB ROM and 1.3GHz CPU.please help me.

I never had a real understanding of data vs cache, never had a real need to but things started to get weird. I've been playing games trying to find out what is going on for a while now and then I had this urge to find out what the data and cache were. It's only been a couple hours since I cleared the cache on 4 or 5 apps and I have seen a remarkable improvement - thanks.

Yes this was very helpful considering I can't download a thing . I was scared to clear my cashe because didn't know if it was safe or not. Thank you .

This is probably off the subject but I hope someone can help me. If my photos are synced to Facebook do I still need to save them in my gallery? And in My Files there are lots of file folders that are empty. Can I remove those? And what about photos that are duplicates? I am constantly running out of space but I'm too afraid to clear anything, especially family photos. I could really use some help! Thanks everyone!

How to clear cache when all i can see on my phone is black and keep on popping up that "unfortunately, nova launcher has stopped?" PLS. HELP ME!!!

Hello all,i have had this annoying message for like 6+ months on my galaxy s4 ,stating sd card is blank or has corrupted files.. please format etc. ....tried lots of apps remedy,but to no avail, btw all of my pics n files are on my sd card are just fine?! Any help greatly appreciated☺ thanx in advance.........