Every Android smartphone has an application manager that you can get to through the settings menu. It's usually in the top level somewhere, though it can vary a little by phone. But once you get to it, you're at the heart of the matter. This is where you can see every application that's installed on your phone or tablet. And it's a handy place to clean things up a bit should they go wonky.

As you use applications, they start storing files to reference later. These files are stored in an app "cache." For instance: When you're using the Android Central app, it'll save images and other pieces of the stories you've read so that they don't have to be downloaded each and every single time the app needs them. This saves you time and data.

But maybe you want to clear an app's cached data, either to regain some used space or to try to fix a misbehaving app. This is how you can do it.

Products used in this guide

How to clear the app cache

  1. Open the Settings of your phone.
  2. Tap the Storage heading to open its settings page.

    • if your phone runs Android Oreo or earlier, you'll want to open the App Manager settings page.

  3. Tap the Other Apps heading to see a list of your installed apps.
  4. Find the application you want to clear the cache of and tap its listing.

  5. Tap the Clear cache button.

The next time you use the app, it will download everything it needs from the internet like it did the first time you used it. Clearing cached data does not clear other data like logins or saved games. This often fixes things, especially when an app pulls its content from a website that always changing and adding more content. If you want to clear the storage completely, repeat these steps and choose the Clear storage button in the final step. Warning: This will clear all of the apps data, including usernames and passwords, game progress, etc,

Our top equipment picks

Android phone

Pixel 3

Pure Google

These instructions work for any phone, but the Google Pixel 3 offers Android without any drastic changes to the software and makes the perfect showcase. It's also one of the best smaller phones you can buy.

All Android phones cache application data the same way, but some manufacturers offer separate tools to keep apps in check. We're using the Pixel 3 in this guide because it demonstrates the process without using any extra software in case your phone doesn't have any installed. The Pixel 3's simple software makes it easy to show how to do things manually.