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.

The app cache (and how to clear it)

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 a web browser, it'll save images you've seen 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.

  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 app's data, including usernames and passwords, game progress, etc,

Cool gear for your phone

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.

If you're using the Pixel 3, too, you need to check out these great accessories!

Google Pixel Stand ($80 at Amazon)

The Google Pixel Stand is more than a wireless charging stand — it's designed by Google to turn your phone into a bedside alarm clock that does more thanks to Google Assistant. You'll also be able to enjoy a slideshow of your best photos as your phone charges.

Spigen Liquid Crystal ($10 at Amazon)

For those who love to show off their new phones without compromising on protection, the Spigen Liquid Crystal clear case is a go-to option. This case delivers added protection where it matters most — the edges and corners of the phone — without adding too much extra bulk. Also available for the Pixel 3 XL.

Mr Shield Tempered Glass Screen Protector 3-pack ($6 at Amazon)

Google sells a premium tempered glass screen protector through its store, but we'll hedge our bets and also recommend this 3-pack of tempered glass screen protectors. With a lifetime replacement warranty and this price, how can you lose? Also available for the Pixel 3 XL.

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