An application cache is the data stored temporarily on our device whenever we use an application. With every website visited or application opened comes a bartering of information on the device.
The user gets to enjoy the content in exchange for which device they are using, location info, which browser they are using, time spent on a page, and other user behaviours.
Cached data are scripts, images, files, and other multimedia files stored on our device after visiting a website or opening an application for the time.
The cache files allow the website or application to load faster when revisiting it next time. However, these cache files will rebuild next time you visit the website or use the application.
Applications like YouTube, Google News, Spotify save information as cache data. These cache data includes search history, video thumbnails, or snippets of video stored temporarily on the device to minimize the redundancy of having to ask the user to pull up information from the internet frequently.
Why cache data exists
The main reason why cached data exist is to minimize the time needed by users to pull up from the internet. Whenever we visit a website or use an app for the first time, cache files are being stored on our device, whether it is a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
The cache data stored consists of some on-page elements of the app or website that will make it load faster next time.
Is cached data important?
Since the cached data is considered as a temporary file stored on the device, this makes it sound like it is not really important.
However, its existence on the device can help improve the user’s experience. Caches enable on-page elements like videos, images, and text that ultimately slows our phone down to be loaded quickly.
Cached data helps quicken the process of loading an application or website. Although the cached data is helpful to our devices; it can take up storage space, and it may, over a period of time, even get corrupted.
Should I clear my cache?
You should have a reason for clearing the cache data on our devices because we will eventually be revisiting the websites or reopening the applications again. The cache data will be restored, and the cycle will continue.
However, if you find out that our device memory is being drained from the cached data stored on it, then we should probably clear it. Also, when websites are not loaded with the latest data on our devices, you should probably clear the cached data.
After all, the cached data isn’t going to affect the performance of the application or website; it just means the cache files on it will have to be restored next time you open it.
In addition, clearing the cache data on our device isn’t a solid method to free up storage space because it is going to appear again after using the application, or revisiting the website that created it before.
How to clear cached data
When websites that we visit are not loaded with the latest data on our devices, for example, smartphone, laptop, or tablets. It could be as a result of the cached data stored on it.
The following are the steps to clear cached data on our devices:
1. How to clear cached data on PC
- Open your browser on your PC either Firefox, Chrome or Microsoft Edge
- Press the keys CTRL+SHIFT+DEL on your keyboard, and a new tab will be opened. The new tab will show a list of options to select from, for example, history, temporary services, temporary internet etc
- Then we can select clear now or continue to wipe out the cached data
2. How to clear cached data on android devices
- Go to Settings on your phone or tablets by pulling down the notification shade and tapping on the gear icon on the top.
- Look for storage and click on it
- Now tap on Cached Data
- Then a pop-up screen will show on the screen asking for us confirmation
- Tap on OK to completely remove all cached data from the system
To clear app cache data for a specific application on android:
- Go to Settings on your device
- Then search for applications and click on it
- Here you will find all the apps on your system, tap on the app for which you want to clear the data
- Then tap on Clear Cache to wipe the cache data for the specific app only
3. How to clear the cached data on iOS devices
- Go to Settings >> General >> iPhone Storage
- Then scroll down to Search for the application that you want to clear the Cache data ( Apple will list applications from the highest usage of memory to lowest )
- Simply offload the individual app to free up some temporary space on your device
Lastly, once we clear our phone cache data, we will notice that your apps may take slightly longer to open. This is happening because it needs time to recreate the cache files again.
We will find that the second time you use the same apps, they will open faster.