Why I never clear the cache on Android

Everyone wonders at least once if it’s time to clean the smartphone’s cache. For those who do this all the time they properly erase the data the system and applications have accumulated. Why would they do that? Some people try to simply keep their device clean, whereas others believe clearing the cache will increase system performance and others do it simply because everyone else does. As a follower of a rational approach in everything, I don’t clear my cache at all. I’ll explain why.

The cache does not harm, but helps. So do not delete it
The cache does not harm, but helps. So do not delete it

I’d be lying if I said I’ve never cleared the cache. I remember when 4 and 8 GB of memory were the norm and Android smartphones – even flagships – started to slow down as soon as they were taken out of the box. At that time, clearing the cache seemed to be a logical and quite effective way to prevent the built-in storage from overflowing and slowing down the operating system. That’s why cleaner applications were once one of the most popular downloads on Google Play. But today they don’t make any sense.

 

What is the cache and why is it needed?

The cache is a small amount of key data that applications, sites, and online services store on the device for quick access at start up. All modern programs are designed in such a way that they receive data from the cache faster than the remote source. In this sense, the cache is a technological analog of the habits the application learns and remembers, and then builds a model of interaction with you based on these habits.

Many people think the cache somehow clogs up the system and makes the smartphone slower, but this is not the case. On the contrary, they allow it to work faster because they don’t force it to process data again, but simply take it from a special storage partition. Browsers store information about frequently visited resources to spend less time downloading. Remove them and sites will start up slower. The same goes for other apps – from video sharing like YouTube and social networking sites like Facebook.

 

Do I need to clear the Cache on Android?

There’s no point in deleting cache files.

  • First of all, because with them all the applications and services that are installed on your smartphone start to work faster.
  • Secondly, they take so little space you won’t even notice them.
  • Third, cache files have the property of re-accumulating exactly as they were before.
The system cache removal tool disappeared from Android Nougat.
The system cache removal tool disappeared from Android Nougat.

Google has long-taught Android to work intelligently with cache files – both with the system and in applications. A major revolution in this area occurred in 2016 when Android 7.0 Nougat was released. Before then there was the possibility to reset the system cache in the recovery menu of the operating system, but after this option disappeared the result was even better than on iOS.

 

Why do apps take up so much space?

Let’s take Telegram on my iPad. Most often I use the messenger that comes with my Android smartphone, where the cache files are less than 70 MB, while on an iOS tablet they are about 30 times larger.  iOS caches most of the information it receives. That’s why photos, videos, and other media attachments pass through the device’s memory and stay there. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a feature of the system. Android behaves more rationally, downloading only key data.

I have not deleted the cache for several years and my devices work perfectly. I had no problems with the old LG G3, the LeEco Le 2, the Galaxy A51, or the Honor View 20. I must have had, like everyone else, a slowdown on old smartphones, but there’s no need to put all the blame on the cache that supposedly slows down the system. Nothing really happens and even if you erase the entire cache, you don’t get the hardware back to its former performance just because it’s outdated and stopped supporting all functional updates.

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