Have you ever encountered a problem, or an error, while using an app on your Android smartphone? In such situations, what advice have you got from people? You might have heard “clear your app data”, or probably “clear your cache data”. Why so? Have you really tried to apply both, and see what happens?
Both of these solutions have turned out to be a boon for majority of Android smartphone mobile apps users. However, very few of them actually know the difference between both. In fact, most of them apply the solution, without even knowing what it really does.
Anyways, for those not knowing anything about what both the strategies do, and for the ones who know the strategies, but don’t know the difference between the two, we have differentiated both of them clearly in this article , so that next time when you get in a fix you know exactly what to do.
Clearing Cache Data
Cache data is a temporary storage, where all those temporary data related to internet surfing and default apps is stored, namely form details, saved passwords, web history, surfed pages, scanning default apps, closing unused default apps, etc. The idea behind storing temporary data is to speed up the smartphone and the web surfing, so that users get the site, as well as a default app opens up quickly. Moreover, users also get the advantage of not filling up the login forms, or form details, and hence data processing become smoother as well as faster.
If you haven’t had the experience dealing with cache data, just do an experiment with your smartphone camera. Whenever you restart your Android phone, notice how slowly the camera starts, when you tap upon the camera icon. Subsequently, after that, your camera opens up quickly, whenever you tap upon the icon subsequent times. This increase in the loading speed, after the first trial, is all thanks to the saved cached data, which retrieves the camera app processing data, making things faster for the user.
It even applies to the saved Internet related cached data. Whenever opening up a website for the first time, you might find some delay in the loading time. However, when you open the same website second, third, or subsequent times, the website will load faster than what have been experienced on your first attempt. This goes true, even in the case of pages filled with large sized multimedia elements. The reason being, all those multimedia files are now already stored in the cached data, and hence whenever you visit the website subsequent times, all those files are retrieved directly, not hampering the loading speed.
When it comes to Android, there is no need to manually handle these cached data. Android is highly capable of managing things on its own. You need to manage the OS, only if the performance speed is slower, or memory storage becomes full. Clearing the cache data means, you are clearing up the unwanted temporary files related to the Internet, or closing the default apps that are still open, and the ones you are not using.
Clearing Application Data
This is a more serious solution, as compared to the previous one. While clearing cache data has little to no risk, clearing app data will delete or remove all the saved states, preferences, settings, in addition to cache. You will have your apps move to the default state, the one where you used to be when you first downloaded, and installed an app.
As an example, say you have installed a fitness app, and saved necessary settings related to sound, length of exercise, or more. Once you clear the app data, you will no longer have current settings in place. Clearing cache data will only close your app, but clearing app data will let the Settings go back to default mode, with all your current settings gone, and need to set things all over again.
Clearing app data is beneficial, if an app is not behaving as you have expected. With so many apps flooding the Android Play Store, it is bound to have apps on your phone that are incomplete, and full of bugs or errors. You can only expect such apps to stop working anytime, or probably show malware when least expected. In such a scenario, it becomes vitally important to bring the apps back to the normal factory state, preventing your Android phone to allow outside attackers, breaching the mobile security.
Which strategy to apply, and when?
When it is about freeing the memory space from useless data, you might want to get all the cache data cleared, holding unnecessary gigabytes of space. However, when your apps encounter a serious problem, and the only option is to go back to the default state, then resetting app data is a more viable option, to get rid of bugs or errors that have already penetrated the app, and might penetrate your phone as well.
Steps to clear cached or app data
The process for both remain the same. Just systematically follow the below steps, and clear your phone from unnecessary data:
1. Go to “Settings” menu
2. Go to “Apps” submenu
3. Tap on “All” tab
4. Tap on a specific app
5. Choose between “Clear Cache” or “Clear Data”
Are performance boosting apps for real?
There are many apps on Play Store currently, claiming to be performance boosting apps. They work on the fundamental of boosting device performance by cleaning things with one-touch button interface. What they do is just ending the processes, as well as clearing up the cache, which can be eventually done without an app.
You do require some manual efforts, but at the end you will get the same results, as you might expect from an app. Do not get into the habit of cleaning up things manually every now and then, since it is not required. Only if you are dealing with an extensive memory space utilization, or apps behaving in an unexpected manner, you might need to implement any of the above solutions.
Some final thoughts to conclude our discussion
Neither clearing cache data is a better option, nor clearing data is a more viable alternative. Both have its share of different purposes to solve. When you want to free up fully utilized memory space, you need to eliminate the unnecessary temporary data, and hence clearing cache data is suitable. When it is about fixing apps, operating in an unnatural way, leading to bugs, errors, or even viruses, then clearing app data is more convenient.
Do identify what can have your Android phone deliver better performance, and the actual issue hampering your operations. Accordingly, apply the appropriate solution, without seeking out for performance boosting apps, which basically do the same job as you do.