Unfortunately my phone has a total space of 5.52GB with no place for extra storage ... Sad, I know.. However my phone is constantly rejecting texts and won't keep an app open for more than 2 minutes without crashing. I clear my cached data almost every ten minutes. My phone isn't full by any means. I only have Facebook and Snapchat as apps and only 168MB of pictures and videos.

So I decided to dig a little deeper to figure out where all my storage is and under my Google Play services it says I have 3.9GB just there! What I'm wondering is what exactly Google Play Services entails. For example, what would I be losing if I cleared all of its data? Would I lose pictures and apps?


3 Answers 3


Google Play services offers APIs to other apps. Data used by Play services is mostly cached data for these APIs, duplicated data of Android wear apps synched with your phone and some kind of search index. If you delete this data, chances are Google Play services will just recreate it, although 3.9 GB is really much (mine only use 300 MB). But you won't delete any of your personal data by deleting Play services data.

  • 1
    Exactly. Chances are that you'll have to log in your Google account, but that's that.
    – Grimoire
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 15:15
  • I'd double-check that, @DeathMaskSalesman – these data might include the GSF android_id of the device, which is e.g. used for Cloud Messaging (GCM). Apps using GCM take that to register their interest. So if it's deleted and a new one created, those apps might stop receiving GCM notifications. Vaguely remember a warning from AOSP devs towards this. So clear its cache – yes, no issues with that. But its data? Not sure of possible side-effects.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 16:20
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    Here is it: Google engineer explains why you shouldn’t clear Google Services Framework data: This will then invalidate tokens used by any app that uses GCM, which includes almost all Google apps and a number of third party apps. […] Other apps will simply cease to get GCM-push notifications until they get a new GCM ID, which might take a while. Sure, these issues might not be a huge deal, but you will probably end up having to factory reset your device in order to fix them.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 16:29
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    @Izzy But aren't Google Play Services and Google Services Framework two separate packages? I had cleared data of my Play Services in at least 3 separate occasions on the same phone and signed in again each time with the same Google account, and nothing went wrong noticeably.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 16:32
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    @NVZ Oops – you might be right at that, and I might have confused the two (I'm no longer using GApps but microG). Thanks for bringing that up! So take my comment as "be careful do not confuse the two like Izzy did" :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 16:35

I just cleared all data used by Google Play services and my phone abruptly crashed. I rebooted it but it starts hanging for 2-5 secs every 10 secs or so. Most of my apps won't open and I get an "unfortunately stopped" message everytime I wait for it to open. However, all my datas ie. photos. music. videos etc. are intact. My phone is now unusable and I totally regret doing it.

However, I've found a solution. I cleared the cache of both Google Play services AND Google Play Store and it repaired itself automatically. (You'll need wifi for this to work tho.) Within a minute or two, it will fully restore itself back to normal.

  • 1
    Same thing happened to me. I cleared the data and the phone kept crashing every 10 seconds or so. However, clearing cache didn't work for me. I had to logout of my google account and login again.
    – AtulBhatS
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 5:08
  • I cleared all data and nothing bad seems to have happened. My phone did hang for a few minutes while it was deleting the 2 GB of data though.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 15:29

Here's what the Google Help forum suggests:

  1. Make sure you have an Internet or mobile data connection. Then, restart your device.
  2. Update the date and time on your device.
  3. Clear cache data for the Google Play Store app and Google Play Services (Go to Settings > Apps or Application Manager > Google Play Services > Clear cache > OK).
  4. Uninstall and reinstall the Play Store updates. (Go to Settings > Apps or Application Manager > Google Play Store app > Uninstall Updates > OK). As long as you have a strong Internet connection (Wi-Fi or mobile data), your Play Store app will update to the latest version within a few minutes.
  5. Install system updates. To do this, try the steps listed below:
    • Open your device's main Settings app.
    • Select About or System updates (depending on your device, this may be different).
    • If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to install it on your device.
    • Try your download again
  6. Restart your device.

If the issue still persists after having tried the above, the same place recommends removing and re-adding your Google account.

  • 5
    This is really not an answer to a "what would happen if" question by any stretch. Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 6:04
  • Well, I'd consider the question also rather a XY problem – the real question IMHO is to free storage, which is what my answer addresses, concerning the mentioned "space eater".
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 20:03

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