5

Ever since I updated Device Care on my Samsung Galaxy A10s running Android Pie, I lost my "Clear Space" option that clears unnecessary data, including cache of all apps including system apps on my phone!

Since, I'm not installing any third party apps, for this purpose, I decided to manually "clear cache" of any desired apps from Settings > Apps > App name and tapping Clear Cache. To my surprise, I found the Gallery app has about half a GB of cache, and I immediately cleared it.

I realize that apps cache stuff to improve performance, predict data to auto fill on text boxes, and various other stuff, to improve user experience. But that's taking up a lot of my Internal memory!

My question is :

  • Is this a safe practice?

  • Will this procedure damage the executable or normal functioning of my app?

  • Or, whether all these are dependent on the App developer / manufacturer ?

  • For default apps like Gallery or Chrome is this a safe practice?

1
  • 2
    it is always safe but consider emmc wear-out for apps like gallery (thumbnails or other preview stuff will generated for the same files each time again) – alecxs May 28 '20 at 4:51
8

Clearing cache of apps is one of the to-do things if your app is laggy, unresponsive or misbehaving.

It's absolutely safe, unlike clearing data of apps which makes you lose all the app data, accounts, settings etc.

For 1,4 a definite yes. For 2, 3 it is no. Re: safety being app dependent, it is possible that the cache is used for storing data and in the process of clearing cache, one may lose data. This is not a recommended way of app development, also mentioned in developer documentation and more of an exception, owing to bad practices.

Android framework shows a "Storage Low" notification when the free storage space reaches a minimum threshold. But even before that when free space is 1.5 times (as of Android 10) of the threshold, apps cache is cleared to free space as much as possible before warning the user. Since Android 8 apps are allotted filesystem quota to store cache files within given limits. Apps reaching or exceeding quotas are given priority when clearing caches.

For more, see

You don't want to install third party apps but I would recommend even making it a scheduled operation (in case you frequently need to) for which I find SD Maid an excellent option (even the free version would do and I am not promoting this app, I am only recommending based on personal experience).

3
  • It's not absolutely safe. Some apps put data in the cache that you wouldn't necessarily expect. I know one texting app that stores draft attachments in the cache, so if you have a saved draft, you'd lose the attachment when the cache is cleared. It's usually safe enough to not worry about though. – Mooing Duck May 28 '20 at 17:58
  • 1
    @MooingDuck. Thanks. Get your point. Cache isn't meant for storing app data, though possible. This is pretty much non - standard stuff and what would happen if the cache was cleared automatically as mentioned in the last paragraph? OS isn't going to check if actual data is stored or not before clearing the cache. I would rather avoid such apps and developers. But as a user, you don't check, so you have a point, with probability of occurrence being very, very low. – beeshyams May 28 '20 at 19:04
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    @MooingDuck such is a poorly designed app. From documentation: “If you need to store sensitive data only temporarily, you should use the app's designated cache directory... the files stored in this directory are removed when the user uninstalls your app, although the files in this directory might be removed sooner.” and “Caution: When the device is low on internal storage space, Android may delete these cache files to recover space.” – Irfan Latif May 29 '20 at 2:50

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