Clear Data Vs Clear Cache on Mobile – The Differences

By John Adebimitan

Clearing the cache and clearing the data of an app are two different features that can optimize the performance of your mobile device.  

So, clear data vs clear cache on mobile, which should you do, and what does each of these do to your device?

In this article, we’ll see the differences between clearing data vs clearing cache on mobile and in which cases you would need to carry out each of these.

What Happens When You Clear Cached Data?

Clearing the cached data will delete temporarily stored data such as images, scripts, files, and other multimedia stored on your device while using an app or visiting a site for the first time.

The main function of the cache is to locally store data that can be reused or revisited, such as images. This feature aims to make the user experience more pleasant and to shorten loading times in applications, in addition to saving your data plan.

For example, when you visit Facebook on your browser, the logo for example is cached. Thus, the logo will be recalled from your cache each time you visit the app.

However, over time, the amount of cached data can become enormous and can paradoxically cause your device to slow down.

Keep in mind that cached files are not essential to the proper functioning of the application but are there for user experience needs. So, you can always delete them.

How to clear your cache?

Now that you understand the concept of cache and the reasons why it is worth emptying it, follow the procedure below to delete it:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to the section dedicated to application management, i.e. Apps & Notifications
  3. Find and select the app you want, or a heavily used one
  4. Tap on Storage & Cache or Storage Memory and Clear Cache, as the case may be

In case you want to do a big cleanup, rather than clearing the cache for every single app installed on your device, you can save time by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on Storage >> Internal storage (depending on your device) >> Cached data and clear all cached data quickly.

Also, there are dedicated apps that can be used to clear the cache. Among the most used apps are App Cache Cleaner, Phone Master, or Android Assistant.

What Does Clear Data Do on Android?

The Clear Data option is a feature that can be used to permanently delete all data collected since you installed, launched, and started using an app. When you clear an app’s data, you leave the app as newly installed, clearing its cache as well.

So, when you open the application again, it will load as if it were the first time of using it. Depending on the app, you’ll be asked to log in or have all the basic initializations done.

How to clear an app’s data

Clearing an application’s data is a different operation than clearing the cache but the procedure for clearing an app’s data isn’t all that different from the one shown above:

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Apps and select the app whose data you want to delete.
  • Click on Clear data and viola!

Clear Data Vs Clear Cache on Mobile – What Should You Do?

If your mobile phone suddenly starts performing slowly, some apps are freezing, or your phone is getting hot due to heavy use. You may start by clearing your cache. You can clear the cache individually stored by each app or the entire mobile phone cache.

A quick way to clear the cache is by simply rebooting it; this way, all apps will be stopped and all caches cleared with no data lost.

The Clear Data option is usually only used in very exceptional cases, when for example an application or game suddenly stops working, keeps crashing, and still does not work despite deleting the cache.

You may also need to clear an app’s data after they’ve collected so much data that they start slowing down the performance of the app, other apps, or the device. Some apps with around 20 to 100 MB installation data size can reach more than 2 GB in total file size after they start receiving usage data. So, clearing the data frees up your phone and optimizes the app or phone’s performance.

However, note that you will lose important in-app data and will have to start from scratch. But if the application or game has cloud synchronization, once you log in, all the data will be recovered.

What happens if I clear data of a messaging app?

When you clear the data of a messaging app like WhatsApp, all the data associated with that app are permanently erased, this will include media and chat history in some cases. The app will look newly installed and well-optimized.

Read also: How to Remove Emergency Call from Lock Screen on Android And iPhone

What should I delete when my phone storage is full?

Videos and application data take up the largest size of our mobile phones. When your phone storage is full, delete large video files you may no longer need. You may also clear some apps’ data.

Will clearing cache delete photos?

No. Clearing your phone’s cache will not delete any photo. Clearing the cache only deletes all temporarily stored data files.


As explained in this clear data vs clear cache on mobile comparison article, deleting the cache will only delete temporarily stored data and free up some storage space. It will also help improve the performance of the mobile device, but not as much as clearing data will. Stored app data are much heavier than cached files.

However, deleting cached files AND storage data amounts to resetting the application to its initial state as if you had just downloaded it. But this would amount to losing all data in the app, especially if it’s not an app that synchronizes data to the cloud or requires logging in.

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