Will Clearing Cache Delete Pictures? What Actually Happens

By John Adebimitan

Managing storage space can be quite a bother, especially when your phone keeps lagging while using it. So apart from permanently deleting files to free up space, another recommended fix would be to clear your device’s cache so that it can begin to function as well as it should.

While this is an easy suggestion, people often wonder what clearing cache does, what happens when you choose that function, and if clearing cache deletes pictures and other essential files. This article will provide the answers to these questions. 

So, will clearing cache delete pictures? No, clearing cache will not delete pictures. It only removes the thumbnails that appear in your gallery.

What Does Clear Cached Data Mean on Android

Clear cached data on Android is a prompt or a suggestion telling the user to clear their cached data from the apps on the phone. Cached data are temporarily stored data from apps that you use daily. For example, it could be pictures, videos, audio, or text on your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter timeline.

When you use these apps on your phone, it saves data in the cache, so immediately you open the app again, you can resume from where you stopped. It is not only limited to apps but also involves the websites you use, and this data helps the app or the website reopen quickly.  

What Happens When You Clear Cached Data?

When you clear cached data, it also deletes the information collected from the apps and websites. This info could be files or posts that the device stored temporarily. Clearing the cache would free up the data and release memory for your device to run smoothly. We recommend that you clear cache data when it has built up over a long period. Clearing your cache too regularly might cause the apps to have some avoidable glitches. 

Will Clearing Cache Delete Pictures?

No, clearing cache will not delete pictures. It only removes the thumbnails that appear in your gallery. These thumbnails are stored in your cache and make it easy for your gallery app to open. However, it is not advisable to clear cache in your gallery or photos app because it immediately builds up when you open it again. The action is similar to pouring water on a rock, as any memory you get when you clear the cache of your photo app is used up again when you open the app. 

What Happens When You Clear Data on Settings?

When you clear the apps’ data on settings, it will cause all login credentials and app preferences to be removed. This would be like you just installed it. The existing accounts would be cleared but not deleted, and you would have to restart and set up your account by entering your details.

For apps like WhatsApp, clearing user data would cause all the messages to be deleted if it has not been backed up on Google drive. Therefore, before clearing your app data in settings, we recommend you note passwords, login details, backup messages, and other valuable information.

What Happens If I Clear the Cache on Google Photos?

When you clear cache on Google photos, it only causes recent thumbnails to be removed. And so, clearing your phone’s cache will not cause your pictures or videos to be deleted. Instead, it would only clear out the current operations of the app, and as you use the app, the cache data would gradually build up as well. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Clearing Cache

There are various advantages and disadvantages of clearing cache in your device. However, it varies based on the app. Here are some benefits of clearing cache on your mobile phones:

  • Clearing cache in your phone will not delete pictures or any other media that the device has saved. Instead, it releases memory that recent app operations have occupied.
  • Cached data that you clear will still build up over time, so it is not a permanent action.
  • Clearing cache after a long period frees up your device’s memory.
  • Clearing old cache files might also erase the corrupted files of the app.
  • When you clear your cache on your phone, it does not delete the login details saved in your apps. 

Apart from its advantages, some disadvantages are also associated with clearing your phone’s cache. Here are some of them:

  • Clearing your cache is a temporary fix for storage problems. The cached data would still accumulate again as you use it.
  • Clearing your cache would also slow down the operations of apps you often use.
  • Clearing your phone’s cache at frequent intervals might cause the apps to malfunction.
  • When you clear the cache of apps like Google Chrome or any other browser, the action will cause the recent history of your searches to be deleted.
  • Clearing the cache of apps like Google Photos and any other picture apps regularly would not make much of a difference because the thumbnails of the app reappear as often as you use it. 

How To Clear Cache On Android Phones

Here is how to clear the cache on an android phone:

  • First, you click on the Settings tab on the phone and locate storage.
  • From the pop-up list, look for Apps. The apps on your phone would appear on a list arranged in order of the one that consumes the most memory and the app that consumes the least.
  • Pick the app you want to clear its cached data and tap on the three dots beside it. You should see an option that says “clear cache” clicking on it will ensure that the app deletes your cached data.

Read also: Clear Data Vs Clear Cache on Mobile 

How To Clear Cache On iPhones

You can clear the cache on iPhones in two ways. For regular apps, it is similar to deleting user data. However, you can either erase the cache or the entire data for a browser, including the history of sites visited, cookies, etc. To avoid losing your login details, we recommend that you note them down before clearing the cache on your iPhone devices. 

For clearing cache in Safari, the built-in browser in IOS, you should follow these steps:

  • Click on Settings and then choose Safari from the list of options.
  • Scroll down to Advanced and click on it.
  • Choose Website data
  • Click on Remove all website data

For clearing cache in other apps, we recommend the following steps

  • Click on Settings
  • Select General and then choose iPhone storage from the options available.
  • A list of the apps on your phone would show with the memory it consumes.
  • Choose any app and then tap on Offload App.
  • This option would free up storage used by the app, but your documents and data would be safe. 
  • When you reinstall the app, your data will still be available. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Clearing cache on your phone will not delete pictures saved, and this works for both your Android and iPhone devices. Clearing cached data also has numerous benefits, like freeing up needed space for your phone to perform smoothly.

However, you shouldn’t regularly clear the cache as it might cause some apps on the phone to start having problems. Other ways to free up your device’s storage include uninstalling heavy-duty apps, clearing user data, and getting an SDcard.

About The Author