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What Does Clearing Cache Do?

Clearing your cache can give your device a boost and make it run super efficiently, especially if your storage is all clogged up. But doing that could also lead to a noticeable delay in the load time of apps/websites that heavily rely on cached data.

What-does-clearing-cache-do

A double-edged sword, what is meant by cached data, and how does clearing cache affect your browsing experience? You’ll learn all that in this guide, including how to clear cache on your PC and smartphone. Keep reading to find out.

What is Cache?

Cached data is where your browser or app stores recurring units such as background images, preferences, fonts, logos, etc. This data won’t need to be re-downloaded when you revisit an app or website, which explains why an app or website loads faster as you continually use it compared to when you open it for the first time.

To help you understand better, look at the ADDICTIVE TIPS header alongside the Plus (+) icon at the top of this page and the Company-Research-Products sections at the bottom. They stay the same when you open another page on this website.

Now, imagine your browser not saving them as cached data: it will redownload them every time you open a new page, which is not feasible in the long run. Your data plan takes a hit, and so does your load time, as downloading them again takes a few seconds. 

You can think of cached data as a time & data plan saver for recurring units of a website or app. While the data and time it saves don’t immediately make a big difference, it does count for something in the long run.

What does clearing cache do to your device’s performance?

As suggested earlier, clearing your cache means apps must re-download temporary data saved onto your device. Is it advisable to clear your cache? It depends on who’s asking and what you’re trying to attain by doing so.

For someone running low on storage and needing all the space they can get, it makes sense to do a general cache cleanup, especially for apps you barely open. But, sometimes, clearing an app’s cache might be your best at fixing its glitches and bugs.

Also, websites update their backend, with the previous cache saved onto your device struggling to keep up with the changes. When this is the case and you notice some disruptions or downtime on a webpage, clearing the cache on the host browser might help resolve it.

What Does Clearing Cache on TikTok Do?

If you accidentally cleared your TikTok cache or did so on purpose, don’t get all worked up. Cached data on the video-sharing platform only houses your watch history and preloaded profile information. And that’s all there is to it. Worry no more if you’re bothered about losing your drafts or saved videos after you clear your cache.

Does Clearing Cache Clear Your Data?

Cached data differs from the app data saved onto your device’s storage. As the name suggests, Cache is mostly a hidden file or directory that cannot be seen unless set otherwise on your file manager. You’ll need special access to see or alter it.

On the other hand, app data is visible and houses all the necessary files that enable an app or game to run. So, ‘Noclearing cache won’t delete an app’s data.’ On smartphones, it’s easy to differentiate between the two, as the operating system sets them apart under each app’s information page in Settings.

Windows also has a similar section in the Settings app, but a third-party program will better manage and clear your cache.

How to Clear Cache

Clearing cache is as easy as it gets, regardless of where you’re doing it from. With just a few clicks or taps, you’ll be up and running in no time. Find and follow the steps to clear the cache for your device type below:

Android

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  1. Go to your phone’s Security/Phone Manager app, depending on the skin slapped on it
  2. Alternatively, open a third-party cleaner such as CC Cleaner
  3. Locate the Cache section and wait for the app to scan and wipe the cache off for all apps
  4. To clear cache for an individual app or browser, open the Settings app on your phone
  5. Locate Apps, depending on the arrangement of the settings on your operating system
  6. Browse through the list of apps and select the one whose cache you want to clear
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Clear Cache next to Clear Data

iPhone

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  1. Launch the Settings App on Your iPhone
  2. Go to General and then iPhone Storage
  3. Tap Offload Unused Apps to perform a general cache cleanup for all apps installed on your iPhone, including the system ones
  4. Alternatively, scroll further down and tap an app to clear the cache individually
  5. Offload the app to clear its cache

Windows

clearing-cache-on-Windows

  1. Open the Settings app or press Windows Key + I 
  2. Go to System > Apps
  3. Next, select Apps & Features
  4. Navigate to and select the app whose cache you want to clear
  5. Click Advanced options
  6. Select the Reset button to wipe its cache.

MacBook

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  1. Launch the Finder utility app on your MacBook and press the following command: “Shift + Command + G”
  2. Enter ~/Library/Caches and hit the Return button. You’ll have all the cached files right on your screen

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  1. Locate the app whose cache you want to clear 
  2. Hold and drag it to the Trash to clear its cache
  3. To clear the cache on your Mac completely, enter Command + A to select all
  4. Press Command + Delete 
  5. Otherwise, check the top left-hand corner of your screen, select File > Move to trash

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How to Clear Instagram Cache

As you must have known by now, clearing the cache on your Instagram won’t cost you your essential data and login information. You can go ahead with it by using the steps demonstrated above for Android and iPhone. If you’re on a desktop or a mobile browser, use the following steps instead:

  • Open www.instagram.com on your browser
  • Go to Account Settings
  • Select Privacy and Security
  • Next, choose View Account Data
  • Go under the Search History section and select View All
  • Finally, select Clear Search History and then I’m Sure to complete the process

If you’re more interested in clearing cache on your browser, check out How to Clear Cache on Chrome for a detailed breakdown. What about clearing cache and freeing up swap on Ubuntu? Check out the guide here.

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