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    Default Benefits of clearing cache?

    I'm new to the android game, and I've been seeing people talk about clearing the cache. What exactly is it, and what are the benefits?
  2. #2  
    UJ95x's Avatar

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    Default Re: Benefits of clearing cache?

    Android uses several partitions to store data-Cache is one of of those(You can do it on a system-wide level in your storage settings or in recovery mode...or on a per-app basis). Caching allows the storing of temporary data to allow for faster access when it is needed.
    Wiping the cache, clears this partition and with it all of the temporary data, but it will automatically start to fill up again as you go back to using your phone.
    "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." - Carl Sagan
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  3. #3  

    Default Re: Benefits of clearing cache?

    There are two 'cache' allocations in your phone. One, the most common one for people to 'clear', is app-specific. You go to the Application Manager, select the specific app you want to check on, and you can clear its cache. Think of it as the "Temporary Internet Files" folder in a desktop web browser. This is the part where the app stores temporary data. Sometimes it's useful to have since it reduces loading times, but sometimes it's just piling up and some other times, it can cause the app to misbehave. If an app starts acting up, it's usually good practice to try and clear cache first and see if that helps. The benefits are just to clear up space both in your phone and for the app's temporary allocation. If it were your brain after a busy day, it's like taking a relaxing bath and letting go of the unimportant stuff. Remember, there's a 'Clear Cache' and a 'Clear Data' button. The latter deletes ALL APP DATA, which means that it'll be as if you had just installed it; any configuration, login data, saved games, extra downloads, etc. will be gone.

    The second type of cache is the system cache, and this one is more uncommon for people to access. The idea is the same: It's where the system stores temporary data for everyday tasks. Also, the same principle works here: If your phone overall starts doing something weird, you could try clearing the system cache. You do this by accessing your phone's 'Recovery Mode' at boot, before it even loads the Android OS. In your phone, this is done by pressing and holding the POWER BUTTON + HOME BUTTON + VOLUME UP BUTTON (at the same time) while the phone is off, therefore powering on and entering said mode. Just be careful no to select the "Clear Data" option, for this deletes ALL data in your phone and leaves it in 'Factory Default'.

    Just remember, clearing cache means that all temporary files either the app or the system had stored are gone. This means, usually, longer start-up times when opened for the first time after the cache wipe.

    And like UJ95X says, as you keep using the app/phone, the cache starts building up again. But it doesn't mean it will grow to infinity if left unchecked; the system has its own 'watchdogs' and will keep cache within a certain limit and automatically delete older cache files if the max quota is reached.
  4. #4  
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    Default Re: Benefits of clearing cache?

    Quote Originally Posted by woahohkelsey View Post
    I'm new to the android game, and I've been seeing people talk about clearing the cache. What exactly is it, and what are the benefits?
    Couldn't have said it any better than that.

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  5. #5  

    Default Re: Benefits of clearing cache?

    Best answer I have seen is this:

    It slows your system and applications down. The whole purpose of cache is to improve performance by reducing the frequency of redundant data movement and processing.

    Android recovers cache only on an as needed basis, and so more often permits intended performance gains to be realized. When you manually delete cache, this somewhat arbitrary activity does little more than slow your apps and device down, which is opposite of what many users expect it to do. Clearing cache is equivalent to filling your swimming pool every time before you jump in, and then immediately draining it every time you get out. All of that effort used filling and draining the pool wastes valuable time and energy that could instead be used for swimming. When you clear cache, the CPU, network, etc. has to do all of that work over again, merely wasting energy to accomplish the same end result. Android and applications typically know better than users when cached data becomes stale or dirty, and unless there is some defect in the software, cache does not typically require any manual action.

    Performance analysis for just about any computer system should start with an assessment of CPU usage, not memory usage. You typically only move onto memory if you determine that CPU resources are not an application bottleneck, and that there is some other resource impairing performance. You should always check CPU usage first though.
  6. #6  
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    Default Re: Benefits of clearing cache?

    As one who clears cache on a monthly basis, I notice no slowdown between the day before and the day after clearing.
    I think I found the article this was taken from, and it is 2 years and 2 OS ago.

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  7. #7  

    Default Re: Benefits of clearing cache?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Jackson View Post
    Best answer I have seen is this:

    It slows your system and applications down. The whole purpose of cache is to improve performance by reducing the frequency of redundant data movement and processing.

    Android recovers cache only on an as needed basis, and so more often permits intended performance gains to be realized. When you manually delete cache, this somewhat arbitrary activity does little more than slow your apps and device down, which is opposite of what many users expect it to do. Clearing cache is equivalent to filling your swimming pool every time before you jump in, and then immediately draining it every time you get out. All of that effort used filling and draining the pool wastes valuable time and energy that could instead be used for swimming. When you clear cache, the CPU, network, etc. has to do all of that work over again, merely wasting energy to accomplish the same end result. Android and applications typically know better than users when cached data becomes stale or dirty, and unless there is some defect in the software, cache does not typically require any manual action.

    Performance analysis for just about any computer system should start with an assessment of CPU usage, not memory usage. You typically only move onto memory if you determine that CPU resources are not an application bottleneck, and that there is some other resource impairing performance. You should always check CPU usage first though.
    Like I said, you don't clear cache 'just to clear it'. Sure, the answer you quote is fine...ish, but you also have to understand that cache, sometimes, is filled with crap. Let's take your pool analogy. Sure, you don't fill your pool, then jump, then drain it, then fill it again. But you do drain it (or treat it or whatever you do with a pool) if, say, acid, were to fall into the water. Same thing with cache. You don't touch it on a daily basis, but if an app starts to misbehave, more often than not it's because of a rogue cache file, so clearing it helps the app start from scratch. And like I mentioned, yes, this USUALLY (but not always noticeable) slows down the start up process of an app or OS (if you cleared system cache), but that's because it's refilling the cache, not because it has been hampered permanently.
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  8. #8  
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    Default Re: Benefits of clearing cache?

    I think a better analogy would be to not use a pool, but a car engine and it's oil. You don't change it after just taking it out, but when needed.

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