Android Oreo has changed the way we clear cached data on our phones! Which left some users confused, as the process isn’t as straightforward and simple as it used to be in Android Nougat.
In Android Nougat, you could simply go to Storage settings, and bulk clear all the cache on your phone. That’s very practical, because users don’t have to bother clearing each app’s cache individually. A time-saving feature, we must say.
But that’s not the case anymore. When you go to Storage settings in Android Oreo, you won’t see this option anymore. That’s because Google decided to remove the traditional cache-clearing fature from Oreo.
So, how do we actually clear cache in Android Oreo now?
How is cached data cleared in Android Oreo
To understand what’s going on, we’ll have to include the whole picture. With Android O, Google wants to change the whole policy of using, storing, and clearing cached data. Google encourages developers to be more ‘efficient’ in developing their apps.
Here’s what the Android O developer preview release notes say:
“Android O gives better guidance and behaviors around cached data. Each app is now given a disk space quota for cached data….
When the system needs to free up disk space, it will start by deleting cached files from apps that are the most over their allocated quota. Thus, if you [the developer of an app] keep your cached data under your allocated quota, your cached files will be some of the last on the system to be cleared when necessary. When the system is deciding what cached files to delete inside your app, it will consider the oldest files first (as determined by modified time).”
Of course, this is for the developer preview. But as it appears, nothing has changed in the official version.
So, long story short. You don’t need to clear cached data at all, as the system should do that for you. Because of that, there’s no cache partition, which will put all cached data in one place.
In theory, this looks pretty good, because the system should do all the work for you, when there’s need to free up disk space. But in practice, it might not function as flawless as Google imagines it.
Developers will need to change the code in their apps, and deliver proper updates to you. So, some time might pass until all your apps get updated, and that can cause troubles for your phone to properly manage the storage. We can only hope developers will deliver needed updates as soon as possible.
Clear cache for each app individually
Although the option to bulk clear your cached data on your phone is missing, you can still clear cache for each app individually, if you really want. And here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings > Storage
- Navigate to Other apps
- Now, tap on the app you want to clear cache for
- Tap on Clear Cache
Use a third party app
Additionally, if you really want to buck clear cache on your Android phone, you can always use some third-party app. Some of the most popular apps for these purposes are CCleaner and Clean Master. But be careful, because some apps might actually slow down your device, or remove something you don’t want to be removed. So, just think about if it’s worth installing a third-party app for something your system would do on its own anyway.
That’s about it. I hope you understand the whole cache clearing philosophy better now. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, let me know in the comments, or reach me out on twitter.