What Is Cached Data?
According to Wikipedia, Cache is a component on your device that is used to store related data when you browse online or use an app. Cached data is usually composed of files, images, scripts, or other multimedia. It is stored on your device when you visit a website or open a program for the first time. When you revisit the same website or reopen the same app, it can quickly load that data.
Cache can be divided into hardware cache and software cache. Hardware caches include CPU cache, GPU cache, DSPs, etc. Software caches include disk cache, web cache, app cache, memorization, etc.
Browsers like Chrome and Firefox, streaming services like YouTube and Spotify, most games, and many other apps save related information as cached data and make use of these cache files to offer a faster browsing experience. For instance, you frequently visit a website that has many pictures in Google Chrome browser, it doesn’t need to download the images next time you open the web page. Therefore, you may also think of Cache as temporary storage as for what is cached data.
Also read: Learn how to recover hard drive data by reading this comprehensive guide.
Is Cached Data Important?
The advantages of cached data: Reduce the loading time of pages, websites, or apps. Speed up the internet browsing process or app usage. Clearing the cached data may cause the thing to be slower since it needs to reload everything of a web page or app.
The disadvantages of cached data: If you never clear cache, then the cached data will be more and more, and occupy much space. This may make the device or app usage slow. Some problems of browser or apps may be owing to the corrupted cached data. Clearing cache may be a good way to fix a problematic app or browser.
Detailed guides for how to clear cache for one specific site in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera browser, etc.
What Does Clear Cache Mean?
Clearing cache means deleting all the cached data. When you visit the webpage next time, everything on this page has to be downloaded again.
In general, clearing cache and clearing data mean the same thing. However, there are some differences between clearing cache and clearing data on Android. When you use an app on Android, the app stores the user settings, databases, and login information as data, whereas, it stores some other information like browsing history as cache. If you clear data on Android, it will clear both data and cache. If you only clear cache on Android, then the vital information like user settings won’t be deleted.
This post tells how to delete app usage history, delete all browsing history on Google, Firefox, Edge, IE, etc. in Windows 10/8/7 with step-by-step guide.
How to Clear Cache?
After analyzing what is cached data, you may find that Cached data isn’t that important. You can choose to keep it or clear it. You don’t need to clear it every day but you can clear cache regularly to prevent it from taking up more space on your computer or phone.
You can check the guides below for how to clear cache on Android, Chrome, Firefox, iPhone, etc.
1. How to Clear Cache Android
To clear cache for one app
For some older Android versions:
- You can tap Settings app, and tap Storage in Settings window.
- Tap Apps, and it will list all apps on your Android phone along with how much storage each app uses.
- Tap the target app that you want to clear cache.
- Tap Clear data or Clear cache button based on your own needs to clear data or cache of this application on Android. If you choose Clear cache option, then it will not delete the app data like account information.
For newer Android versions:
- Tap Settings -> Apps & notifications -> App management.
- Tap the target app you’d like to clear cache or data, and tap Storage.
- Then tap Clear cache to remove app caches, or tap Clear data to delete app data. Please be noted that the clearing cache or data action cannot be undone.
To delete caches for all apps on Android
- Some older Android versions let you delete all caches on Android. You can tap Settings -> Storage -> Cached data.
- In the pop-up Clear caches window, tap OK to clear caches for all apps.
2. How to Clear Cache Chrome
- Open Google Chrome browser on your computer.
- Click the three-dot Chrome menu icon at the top-right corner. Click More tools -> Clear browsing data.
- Select the time range. Check the “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files” options. And click Clear data button to clear cached data of Chrome.
3. How to Clear Cache Firefox
- Open Firefox browser, and click the three-line icon at the top-right corner. Click Library -> History -> Clear Recent History.
- In the pop-up window, you can then choose a time range, and check Cache and Cookies options.
- Click Clear Now button to clear caches in Firefox.
4. How to Clear Cache iPhone
Unfortunately, iPhone doesn’t allow you to remove all cached files or delete caches for one app. But you can go to Settings app on your iPhone, and click General -> iPhone Storage. Check the list of apps and tap one app. Tap Documents & Data to check how much space this app occupies. If it uses much storage, you can click Delete App to uninstall this app and delete cached data, then download and reinstall this application.
How to Access and View Google Chrome Cache
What is cached data and how to clear cache? You should know now. You might also wonder how to access cache files, check below.
1. Chrome cache location in Windows: Google Chrome caches are stored in the folder: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache.
You may go to the directory above to find Chrome cached data, but if you don’t find it, then the files may be hidden. You may need to show hidden files in Windows 10 before you can see the Chrome cache in Windows. To show hidden files, you can open a File Explorer window, click View -> Options, find and click “Show hidden files, folders and drives”, and click Apply and OK.
2. Alternatively, you can also use some third-party software like ChromeCacheView to read the cache folder of Google Chrome browser and list all cache files. This tool will display the cache file name, URL, content type, file size, last access time, etc. It lets you choose one or more cache files and extract them to another folder or copy them to the clipboard.
3. Some information online says that you can type About:cache in Google Chrome address bar to view the list of cache files and their paths, but this feature has been removed since Chrome version 66.
Can You Recover the Deleted Cache Files in Browsers and Devices
If you cleared the cache in Chrome, it’s not easy to recover it. But you may try the two ways below to see if it can help you get back deleted cache files or recover Google Chrome history.
1. Use a File Recovery Program
MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a smart free data recovery program for Windows. You can use this utility to recover any deleted or lost files from computer, SD card, memory card, USB, external hard drive, etc.
Download and install this clean and free data recovery software – MiniTool Power Data Recovery -on your Windows computer, and check how to use it to recover cached data below.
Select the location to scan:
- Run MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
- Double-click Specific Folder under Specific Location on the main interface.
- Select the folder that may contain the Chrome cache files. Based on the Chrome cache location, you can choose one of the directories in this path C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache, and click Open. MiniTool Power Data Recovery will start scanning the chosen folder.
- After the scan process finishes, you can check the recovery result to find if there are the cache files you deleted. Check the needed files and click Save button to save them to a preferred folder.
Select the whole C drive to scan:
If the specific folder scan doesn’t help you recover the deleted Chrome cache files, you may choose the whole C drive to scan.
- Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
- Click This PC in the left column and click C drive in the right window. Click Scan button to scan the whole C drive.
- After the scan, check the scan result to find the cache files. You may follow the Google Chrome cached data folder path to find the cache files. Check wanted files and click Save button to store the recovered files to a new destination.
For Mac users, you can use the stellar Mac data recovery software to recover deleted/lost files.
Free pen drive data recovery. Easy 3 steps to recover data/files from pen drive for free (incl. corrupted, formatted, not recognized, not showing pen drive).
2. Run a System Restore
Another way to restore the deleted cache files of Google Chrome is to perform a System Restore for your computer. If you’ve ever created a system restore point for your computer, you may restore your computer to a previous state when you want. But be careful, you may lose some current data on your computer. If recovering cached data is not that important, it’s advised you do not take this risk, or at least, make a backup of your Windows OS and data at first with MiniTool ShadowMaker.
What is cached data? From this article, you can learn everything about cache, should you keep it or clear it, what does clear cache mean, how to clear cache on Android phone, Chrome, Firefox, iPhone, and how to recover cache files of Google Chrome, etc.
If you are interested in MiniTool Software products, go to its official website.