Why Clearing The Cache And Cookies On Your Android Phone Is A Good Idea

Removing the cookies and cache from your Android phone’s browser may sound complicated, but it’s actually easier than you might think. It’s a good idea to get used to sometimes deleting that data, no matter what Android smartphone you use. (Yes, that includes the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Google Pixel 6.) Whether your phone uses Google Chrome, Firefox, or Samsung Internet, your browser collects and stores data every time you browse the web. This information makes up your cookies and cache, and it helps your phone quickly log in to your accounts and load frequently visited websites.

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But this data eventually builds up, taking up space on your phone and also likely includes cookies that are tracking your browsing history with the intent to serve personalized advertising. (I saw commercials for glasses later visiting a number of online stores to compare prices and styles, and also for TV shows related to my searches on YouTube.)

It doesn’t hurt to occasionally delete this data to keep your browser thin, efficient, and, ideally, keep as few trace cookies as possible.

In Android, the steps differ slightly depending on the type of phone and browser application you are using, so below we will look at how to delete this data for Google Chrome browser (often the default for many Android phones like the Google Pixel line), Samsung’s Internet browser (often the default on the Galaxy phone series) and Mozilla’s Firefox browser. You can also check out our separate guide on how clear your cache in iPhone browser if you also have some Apple devices to remove.

The “Clear Browsing Data” menu in Chrome on Android.

Screenshot by Mike Sorrentino / CNET

Google Chrome

You can delete your cookies and cache from the Android version of Google Chrome by first tapping the More button in the upper right corner of the browser, indicated by a three-point column, then tapping Historydo Empty browsing data. You can also access this from Chrome Settings menu, knocking Privacy and Security and then Empty browsing data.

Chrome also offers Base and Advanced settings to delete yours Browsing history, Cookies and website data and Cached images and files. You can use the Time range drop-down menu to select whether you want to delete the entire history or select from anywhere from the past 24 hours to the last four weeks. Tapping Advanced will also give you access to delete Saved passwords, Auto-fill in form data and Website settings. Select the one you want to delete, tap the blue one Explain data button, and it will be removed without further prompting, so just make sure you zap exactly what you want to zap.

Read more: Quit Google Chrome and Use This Privacy Browser Instead

Samsung Internet

The “Clear data” and “Clear cache” options for Samsung Internet.

Screenshot by Mike Sorrentino / CNET

There are two different ways you can remove the cache and cookie data from your Samsung browser. You can empty it from within the browser itself, or you can go through the Settings app on your phone.

To clear while in the Samsung Internet browser, first tap the Options button in the lower right corner represented by three horizontal lines, so Settings; scroll down to and tap Personal Datathen tap Delete browsing data to get a menu of options to delete. You can delete yours Browsing history, Cookies and website data, Cached images and files, Passwords and Fill out forms in any combination. After tapping Delete datayou will then receive love asking you to confirm your choices before removing.

Going through the browser itself provides the most personalization of what you want to delete. However, if you want to access similar options from your phone’s settings menu, open the Settings app and click Applicationsthen scroll down to and tap Samsung Internet and then Storage.

At the bottom of Storage, you get separate options Clear cache and Explain data. Tapping Clear cache will immediately clear the cache, but Explain data brings up a prompt that warns you that all data in the application will be permanently deleted, including files, settings, accounts, and databases. Although it does not specify cookies, this “nuclear” approach should block all other data, allowing you to restart the Samsung browser as if it were completely new.

Read more: Change these Android settings to get the most out of your phone

Mozilla Firefox

As with Google Chrome, you can remove cookies and caching from within the Mozilla Firefox Android application. To access this feature, tap More button to the right of the address bar, again symbolized by three vertically aligned dots. Then tap Settings and scroll down to Delete browsing data.

The “Delete Browsing Data” menu in Mozilla Firefox on Android.

Screenshot by Mike Sorrentino / CNET

Of the three browsers we discuss here, Firefox gives you the most options under the Delete browsing data menu, allowing you to delete any existing ones as well Open tabsyours Browsing history and website data, Website permissions and even yours Downloads folder nearby Cookies and Cached images and files.

Although you may not have as much time as you can for Chrome, you may be more specific about what data you would like to delete.

Read more: Browser Privacy Settings to Change instantly in Firefox, Chrome and Safari

And Firefox has an additional option for those who never want to save their browsing data after they have finished using the app. Within Settings is a Delete browsing data at stop an option that instructs Firefox to delete any combination of these same settings every time you leave the app. It is a useful feature if you would like to keep your browser tidy and, for example, avoid accidentally transferring your browser history to someone who may have stolen or otherwise gained access to your phone.

For more, check out everything to know Google’s new operating system, Android 13including how to download the beta now. Also, take a look at CNET’s list of the best android applications and some settings you want to change on your current phone.

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