Clean Your Android Phone’s Cookies And Cache To Get Rid Of Excess Junk Files

A bit like on a PCyour Android phone can accumulate lots of junk files over time while you are using it. Clearing cookies and cache on your Android phone’s web browser is a good way to get rid of a lot of this, as it’s likely to have accumulated from visiting many different websites each day. Whether your phone uses Google Chrome, Firefox or Samsung Internet, your browser collects and stores data every time you browse the web. This information is your cookies and cache, and it helps your phone quickly connect to your accounts and load frequently visited sites.

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But that data ends up accumulating, taking up space on your phone while probably including cookies that are tracking your browsing history with the intention of delivering personalized advertising. (I saw ads for glasses after visit some online stores to compare prices and styles, as well as cruise vacations after considering a few possible getaways.)

It doesn’t hurt to occasionally clear this data to keep your web browser lean, running efficiently, and ideally storing as few tracking cookies as possible.

On Android, the steps differ slightly depending on the type of phone and the web browser application you are using, so below we will see how to clear this data for the Google Chrome browser (often the default for many many android phones like the Google Pixel online), Samsung’s Internet browser (often the default on the Galaxy phone series) and the Mozilla Firefox browser. You can also check out our separate guide on how to Clear Your Cache on an iPhone Web Browser in case you also have a few Apple devices to erase.

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 pressing the button More button in the upper right corner of the browser, indicated by a column of three dots, then pressing Storythen Clear browsing data. You can also access it from Chrome Settings menu, by pressing Privacy and Security And then Clear browsing data.

Chrome also offers Basic and Advanced erasing settings of your Navigation history, Cookies and site data and Cached images and files. You can use the Time interval to select whether you want to delete the entire history or a selection from anywhere from the last 24 hours up to the last four weeks. Typing Advanced will also give you access to delete Saved passwords, Autofill form data and Site settings. After selecting what you want to delete, press the blue button Erase data button. You may receive an additional prompt in case Chrome deems certain websites to be “important” to you, and if so, you’ll be given the option to confirm before erasing. Otherwise, if you don’t receive this prompt, Chrome will immediately perform the wipe as you requested.

Read more: Ditch Google Chrome and Use This Privacy-Focused Browser Instead

Samsung Internet

“Clear Data” and “Clear Cache” options for Samsung Internet.

Screenshot by Mike Sorrentino/CNET

There are two different ways to clear the cache and cookie data of your Samsung internet browser. You can erase from the browser itself, or you can go through your phone’s Settings app.

To clear in the Samsung internet browser app, first press the button Options button in the lower right corner represented by three horizontal lines, then Settings; scroll down to and press Personal datathen press Delete browsing data to get a menu of options to delete. You can delete your Navigation history, Cookies and site data, Cached images and files, Pass and Autofill forms in any combination. After typing Delete datayou will then receive a prompt asking you to confirm your choices before deleting.

Going through the browser app itself provides the most customization of what you want to remove. However, if you want to access similar options from your phone’s settings menu, open the Settings and press appsthen scroll to and press Samsung Internet And then Storage.

At the bottom of Storage, you get separate options for Empty the cache and Erase data. Typing Empty the cache will immediately delete the cache, but Erase data displays a prompt that warns you that all app data will be permanently deleted, including files, settings, accounts, and databases. Although it doesn’t specify cookies, this “nuclear” approach should zap all remaining data, allowing you to restart the Samsung Internet browser as if it were brand new.

Read more: Change These Android Settings to Get the Most Out of Your Phone

Mozilla Firefox

Just like with Google Chrome, you can clear cookies and cache from the Mozilla Firefox Android app. To access this function, press the icon More button to the right of the address bar, again symbolized by three vertically aligned dots. Then press Settings and scroll 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 also allowing you to delete any existing menu Open tabsyour Navigation history and site data, Site permissions and even your Downloads folder beside Cookies and Cached images and files.

While you can’t choose a time range like you can for Chrome, you can be more specific about what type of data you want to delete.

Read more: Browser Privacy Settings to Edit ASAP in Firefox, Chrome and Safari

And Firefox has an extra option for those who never want to keep their browsing data after they finish using the app. Inside the settings is a Delete browsing data when closing , which tells Firefox to clear any combination of those same settings each time you exit the application. This is a useful feature if you want to keep the browser tidy and, for example, avoid accidentally passing your browser history to someone who may have stolen or accessed your phone.

To learn more, see everything you need to know about Google’s new operating system, Android 13including how to download the beta version. Also take a look at the list of best android apps and certain settings you want to change on your current phone.

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