Clear your Android phone’s cookies and cache to get rid of excess junk files

Just like on a PCevery now and then it is good to have unwanted files on your android phone† Clearing the cookies and cache in your Android phone’s web browser is a good way to get rid of a lot of them, as it’s probably built up over the course of visiting many different websites on a daily basis. 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 into your accounts and load frequently visited sites.

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But this data eventually accumulates, takes up space on your phone, and probably also contains cookies that do track your browsing history with the intention of showing personalized advertisements. (I saw ads for glasses after that visit some online stores to compare prices and styles, as well as for cruise vacations after checking out a few possible outings.)

It doesn’t hurt to clear this data every now and then to keep your web browser lean and efficient and, ideally, store as few tracking cookies as possible.

On Android, the steps are slightly different depending on the type of phone and web browser app you’re using, so below we’ll cover how to clear this data for the Google Chrome browser (often the default for many Android phones like the Google Pixel line), Samsung’s Internet browser (often on by default) the galaxy phone series) and Mozilla’s Firefox browser. You can also check out our separate guide on how to: clear your cache in an iPhone web browser in case you also have a few Apple devices to clean up.

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 clicking the . to tap More button in the top right corner of the browser, indicated by a column with three dots, then tap Historythen Delete browsing history† You can also open this from Chrome Settings menu, tap Privacy and Security and then Delete browsing history

Chrome also offers Base and Advanced settings for erasing your Browsing historyCookies and Site Data and Cached images and files† You can use the Time frame drop-down list to select whether to delete the entire history or a selection from the past 24 hours to the past four weeks. To tap Advanced also gives you access to delete Saved passwordsAutofill form data and Site Settings† After you’ve selected what you want to delete, tap the blue clear data knob. You may receive an additional prompt in the event that Chrome deems certain websites “important” to you, and if so, you’ll get a chance to confirm it before you clear it. Otherwise, if you don’t receive that prompt, Chrome will immediately proceed with the wipe as instructed.

read moreDitch Google Chrome and use this privacy-focused browser instead

Samsung Internet

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

Screenshot by Mike Sorrentino/CNET

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

To clear in the Samsung web browser app, first tap the Options button in the lower right corner represented by three horizontal lines, then Settings† scroll down to and tap Personal informationand then tap Delete browsing data to get a menu of options to delete. you can your Browsing historyCookies and Site DataCached images and filesPasswords and Autofill forms in any combination. After tapping Delete datayou will then receive a prompt asking you to confirm your choices before deleting them.

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

At the bottom of Storage you get separate options to: Clear cache and clear data† To tap Clear cache will delete the cache immediately, but clear data displays a prompt warning you that all application data will be permanently deleted, including files, settings, accounts, and databases. While it doesn’t specify cookies, this “going nuclear” approach should zap any remaining data so you can restart the Samsung Internet browser as if it were brand new.

read moreChange these Android settings to get the most out of your phone

Mozilla Firefox

Similar to Google Chrome, you can clear the cookies and cache from the Mozilla Firefox Android app. To access this feature, tap the More knob on the right side 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, so you can also use existing Open tabsyour Browsing history and site dataSite permissions and even your Downloads folder next door Cookies and Cached images and files

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

read moreBrowser privacy settings to change as quickly as possible in Firefox, Chrome and Safari

And Firefox has an additional option for those who never want to keep their browsing data after they’re done using the app. Inside Settings is a Delete browsing data on exit option, which instructs Firefox to clear any combination of the same settings each time you exit the application. It’s a useful feature if you want to keep the browser tidy and, for example, prevent you from accidentally giving your browsing history to someone who stole your phone or otherwise gained access.

For more information, see all about Google’s new operating system, Android 13including how to download beta now† Also check out the CNET list of the best android apps and a little settings you want to change on your current phone.


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