Your android phone is online all the time, and your web browser in particular collects data from all the different websites you visit. Much of this data accumulates in your web browser application – whether you use Google Chrome, Firefox or Samsung Internet – storing it as part of those applications’ cookies and cache. This data can be useful for websites you visit regularly, allowing them to load faster with your already connected accounts.
While data from websites you frequent is certainly handy, cache and cookies are also where data from websites you have visited occasionally as well as random data trackers also accumulate. Some cookies in particular may track your browsing history, and it might help you deliver personalized ads based on your web history. For example, how you end up seeing a product advertised that you may have briefly viewed on a shopping website.
For this reason, once in a while, it is good to clear your cache. This way you can remove data that you just don’t need on your phone, especially if it’s a data tracker that you don’t even know is part of the cookies of your phone. This will lead to the minor convenience of having to reconnect to some of your favorite websites, but it’s a small price to ensure your phone doesn’t store unnecessary data.
The steps differ slightly depending on the type of phone and web browser application you are using. We will therefore see below how to clear this data for the Google Chrome browser (often the default for 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 store.
You can delete your cookies and cache from the Android version of Google Chrome by first pressing the 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, touch Privacy and Security so what Clear browsing data.
Chrome also offers Basic and Advanced settings to erase your Navigation history, Cookies and site data and Cached images and files. You can use the Time interval drop-down list to select whether you want to delete all history or a selection from the last 24 hours up to the last four weeks. Tapping 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 Erase data button. You may receive an additional prompt in case Chrome considers 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
There are two different ways to 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 erase while in the Samsung Internet Browser app, first tap the Options button in the lower right corner represented by three horizontal lines, then Settings; scroll down and tap Personal datathen touch 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, Passwords and Autofill forms in any combination. After typing Delete datayou will then receive a prompt asking you to confirm your choices before deleting them.
Going through the browser app itself offers 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 app and press appsthen scroll down and tap Samsung Internet so what Storage.
At the bottom of storage, you get separate options for Empty the cache and Erase data. Tapping 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. While it doesn’t specify cookies, this “go 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
Just like with Google Chrome, you can clear the cache from the Mozilla Firefox Android app. To access this function, press the After button to the right of the address bar, again symbolized by three vertically aligned dots. Then press Settings and scroll to Delete browsing data.
Of the three browsers we are talking about here, Firefox gives you the most options under the Delete browsing data menu, also allowing you to delete all 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 the type of data you want to delete.
Read more: Browser Privacy Settings to Change 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 on exit option, which instructs Firefox to clear any combination of these same settings each time you quit the application. This is a useful feature if you want to keep the browser tidy and, for example, avoid accidentally handing over your browser history to someone who might have stolen or had access to your phone.
To learn more, see everything you need to know about Google’s new operating system, Android 13including how to download the beta. Also take a look at CNET’s list of best android apps and some settings you want to change on your current phone.