What Is Hidden Cache on Android Devices & How to Empty It

Android devices are plagued by one annoying problem: available storage space seems to disappear over time, and it’s impossible to reclaim it all just by deleting files and apps.

Why not? Because the problem is actually caused by something called hidden cache. In this article, we explain what hidden cache is on Android, and we also provide step-by-step instructions that you can follow to empty it.

What Is Hidden Cache on Android?

Apps like YouTube, Spotify, or Reddit constantly download a lot of data to serve the content you enjoy so much. Because app developers are smart, they know that some data is requested repeatedly, such as image thumbnails.

Because it doesn’t make sense to download this data repeatedly, developers program their apps to store it locally inside a special storage area called hidden cache.

As its name implies, a hidden cache is hidden from view, so it’s easy to overlook it when performing regular maintenance. That’s bad news because its size tends to grow and grow over time until it takes up so much valuable storage space that it becomes difficult or even impossible to perform basic tasks, such as installing new apps, taking pictures, or recording voice memos.

To reclaim the storage space occupied by the Android hidden cache, you need to delete the content of the hidden cache manually, and we explain how you can do just that in the next section of this article.

How to Clean Hidden Cache on Android?

Learning how to clean hidden cache on Android isn’t difficult, but, as usually, there are multiple ways to bake a cake.

Note: Not all Android devices are exactly the same, so you may have to improvise when following our instructions, depending on which device you own.

To clean hidden cache on Android from Settings:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Select the app whose cache you want to empty.
  4. Tap Clear data.
  5. Choose the Clear cache option and confirm.

You should repeat the steps above for each and every app whose cache you want to clean.

You won’t lose your settings by emptying a hidden cache on Android, but you may notice that apps take more time to load or are slower. That’s because apps now have to load everything from scratch instead of quickly retrieving the necessary data from the hidden cache.

The good news is that the performance issues should go away quickly as the affected apps automatically rebuild their corresponding hidden caches.

Third-Party Hidden Cache Cleaners

Cleaning hidden cache on Android one app at a time can be a time-consuming and boring process, which is why many advanced Android users rely on various third-party hidden cache cleaners. Let’s take a closer look at three popular options.

SD Maid

SD Maid is a well-rated Android system cleaning tool that you can use to empty hidden cache, manage installed user and system apps, optimize databases, and much more.

The app is free, but many useful features become accessible only with the purchase of SD Maid Pro, which currently costs $3.85.


The chances are that you’ve at least heard about the Windows version of CCleaner, which can clean unwanted files and invalid Windows Registry entries. The mobile version is just as capable, except it’s designed for Android devices.

Besides performing common cleaning tasks, including hidden cache erasure, CCleaner can also optimize photo storage, monitor the performance of your device, and auto-adjust battery usage depending on where you are.

Avast Cleanup

Developed by the famous antivirus company, Avast Cleanup is an efficient Android cleaner that can instantly delete all sorts of space-wasting junk to make room for photos, videos, apps, valuable android data.

The app’s premium version contains a number of attractive features that address several issues commonly experienced by Android users, and these features can be unlocked via in-app purchases.

When Should I Clear Cache?

You might wonder how often you should clear the hidden cache on your Android device. Well, the answer depends on your priorities.

If you have limited storage space, clearing a hidden cache every month or even every week could be the right approach. While you will experience some performance degradation every time you clear a hidden cache, the amount of storage space you reclaim should be up for it.

On the other hand, you don’t need to clear your hidden cache very often if you have plenty of free storage space. Once every few months should be more than enough.

It’s also worth noting that hidden cache data can become corrupted and cause apps to behave unpredictably or, in extreme cases, stop them from working at all. In such cases, don’t hesitate to clear hidden cache immediately.


In this article, we explain what hidden cache is on Android and provide detailed instructions to help you empty it whenever necessary. Keep in mind that cleaning hidden cache data is just one of several maintenance tasks Android users should perform regularly. You should also manually delete unnecessary files, keep all apps and the Android operating system updated, and create backups.


How do I view hidden cache on Android?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to view the content of the hidden cache on Android without root access. You won’t find anything interesting there—just cached versions of regularly used files.

Can we delete thumbnails on Android devices?

Yes, you can delete thumbnails on any Android device by manually deleting hidden cache data or using third-party Android cleaner apps.

Does CCleaner clean hidden cache?

Yes, CCleaner, just like many other similar Android apps, can clean hidden cache data to free up storage space.

What is the best-hidden cache cleaner for Android?

There are many different hidden cache cleaners for Android you can choose from. The best ones include:

  1. SD Maid
  2. CCleaner
  3. Avast Cleanup

Should you clear hidden cache regularly?

Yes, it’s a good idea to clear a hidden cache regularly, but you don’t need to overdo it. If you have plenty of free storage space left and are not experiencing any Android issues caused by a corrupted hidden cache, you can postpone its cleaning for later.

About the author

David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche, covering everything from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry application