How to erase data from an Android application and what happens when you do it




When you have problems with an application, the typical solutions are to restart the mobile, clear the cache, force close an application and when nothing works, clear the data of an application, also called clear storage.



This solution was useful to fix the WebView problem, although it is normal to leave it as a last resort since its effects are more destructive than those of clearing the cache. The cache is expendable, but the data is not, so you will lose the progress and configuration of the application. We tell you how to clear app data and what happens when doing it.






How to clear the data of an application



If you need to delete the data from an application, there are several ways to do it. Basically, you need to go to the application information window, the place where the permissions used by the application are displayed. There are several ways to get to this window. For example, in relatively modern versions and in launchers that support it, you can do a long tap on the app icon and tap on the information icon.







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If that option is not available on your mobile, a safe way to get there is through the Android settings. As usual, the settings change from one version of Android to another and in the different layers of customization, but in almost all cases the mobile will have a section of Applications in the settings. Next, tap on the app whose data you want to delete. You may have to tap on See all apps for it to come out.



Applications


Below you will see the window with application information. The design may be somewhat different from the screenshots shown here (which are from Android 12), but it is normal to see the name of the application, its icon and a series of sections with settings.



Then touch on Storage or similar names. Inside you will see the data on how much the application occupies, its cache in its data and two buttons: one to clear the cache and another to delete data or storage. Press it and accept the confirmation window that appears.



Storage


Keep in mind that deleting the data of an application is irreversible. Unlike cache, which is expendable and regenerable data, an application's data will not be retrieved unless the application retrieves it from your account after logging in or similar.





What happens when deleting the data of an application



The space that an application occupies on an Android mobile is divided into three parts: the application itself, its data and the cache. The data includes all the configurations and databases, so that when you delete them the application returns to its factory state, without any configuration.



Delete datawhatsapp After deleting the data of an application, it behaves as if you just installed it


Two things can therefore happen. If it is an application that saves all your data and settings in the cloud -like most Google applications- the configuration will be downloaded from their servers after logging in with your account and you will be able to continue using it as usual. The only difference in these cases is that the welcome window is shown and you could lose some configuration.



If it is an application that saves its configuration on the mobile, you will lose all progress, all settings, and basically everything. It will be as if you have just installed the application for the first time on your mobile. The only exception is the data that the application will save separately on the mobile, such as photos from a camera application. That remains.



On the other hand, clearing an app's data also clears the cache. That is, if you have just deleted the data of an application and you also want to delete the cache, the button appears disabled because it cannot be: it has already been deleted.