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What is the system cache and what is it for?

The system cache is a section of internal storage that provides quick access to applications installed on the device. This memory is nothing more than a space occupied on the device so that installed applications can easily locate in the system cache the files they use each time they are opened. Therefore, the system cache is a method of the operating system that allows faster loading of applications, both native and external.

When we talk about system cache, it is normal to refer to smartphones, which is where this type of cache memory has the most impact. It essentially has the same purpose as the web cache, which is to enable faster loading of installed apps (in the case of the web cache it is for websites visited via a browser). The system cache, in Android for example, uses part of the storage system for this purpose, thus reducing the total capacity of the smartphone or tablet in favor of increasing the speed of browsing the system and opening applications on it.

It is possible to clear the system cache in Android, as in other operating systems, which will lead to an increase in the storage capacity of the device. This will also make browsing and using apps slower for the first few uses until it reaches normal speed again when all files frequently used by apps are already in the cache. Over time, even if we delete the system cache, it will increase again, after all it is useful and should not be deleted frequently because we will get more space but in a short-lived way, at the cost of a slower functioning of the device.

What is the system cache for?

The system cache is used to increase the speed of opening installed applications and browsing the operating system. Continuing with the Android example, each application saves the files that it usually uses when we use it, in the system cache. All applications require a cache to work smoothly as they are designed to have this data quickly. There are some applications that save complete files in the system cache that they generate themselves and that they need for their correct operation, so if we delete this cache the next time we start that app it will have to generate the entire file again, increasing the loading time.

To clear the system cache it is possible to do it from the same smartphone and without the need to install additional applications. The customization layers of the manufacturers already incorporate utilities for this purpose. It is also possible to do it from the smartphone’s recovery, which is foreign to Android and is accessed through a combination of buttons with the smartphone turned off (the combination varies depending on the terminal). From there you can wipe the Android system cache partition, which in addition to containing app data also contains system data. This system data can be sample preloaded images in the file explorer, previews used while browsing Android…

The system cache can take up a significant portion of storage . This will depend on the nature of the app and the use we give it, but it is not uncommon to find apps that exceed 500 MB, which, added to one another, will surely create several GB of cache.

In short, the system cache is another type of cache, such as the CPU cache or the web cache that speed up the use of the device by storing frequently used information.

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