How Clearing Your Android Web Browser’s Cookies and Cache Keeps Junk From Your Phone

Your android phoneThe web browser can contain tons of data, including files that you don’t need to keep. Much of this data – whether you use Google Chrome, Firefox or Samsung Internet – is stored as part of cookies and cache. This data can be useful for the websites you visit, allowing them to load faster with your already connected accounts. That’s fine, but there’s a lot of information in your browser’s cookies and cache that isn’t necessary and might even be a privacy risk.

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Why should you regularly clear your cookies and cache

Much of what ends up accumulating in your cookies and cache is just plain junk. Some of them might be from websites that you have only visited once. Others seem to be tracking your browsing history on an active basis, helping to deliver advertisements based on what you buy or stream on the internet. For example, I constantly receive advertisements for buy glasses online after browsing a few stores, or Amazon ads that just happen to show what was last in my cart.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to clear your cache from time to time. It lets you delete data you don’t need on your phone, especially if an unknown data tracker is among your phone’s cookies. Clearing your cache is a minor inconvenience – you’ll need to re-login to some of your favorite websites, but it’s a small price to pay 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. Below we will see how to clear this data for Google’s 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 Browserin case you also have a few Apple devices to store.

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 pressing the More button in the upper right corner of the browser, indicated by a column of three dots, then pressing HistorySO Clear browsing data. You can also access it from Chrome Settings menu, touch Privacy and Security and then Clear browsing data.

Chrome also offers Basic And Advance 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 Advance 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.

Learn more: Ditch Google Chrome and Use This Privacy-Focused Browser Instead

Samsung Internet

“Clear Data” and “Clear Cache” options for Samsung Internet.

Screenshot by Mike Sorrentino/CNET

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 erase 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 and then 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.

Learn 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 More button to the right of the address bar, again symbolized by three vertically aligned dots. Then press Settings and scroll to Delete browsing data.

Mozilla Firefox’s “Delete Browsing Data” menu on Android.

Screenshot by Mike Sorrentino/CNET

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.

Learn 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.

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