For users with an Android phone, clearing the cache and cookies intermittently is good practice. A cache consists of temporary elements from a website such as images that are stored on the browser and make the site load faster when the user visits it again. Cookies are small files that are created when a user visits a website. This data saves browsing information and keeps the user signed in, shows relevant content or ads, and remembers site preferences. Essentially, both these elements deliver a personalized, smooth experience when a user revisits a site.

While cookies can improve the overall experience of browsing, they are frequently used to track users. For example, cookies can detect when a particular user visits the same site repeatedly, and show ads or suggestions depending on the products and pages viewed. In some cases, advertisers use cookies to track a user’s browsing history on any site that displays their ads. Clearing the cookies and cache on an Android browser occasionally can keep the browser running faster and remove unwanted trackers.

Related: How Android Privacy Sandbox Protects You From Invasive Ads

As per StatCounter, the most popular browser on Android phones in the U.S. is Google Chrome, followed by Samsung Internet and Firefox. Google Chrome provides several options to clear browsing data. To begin, open the app and tap on ‘More’ in the top right corner. Tap on ‘History’ and then ‘Clear Browsing Data.’ Pick a time range from the dropdown (Chrome lets users specify ranges from the last hour to all-time), and select the checkboxes to delete only browsing history, cookies and site data, and cached images and files. There’s also an ‘Advanced’ tab at the top which lets users further refine what they want to delete, including saved passwords, autofill form data, and site settings. Once the appropriate boxes are checked, users can click on ‘Clear data.’

Clear Cookies To Remove Trackers

Samsung Internet is the default browser on Samsung phones, and has a small share in the Android browser market. To clear cookies on Samsung Internet, first open the app and then click on the menu bar (three horizontal lines) at the bottom right corner. From here, tap on ‘Settings’ and then scroll down to ‘Personal data.’ Tap on the ‘Delete browsing data‘ option at the top. The page that appears automatically checks the options to clear browsing history, cookies and site data, and cached images and files. The options to remove saved passwords and autofill forms aren’t selected by default, but users can check these if they want. After this, tap on ‘Delete data‘ to clear everything.

To delete the cookies on Firefox, first open the Android app and click on the menu button (three dots) at the top right corner and then tap on ‘Settings.’ Scroll down to ‘Delete browsing data‘. The following options will automatically be checked: open tabs, browsing history and site data, cookies, cached images and files, site permissions, and downloads. Choose to keep or unselect any of these options, and then tap on ‘Delete browsing data.’ In the settings menu, users can also select ‘Delete browsing data on quit‘. The ‘Quit‘ option will then appear in the Firefox menu, and Android users can tap on the button to delete all or selected data types after a browsing session.