If you know a few things about the computer or mobile devices, then you probably have come across the word ‘cache’ or ‘cache file’.
You could find them somewhere in a mobile or desktop browser settings with an option to ‘clear’ or perhaps somewhere in your device storage and you may wonder whether to clear or not.
What happens when you eventually do and what are the functions of these files?
You’ll find a clear answer at the end of this post.
What Are Cache Files?
A cache file is data stored on a local hard drive or device storage to speed up retrieval the next time you want the same data from the internet or other remote sources.
If that was a bit technical, then this explanation of what happens with a browser cache gives more insight.
When you visit a webpage on a mobile or desktop device, the browser requests files from a web server and this is loaded and displayed on the screen as a web page.
When these files are received, the browser stores it in the cache folder which is a portion of your device storage that the browser occupies. During a browsing session, any visit to this page means that your browser will display these stored files instead of sending a new request to the web server to retrieve new files.
Over time, the browser cache stores the files for frequently visited pages in the cache folder and displays them each time you try to access these pages instead of requesting it from a web server.
Caching For Mobile Apps
If you’re coding an app for Android and iOS mobiles, then a caching function is simply what allows your app run freely in an offline mode.
A clearly defined caching process is needed to store user preferences and make apps work faster.
Benefits Of Keeping Cache Files
1.Improved performance for frequently accessed web pages
2.Improved performance for frequently used applications on mobile
3.A fast and cost-effective browsing experience.
What happens when Cache Files are cleared?
Stored data that makes web pages and app perform faster is cleared to free up space on the device storage. If the device is running out of space, this practice will improve device performance.
If you’re going to code a mobile app that works in an offline mode, then this knowledge of the caching process can help you improve app functionality and provide a great user experience.
Also, the next time you think about clearing ‘cache files’ on a device, you can define what you’re letting go.
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