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Clearing cache

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Andy Perrett, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Andy Perrett

    Andy Perrett Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Concerning Samsung A7 tablet with 3Gb ram and running Android 11.
    After a few days of use the tablet starts to slow down. Checking available ram shows around 300Mb.
    After restarting the tablet ram climbs to 1Gb. I need to repeat this nearly every week.
    1. Why after restart 'only' 1Gb free, where is the rest ?
    2. How can I keep the free ram as high as possible without having to intervene manually.
    Thanks for any ideas/reactions.

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  2. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations!
    VIP Member

    First of all, keep in mind that your operating system has to operate somewhere... so RAM is the place. You, the user, share that RAM with the tablet's Android OS.

    That said, keeping as much RAM available as possible has no effect on how well your tablet performs. Imagine your RAM as a storeroom in the back of your home. You have 1000 cubic meters of storage space. The things your home needs take up some of it; you have your items stored there, as well. The rest of the shelves are sitting empty. Whether you have 500 cubic meters of empty space or 100 meters, it doesn't matter because everything you need stored is stored... any space remaining is unused. Having a little extra space is okay for future expansion, but having lots and lots of extra space does no good. The same applies with RAM: it's simply temporary storage for you & your tablet while actively using it.
    Hadron, ocnbrze and Dannydet like this.
  3. Andy Perrett

    Andy Perrett Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi Chef,
    Thanks for your reaction.
    Explantation seems clear but why is there more ram free after restarting, resulting in a faster tablet.
    Looking up available ram shows a message, 386Mb reserved. I presume that is for OS.
    I always thought that ram was used by programs to store data used so the program can run properly. But shouldn't it be released when program is closed ? Looks like it hardly ever is released.
  4. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    it is temporary storage. it provides for fats load time and more efficiency for apps to run. when you power off the tablet, one of things it does is to clear the temp storage and thus freeing up the ram upon booting back up. and as you use the apps on your tablet, cache will start to re-fill it self again, until you power off that tablet again.
  5. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    When you do a cold start of your tablet, the booting process involves loading parts of the Android operating system and whatever apps that might be preloading into RAM too. As you use your tablet to do different things than some apps and perhaps related OS background services get loaded into RAM, with older unused processes getting killed to make room for the newer processes. When your available RAM indicates there's not a lot of free memory, that's a good indicator things are working as they should be. RAM usage is maintained by the Android memory management and it's almost always more sophisticated and effective than any of us who think we can do a better job at it manually. For most of us, micromanaging how your tablet functions is a good way to learn how it works but don't expect to actually be improving or optimizing its overall performance.

    As for clearing the cache as indicated in the title of your query, it might help to first distinguish between the system cache (tied solely to the installed Android operating system) or app caches (tied solely to installed apps). Caches themselves are always just temporary, non-vital, working data so deleting them won't wipe something like files you saved, but they do have a purpose so as an example, when you wipe an app's cache it's going to just rebuild it again later. So delete your app caches as much as you want, but the relatively small amount of internal storage space you're opening up is only a temporary fix. App's need and use their caches. Also, it's important to have an accurate concept of the internal storage in your tablet -- it's divided into several partitions with most of them being dedicated only to the Android operating system and one big one being aside as the user's data partition. The files and directories in those system partitions are restricted from open access to a user by system-level restrictions. All the files and folders in that user data partition however, do not have any such limitations. The system cache is retained within system-protected partitions, your apps and their caches are stored in that user data partition. So there's a clear distinction between the two and they're not interchangeable. You can wipe the system cache in Samsung devices by booting up in its Recovery mode, but even if you do this isn't going to help clear up more space in your user data partition (and again, it is just a temporary matter anyway). The free space in the internal storage media is a matter of how much is available in that user data partition, the system partitions are essentially off limits to a typical user.
    (and as an aside, new Android versions in non-Samsung devices have dropped having the system cache retained in its own dedicated partition and is instead just incorporating them into the other system partitions as cache files. So in some Recovery/Fast boot modes the 'wipe cache partition' option is gone now.)
    The_Chief and ocnbrze like this.
  6. Andy Perrett

    Andy Perrett Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Wow svim, that is some explanation. thanks for taking the time to answer my 'problem'.
    So even if the RAM drops to about 300Mb I shouldn't be woried.
    I understand that if the system (or apps) need more ram-space they'll just remove unnecessary ram so that they can work properly.
    Thanks again.

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