On an iPhone with limited memory, app data (cache, documents, whatever) bothers me a lot. It eats up space – valuable space that could be filled with an exciting new app or a new album, with some more photos or even documents etc. – and it slows down the iPhone terribly.
On iOS 7.1 and prior, we've looked at ways of clearing out cache out of Safari, of removing the “Other” data (which is largely app cache, media exchanged over Messages app, iTunes library cache, album artwork etc.) and we've also covered PhoneClean that clears out individual app data. Today, we're looking specifically at solutions that clear app cache and give a memory boost through RAM optimization and let you manually clear app data and documents.
Clearing out Cache, Freeing up RAM
To begin with, let's start with something simple and easy: clearing out app cache, reallocating memory reserves so that RAM is optimized.
You'd think that Apple wouldn't allow such things without jailbreaking but that's precisely what CM Security, a popular app to clear app cache and optimize RAM, does. It's an app that works right off the bat: install it, run it and you can clear memory and optimize RAM and performance instantly. Almost instantly.
CM Security comes with two options: Junk and Memory Boost.
Junk clears out cache: this is all the temporary files the apps you use/install/uninstall store on the system. Memory Boost gives a boost to the RAM by doing what the app calls reallocate.
CM Security is good, clean and fast and over time, the use does show visible signs of improvement; my iPhone picked up speed at the very best.
Download CM Security from here. It's free.
Clearing out data
If you head over to Settings → General → Usage and tap on any app, you'll find that it shows two things: the size of the app and the size of the documents and data contained with the app. What bothers me is that you can't remove the documents/data contained within an app with a single button.
Obviously, the absence of such a feature is clear: you don't want to accidentally clear out all the documents and lose all data. And since iOS doesn't believe in a file manager (not yet), we're not getting any view of the document/data that lets us delete or edit it.
But incidentally clearing out this particular part of the app is actually quite helpful. For instance, in this case, I'd be more than happy to clear out Instapaper data and start fresh. My only option is to delete the app and re-install it as a fresh app.
Well, not so fast. There's something like i-Funbox. (if you have a jailbroken iPhone and some knowledge about the file trees in iOS, you could do with iFile too).
With i-Funbox, you get to clear out cache and data contained within an app. (You don't need to jailbreak to use i-Funbox). Here's how to clear out data using the same:
- Connect your iPhone to the computer
- Fire up i-Funbox
- From the sidebar, click on the down-arrow next to your device's name
- Next, click on User Applications
- Click on Library → Caches and clear out the data.
Also, test the waters: every app stores its files differently (although most follow a set pattern). So check out where the documents and other data are and delete them. It makes sense to have a backup of these on your computer (copy-paste) before deleting them.
There's something to note here. If the documents are saved on the cloud (like Instapaper, Dropbox), clearing them out on your iPhone is safe. You can get these back from the cloud. But if it's something like photos or recordings stored only on the iDevice, make sure you backup before you delete. Or at least make sure you don't want the data before you purge it.
You can get i-Funbox here.
So that's about how we clear data and cache out of our iPhones and iPads.