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Need to remember to clear the cache and history on Smartphone

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The other day I was getting pissed off at my cell phone for running so slow. I was in the city where I used to get dwnld speeds of 50+Mbps. I ran a TMN speed test and was only getting on 2 attempts 15- 20 Mbps. I realized I hadn't cleared the cache and history on the phone in awhile. I forgot to look at how much was stored before clearing but took almost 10 mins. After clearing I ran a test and the download results were 56 Mbps I guess to be a Smartphone it has to have a smart user. :)

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If it's a Mozilla based browser such as Firefox, I suggest deleting the App data also every couple of months so it's like it's freshly installed.  Just make sure you have your bookmarks synced or backed up first.  Firefox stores browsing history, cookie details, cache metadata, etc. in databases.  Clearing the cache, cookies and other privacy data within the browser usually does little to reduce the database sizes.  With the Firefox desktop browser, it's surprising just how much better Firefox performs with its user profile directories wiped after 6+ months of use, so it's very likely the same with its mobile browser app.

 

To gave an example of how much Firefox leaves behind just clearing the privacy data within the App, these were the Firefox App storage details:

  • App size: 175MB
  • User data: 0.97GB
  • Cache 663MB
  • Total 1.81GB

 

After clearing the Firefox cache & cookies within Firefox, the Firefox App storage details reduced to as follows:

  • App size: 175MB
  • User data: 0.97GB
  • Cache 124MB
  • Total 1.27GB

 

In Firefox, I checked that my bookmarks were synced and then cleared the Firefox's App data (Phone Settings -> Apps -> Firefox -> Storage -> Clear Data).  When I went back into Firefox, it was as if I used Firefox for the first time on the phone, so I signed in, let it restore my bookmarks and signed in to a few sites (e.g. TestMy).  When I went back into the Firefox App storage details, they were now down to:

  • App size: 175MB
  • User data: 47.28MB
  • Cache 42.60MB
  • Total 265MB
Edited by Sean
Correction

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So interesting. Believe it or not, I really don’t have any ‘mobile’ devices, other than this iPad. All my computers (except 1) are running a version of Windows 7, either 32 or 64 bit, and either Ultra or Professional. The exception is a Windows 8 64 bit because of a touch screen platform.

So there are plenty of programs, like CCleaner for example, that only takes a flip of the switch to clean caches, etc. I used to do a full wipe and system install every December but no need to now.

 

So it’s only this iPad that drives me crazy 😜. But it’s a lightweight machine good for playing chess or checking the weather. I kinda miss Ma Bell, though.

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While CCleaner can wipe the Firefox cookies, cache, history, etc., it only gives the option to compact its databases.  The growing database sizes was the problem I had with Firefox slowing down on my PC after a year or two of regular use, despite regularly running CCleaner.  In the past I thought it was just Firefox getting bloated with its larger installation sizes, but noticed that Firefox and Chrome performed about equal on my seldom used laptop. 

 

Usually every 6-12 months, I would backup my Firefox bookmarks, then rename the "Profiles" folder in "%appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox" and "%localappdata%\Mozilla\Firefox", e.g. to Profiles.old.  When I launch Firefox, it acts like it's freshly installed and I import my bookmarks and reinstall the few plug-ins I use.  If all seems fine after a day or two of use, I then delete those old Firefox profile folders.

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Thank you Sean! If you don’t mind, I’m going to copy that into a procedure for me to refer to and share with anyone I know who uses Firefox (let’s see, there’s me and me). I prefer doing that to using Chrome or Google or Safari but everyone else I know uses one of those.

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