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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 230541 28-Feb-2018 14:58
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If I delete an app from an android device, is it gone absolutely completely, or does it leave stuff behind like in windows?

And do android devices clutter up with crap that slows them down, or fills up the file system?

Therefore, is it good to do a complete reinstall every now and again?

And, while we are at it, what about iOS mobile devices?

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Chief Trash Bandit
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  Reply # 1965935 28-Feb-2018 14:59
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I've found most apps leave some trace, might be an empty folder or random files. 


iOS no idea as its a sod to access at the file level :)



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1965950 28-Feb-2018 15:14
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The answer is yes and no, ie it depends on the app. Unlike Windows, Android doesn't have a registry, nor is an application's files scattered across various folders - most apps are usually self-contained in a single folder on the /data/ partition.


However, some apps may create additional folders on sdcard (generally internal storage, ie \sdcard\) - these folders are typically used to store media or cached content. Eg Snapchat may save snaps there, WhatsApp saves media files etc.


Unfortunately when you uninstall these apps, the external folders remain, because these often contain data that users usually like to preserve (eg photos and videos).


Depending on how heavy of a user you are and how large your storage is, caches from multiple apps can fill up the storage and slow it down.


While a complete reinstall (I'm assuming you mean a full factory reset) is always a good idea to restore space and performance, it's generally not necessary - there are utilities such as SD Maid which helps in clearing those up. I would avoid random "cleaners" or so called booster apps like Cleaner Master - unlike them, SD Maid isn't run some shady organisation and doesn't contain any malware. It's been around since the beginning of Android, and I've been using SD Maid since 2010 and can vouch for its effectiveness. :)




This generally isn't an issue with iOS however, since iOS doesn't have a user accessible shared-storage space, meaning if you uninstall an application, all its related files are removed - which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. :)

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