How To Empty Trash on Android

How To Empty Trash On Android 1

Android has always been a step behind when it comes to simplicity. Luckily, gears have started to shift in a new direction in recent years, especially when it comes to data sharing. However, accessing the Trash has remained challenging due to its elusiveness. 

Quick Answer

To empty the Trash on Android, clear your cache, and delete the downloads folder along with other potential sources of junk files. While third-party software does this for you, they generally contain bloatware. 

Android systems don’t possess a dedicated trash bin. Therefore, you need to delete the unwanted files manually if you want to have space for more. 

In this guide, I will show you the method of emptying different kinds of Trash on Android. With that being said, let’s jump in and get started. 

How Does “Trash Cleaning” Work on Android?

As mentioned, there is no dedicated junk storage in Android. Thus, you won’t be able to find a trash delete button either. While the Gallery possesses its version of a Trash folder, it’s not perfect and can only cater to images and videos under a certain storage threshold. 

That being said, the Trash is still stored in the different components of Android and can be accessed through various segmented methods. Deleting such files can be tricky since some can contain useful data. Thus, we recommend you follow this guide instead. 

Method #1: Clearing Cached Files in Android

The Android Cache is where your device stores all the temporary and intermediary data. This can range from simple application preferences to entire user experience profiles. However, deleting this does not cause any data loss, so it’s safe. 

Luckily, the cache folder is quite easy to access. You just need to follow the steps below, and you’re good to go:

  1. In the home menu, locate the “Settings” app and scroll down to find “Storage”.
  2. In there, simply choose the cached data and press “OK” on the warning prompt. 

Once the cached data is deleted, you might have to wait for a few applications to reconfigure before launching for the first time. This is because certain harmless but integral bits of data are also stored in the system cache, so it needs to be reloaded there. 


Instead of clearing the entire system cache, it’s also possible to clean it for individual applications. Doing so will yield a more customized result, allowing you to choose what you want to keep.

Method #2: Clearing Unnecessary Downloads

Similar to the system cache, it’s also possible to access the downloads folder to delete any unnecessary files that need to be deleted. Unlike Windows, there is no Recycle Bin here. Therefore, all the downloads are deleted permanently. 

With that said, here is how you can access and delete the contents within a download folder on Android:

  1. From the Home page, open the default “File Explorer” by tapping on it. 
  2. Once it has opened, locate the “Downloads” option and open it. 
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  3. There, simply decide the download files you want to keep and delete the rest. 

Clearing the downloads folder will relieve you from unnecessary space consumption and help keep everything organized. 

Are Third-Party Apps Good for Deleting Trash in Android?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. While they delete most of the junk in the Android files, they often tend to leave their junk in much greater quantities. This can include pop-up ads, bloatware, and unnecessary log files. 

While it is generally recommended to stay away from them, they can still be beneficial if you decide to remove them after one use. Simply head to the Google Play Store to find a good optimizing application on Android. 


In essence, Android has yet to catch up to Apple when it comes to effective resource management. However, there are manual methods available that can bridge this gap. That being said, the process is rather simple and linear. Therefore, you won’t be encountering many difficulties along the way. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Trash Can on my Android?

Unlike a Windows or a macOS system, Android does not come with a Trash can. Therefore, you won’t be able to find any since most of such processes are automated. However, you won’t be able to do much if you lose/ delete your important files.

Is emptying Trash on Android worth the hassle?

Frankly put, it’s a yes and a no. The truth of the matter is that you will be able to gain a decent boost in storage. However, that’s about it when it comes to usefulness. There are no Recycle Bin-like backups. So you’re essentially only deleting the files. 

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