How to reset an Android app without "deleting it"

Some Android apps may start to malfunction after a while. For example, your Chrome web browser may fill up with notifications you do not want, or your antivirus may not function as well because of a configuration mistake you have made. Also, some apps, after a long period of use, with many settings and updates being changed, may start misbehaving. If you want to reset an Android app without "deleting it" or uninstalling it, you can do that with ease. Here is how:

NOTE: In this guide, we cover Android 8 Oreo and Android 9 Pie, and we use two sets of screenshots: one for each version. The screenshots for Android 8 are always on the left, while those for Android 9 are on the right. If you do not know what version of Android you are using, read: What version of Android do I have? 3 ways of checking!

How to reset an Android app to its initial state

First, open the Settings app on your Android smartphone or tablet. In Android 8, tap Apps & notifications, while in Android 9, tap Apps.

Android settings - tap Apps

If you are using Android 8, you immediately see a list of recently opened apps. If the app that you want to reset is in that list, tap on its name. Otherwise, tap "See all apps." In Android 9 you see different options. Tap on Apps.

Tap to see all apps

Android displays the list of apps that you have installed on your smartphone or tablet. Tap the name of the app that you want to reset.

For this tutorial, we chose the Firefox mobile browser and tapped on it.

The list of apps installed on your Android device

Now you see several options for the app that you chose. Tap Storage.

Tap Storage

Android displays storage information about the app you have chosen. You can see the app size, how much user data it stores, the size of its cache, and the total space occupied on your Android device. To completely reset it, tap Clear data.

Tap Clear Data

Android informs you about the consequences of this action: it is going to delete all the data of the app, its settings, accounts, databases, and so on. This means that it is going to completely reset it, and make it available as it was when you first installed it. To confirm that you are OK with the reset process, tap OK in Android 8 or Delete in Android 9.

Confirm the removal of app data in Android

The selected app is now reset. Close the Settings, and you can start the app that you have reset, and reconfigure it again, from scratch.

What Android app did you reset and why?

Many of our friends and family have troubles with their default web browser on Android. While browsing the web, they did pay attention to what they tapped on and ended up with weird notifications being displayed daily, and some dodgy settings. A solution to remove all their headaches is to reset their browser as shown in this guide. Before closing this tutorial, tell us below what Android app did you reset, and why? What kind of problems did you have with it?