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A Comprehensive 2500+ Word Guide: How to Clear Cache on an LG Smart TV

As a tech expert and long-time LG TV owner, I can tell you firsthand that clearing cache is crucial for maintaining top performance. Allow me to impart everything I‘ve learned over the years about identifying and remedying cache buildup through various methods.

A Cache Refresher – What It Is, Why It Matters

Before jumping into the step-by-steps, let‘s refresh your understanding of what cache is and how it impacts your LG smart TV over time.

What is Cache?

Cache refers to temporary data stored locally on a device to allow apps and websites to load faster. Rather than re-downloading entire files from the internet or re-creating complex rendering each time, key components are cached for quick access later.

Types of Caches

There are a few caches that can accumulate on your WebOS-based LG smart TV:

  • Application Cache: Individual apps and services store data locally so they can restart quicker. For example, the Netflix app caches info like your watch history, favorites, and authenticated login session so you don‘t have to re-enter it each time.

  • Browser Cache: The built-in web browser saves website files like images, scripts, and web pages locally. When you revisit a site, the browser loads local cached copies first before fetching fresh data.

  • System Cache: WebOS, the Linux-based operating system running your LG smart TV, utilizes cache for system data and processes. Temporary operating system files help manage everything behind the scenes.

Why Clear Cache?

Cache speeds day-to-day use by eliminating redundant downloads and computations. But over weeks and months of activity, it inevitably grows stale, inaccurate, and bloated:

  • Outdated cache data interferes with apps loading current info
  • Corrupted cache files cause conflicts andfreezes
  • Expanding caches hog storage and memory resources

Periodic cache clearing helps maintain speed by wiping old temporary data to make room for fresh, functional cache items.

Step 1: Quick Cache Reset with Power Cycle

The most effective first step in any LG TV performance troubleshooting is the classic power cycle:

  1. Using your Magic Remote, press the power button to turn the TV off
  2. Unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet
  3. Leave the TV unplugged for 60 seconds minimum to discharge residual electricity
  4. Reinsert the power cord back into outlet fully
  5. Power TV back on with remote

This forces all processes, caches, apps, and the operating system itself to completely restart. Any memory leaks, runaway apps, stuck background tasks, or bloated system caches are wiped clean.

I recommend power cycling your LG smart TV once monthly as routine preventative maintenance. Of course if you notice pixelation, lagging menus, slow app launches, or app freezes/crashes, try power cycling first before investigating more advanced cache removal tactics.

Step 2: Restart Apps Via ThinQ Mobile App

The LG ThinQ app for iOS and Android allows you to remotely control your smart TV. One handy feature is the ability to force quit misbehaving apps rather than navigating through menus using the Magic Remote.

To reset apps via ThinQ:

  1. Launch ThinQ app on your phone or tablet
  2. Swipe up from the bottom bezel to expose the Control Menu
  3. Select the Currently Open Apps icon
  4. Tap the X icon next to any problematic apps
  5. This completely quits the app, clearing it from memory

Use this to isolate poor performance to specific apps. Netflix crashing constantly? Hulu lagging? Use ThinQ to quickly restart these apps and wipe their subsequent caches.

Combining ThinQ app restarts with full TV power cycles provides a solid one-two combo in your cache clearing toolkit.

LG ThinQ app showing open app management

ThinQ app displaying currently running app

Step 3: Granular App Cache/Data Clearing

For more advanced app-level cache clearing, you can access these options through the Settings menu:

Clear Individual App Caches

  1. Go to Settings > Apps > Running Apps
  2. Select desired app and choose Clear Data
  3. Repeat for other problematic apps

Reset All Apps

  1. Navigate to Settings > General > Reset
  2. Enable Reset Apps
  3. Select Reset to restart all apps and wipe cache

Think of app cache clearing as spring cleaning for individual problem apps or mass restoring all apps at once.

Step 4: Purge YouTube Cache

YouTube streaming is one of the most cache-intensive operations given the site‘s heavy use of video, JS, and advertising assets.

To purge just the YouTube app cache:

  1. Launch YouTube app
  2. In app menu » Settings » Clear Cache & Cookies
  3. Power cycle TV when prompted

You‘ll now reclaim plenty of storage real estate formerly occupied by old YouTube video clips, thumbnails, channel imagery, and much more.

Step 5: Reset Browser Cache & History

After the YouTube app itself, the next biggest cache hog is the built-in web browser:

  1. Launch Browser app
  2. Open menu » Settings
  3. Select Privacy » Clear Browsing Data
  4. Check cached images/files and history
  5. Click OK to clear browser cache

Stale browser cache builds up constantly thanks to tracking cookies, cached JS/CSS files, images, etc. Wiping it intermittently keeps the browser lean and responsive especially if you frequent certain websites regularly.

Smart Diagnosis: Is It Really a Cache Issue?

Before diving into more advanced cache removal techniques, let‘s discuss smart diagnosis to confirm caching is indeed at the heart of your LG smart TV‘s performance problems.

Ask These Questions to Isolate Cause:

  • Does lag or crashing center around a specific app like YouTube or Netflix? This points to app-level cache bloat.
  • Is performance sluggish system-wide when navigating webOS menus? Indicates system cache or memory constraints.
  • Corrupted video and audio across sources? Potential hardware issue unrelated to caching.

Conduct Speed Tests:

  • Power cycle the TV then launch problematic app. Improved speed? Cache issue. Still slow? Deeper problem.
  • Check internet speeds from TV browser at Low bandwidth points to a connectivity vs cache issue.

Getting to the root cause first prevents wasted effort clearing caches that aren‘t actually the culprit.

Local System Cache vs Cloud App Cache

As a technologist, I should clarify the core difference between local device cache vs cloud-based cache:

  • Local caching saves data internally on the TV‘s built-in storage
  • Cloud caching offloads storage to remote servers like Netflix‘s

For example, Netflix temporarily caches your watch history and favorites on their cloud servers on your account. But downloaded video chunks, episode metadata, subtitles, etc get stored locally on the TV.

Troubleshooting caching therefore requires both cloud and local cache clearing for a complete performance refresh.

Local Disk Cache vs Memory Cache

There is also the technical distinction between disk cache and memory cache:

  • Disk cache refers to media files, images, and data saved on the TV‘s onboard flash storage
  • Memory cache copies running process data into available RAM

Think of disk cache as long term storage; memory cache as instant access while an app session is active.

Diagnosing caching bottlenecks requires understanding this key difference. For example, low RAM would cause memory cache thrashing as the system swaps outdated data to disk. Power cycling and app restarts clear this nicely.

Meanwhile, the browser and apps gobbling up too much flash storage capacity calls for disk cache deletion.

Advance Troubleshooting If Cache Clearing Fails

I always recommend starting with simpler power cycle and cache clearing before breaking out heavy artillery. But should those standard procedures fail to boost responsiveness, consider advancing to factory reset or wiring connections:

Factory Reset

As detailed earlier, factory reset erases all user data and customizations but provides a completely fresh software install as a last resort for stubborn performance gremlins.

Reseat Cables

Another overlooked solution I frequently turn to on service calls is reseating connector cables. HDMI, power cords, even dust in the antenna/cable input can cause intermittent physical problems masquerading as caching issues.

Take the back panel off and firmly reinsert all rear port connectors. Remove and reconnect the electrical power cord too for good measure if power cycling fails to help. This scrapes away grime or corrosion interfering with vital data pathways.

Contrasting webOS Caching vs Other Platforms

Having owned smart TVs across brands running various software platforms, I can contrast LG‘s webOS caching behaviors compared to competitors:

LG webOS


  • Mature platform with over 5 years reliable caching frameworks in place
  • Granular app cache management available in settings
  • Built-in SpeedTests to diagnose connectivity issues


  • Some legacy/orphaned cache files can persist through resets
  • No central cache reset switch; requires app-by-app clearing

Roku TV


  • Remove Devices menu in account settings clears all Roku and app data
  • Simple networked platform minimizes potential cache corruption


  • Cannot reset apps individually
  • Limited cache insights available

Android TV


  • Reset app preferences utility for mass cache clearing
  • Shares Android cache analysis tools for developers


  • Fragmented vendor Android versions
  • Less tailored to TV UX than dedicated platforms

No one platform provides perfect, transparent cache handling. But webOS strikes an ideal balance of configuration options compared to alternatives.

Weighing Cache Clearing and Factory Reset

Is wiping the cache sufficient for slowing down your LG Smart TV or do you actually need total factory reset erasure? Let‘s compare approaches:

Cache Clearing

  • Faster with selective app/data removal
  • Preserves personal data & customizations
  • Requires repeating when new cache accumulates

Factory Reset

  • Most complete clean slate performance
  • Tedious re-entry of WiFi, accounts etc
  • Lose all favorites, settings and login credentials

I suggest methodical cache clearing first since it saves you headaches of post-reset personalization. Reserve factory restore only for worst case scenarios on severely lagging TVs.

Why? Cache builds up naturally with usage anyway so resetting buys you a month or two before having to remove caches again. More strategic periodic cache cleanup provides better long term upkeep allowing you to keep customizations intact.

Let‘s Recap: Comprehensive Cache Clearing Checklist

In summary, this multi-pronged approach represents the most comprehensive caching hygiene regimen:

  1. Power cycle the TV to restart WebOS and active apps
  2. Use ThinQ app to force problem apps closed
  3. Clear app caches individually through Settings or collectively reset all apps
  4. Purge YouTube app cache and cookies
  5. Clear browser cache/history to wipe residual web data
  6. Factory reset as an absolute last resort
  7. Reseat connector cables for continuity testing

Bookmark this article as reference to refresh LG smart TV performance through proactive cache management.

Diagnosed properly, flushing outdated cache data preserves responsiveness and saves you the hassle of total device resets. Implement these best practices and say goodbye to sluggish menus, choppy video, and unresponsive apps!