Delete the mobile application’s cache and data

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The Canvas mobile applications just like any other application (even web pages in the web browser) store data on the local device for various reasons. Mostly for performance and speed benefits, but even distance learning considerations can play a role here like preparing the applications for offline usage. 

The need

Our Canvas Mobile applications store local data on the mobile device as well and in certain circumstances it can grow big in size in some cases. You might want to manage the applications because:

  • Decrease the occupied size of the applications
  • Don’t have space on the device
  • The device is getting slower
  • You are conscious about the apps you use
  • Data gets corrupted and/or application misbehavior

In this short entry I’ll not go into the details of what the Canvas apps store on the device because it might be obsolete in a couple of months anyways. I will rather explain how you can clear the old data from your devices. We support Android and iOS platforms too and steps are different for the platforms so I will explain separately.


We have implemented a custom mechanism to empty the application cache on iOS devices. You can reach that if you go to the system Settings of the device and scroll down to the Student or Teacher apps and tap on them. The you should see:

“Reset cache on next launch”

When you switch it on, it will:

  • Delete all the cached application data from the device when you start it the next time.
    •  EXCEPT the cached files downloaded in the app like pdfs for annotation, images, etc.
  • Only occurs one time at the next app start, then the switch goes back to off state.

Note: The action will delete the previously saved login information as well, be aware of that.

If you want to get rid of the cached files as well you’ll need to uninstall the application and then reinstall it. This behavior is subject to change in the future.


The Canvas apps rely on the OS provided features here, so the deletion of the application data is basically the same as for any other applications. Since there are so many customized versions of the Android OS out there it is kinda hard to describe how you can get to the app settings, but basically similar steps can be applied on most of the devices:

  • Long tap on the Canvas Student/Teacher app and select the App info option from the popup (it can be in some cases only an ℹ symbol with or without a rounding circle)
  • Go to the (OS System) Settings, then go to Apps (sometimes manage Apps), then look for the Canvas Student/Teacher app, tap on it and then navigate to Storage.
  • On some devices you have Clear data and Clear cache (or both) options. 

Note: Many of the cache cleaner/data optimizer apps can do the same for you, and many phone manufacturers already deploy one of these apps out of the box. Search your phone for one.

There are several resources on the internet that explain how to delete the app cache and data on different devices, like this one. The linked article is not written or managed by Instructure, so Instructure can not take responsibility for what is written in the article.