Whether you use a handheld device or a computer, you’d have several apps to ease your task.
More often than you think, you’d need to remove or uninstall malfunctioning apps from your system.
But, there’s a burning question that most tech-savvy users often wonder – can deleting an app also delete all related data?
Well, it depends.
#1 Data Storage Location
To put it simply, whether removing an app would also remove all related data would depend on where the information is stored.
Most apps these days use cloud storage to store user data. It could be anything from content to images and even personal data.
Deleting your account is one of the options that generally delete all your personal information. If you delete or uninstall an app after you delete your account, you’d probably lose all your data.
However, if you only delete the app, your data may still be there on the server.
Typically, the app admins would retain your data for a month or two if you decide to reinstall the app. This is how you get most of your data restored when you uninstall and reinstall apps like Canva and Facebook.
Contrary to this, if your apps use your system storage, it is likely that your data would be safe on your system. This is because deleting an app from your system usually erases the temporary log files that it creates on your system. And not the actual data.
You can access your data associated with an app from your file manager.
If you’re an Android user, you can access your files by clicking on internal storage>(app folder). If you’re using an iPhone, you can find your files by clicking on the Browse button at the bottom of your screen.
Tap on Browse and select the item you wish to open.
This method would work when you have the app installed that created the original file.
If you’ve already uninstalled the app, you can still access the files you created using it. Just go to the Browse section, tap on the file or the location where you stored it. The file should open up in Quick Look.
#2 Deleting App VS Deleting Account
As mentioned already, deleting an app is different from deleting an account.
To put this into perspective, let’s consider an example.
Say you’re using Facebook. You’d probably be logged into Facebook from multiple devices. Simply uninstalling the app from your mobile would not delete any data you have on your Facebook Profile. It only eliminates one of the access points to your data. You’d need to delete your account to do so.
Likewise, suppose you’re uninstalling an app on your system. In that case, you’d most likely be only restricting the access point on your system and not anywhere else.
The task can get even more cumbersome when you’re using a Unix-based system, such as Apple’s Macbook.
You can learn more here about uninstalling apps on Macs.
Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that uninstalling is not enough. You’d also need to remove other data from your system to eliminate all the logs that the app has created on your system.
To put this into perspective, the apps, be it a photo editor or antivirus software, generally create a temporary log on your system. Regardless of whether the app saves actual files on your system or over the cloud, you’ll still have a signature on your device or system.
#3 Why Is It So Important To Keep Track Of Your Data?
In this digital era, we are surrounded by IoT devices all around us. From the TV sets to mobile devices and even the Air Conditioning systems these days, everything is connected to the internet.
Now, leaving a trace of any data can potentially risk losing it. Hackers can access your personal information from almost any source that has a signature of your data.
Consider this situation.
Say you’ve installed a digital wallet application on your phone. You might have deleted it sometime later, but it still has temporary files related to your information stored on your local memory.
Now, a hacker could use this temporary log file to track back your authentication keys and banking details.
Apart from this, the hackers can also access your other information, such as your social security number and credit card details.
This could potentially land you up in a situation where you may have to deal with fraudulent transactions from your account.
Another situation could be when hackers steal your piece of work, such as your designs or paintings.
Although this could potentially lead to infringement charges on the hacker, but only if you can track them back.
In short, you risk losing a lot of data and information in the wrong hands if you do not consider keeping track of your data and information.
#4 So, What Is The Solution?
Your first line of defense is to have a reliable firewall on your system. A firewall should protect any unauthorized access to your device.
Besides, a firewall should also ensure that your system remains free from any malware or trojan. These potentially dangerous files can disrupt your system and steal your information.
The next thing that you can do is password protect all your important folders and files. Try combinational passwords with alphanumeric and symbolic characters.
Another thing that you can do is creating different passwords for different locations and folders.
To take your file security a notch higher, you can keep a backup on an external device. Since the external device will not be connected to the internet all the time, in case you are attacked, you wouldn’t risk losing your data.
You can also remove all cache from your local memory to remove the traces of files and data. As already mentioned, the cache or log files are easy targets for hackers and trojans. So, it is better to get rid of them before they get into the wrong hands.
#5 In A Nutshell
Deleting your apps does not delete your data. There’s a lot more to it.
In some cases, you might still need the data but not necessarily the app. For example, your written documents or created images.
Whereas, there might also be some instances when you want to get rid of the data associated with an app. For example, application cache and support files.
It is not always a necessity but rather a subjective choice to eliminate the data associated with an app that you delete.
More so, it requires a lot more than simply uninstalling an app from your system to get rid of all the data.
But at the same time, it is vital to ensure that you keep it safe if you keep it. Risking your personal information and data might affect your personal and financial life, and in some cases, your professional life too.
You might need to look into the storage locations that the app used for all the data to get rid of it, especially when you’re uninstalling the app from your computer. But, on the other hand, removing data from your mobile devices is a lot simpler than your computer.
Uninstalling an app on your iPhone or Android phone would usually erase most of the data. And the only data that you’re left with would be your intellectual property work.