Samsung has released an update to its Device Care app that removes the fishy Qihoo 360 storage cleaning integration. The application has been under fire for sending usage data to the Chinese company behind the service. Samsung said it only shared generic, non-personalized data with Qihoo, but it looks like the manufacturer has still decided to forgo the cooperation completely following the backlash.
To get rid of the Qihoo 360 integration in Device Care right now, head to the Play Store and see if the Device Care update is available to you. If not, you can also sideload the latest release from APK Mirror (Android 10 version, Android 9 version). You'll continue receiving automatic updates later even when you choose the latter route.
Once you have the latest version and head to Settings -> Storage on your phone, you'll see that the big blue button that used to let you automatically clean your storage is gone. It makes way for a longer explanation on how you can optimize your file system manually: "Free up storage space by deleting unused data such as rarely used apps and unnecessary documents." Other than that, the new Device Care release includes Android 10 support and UI improvements to the battery usage page.
Left: Older versions. Right: Version 11.0.02.42 without the Qihoo 360 integration.
Samsung has always relied on external partners for some system features, among them storage space cleaning apps. This led to some issues: The company initially partnered up with Cheetah Mobile's Clean Master, an app now infamous for ad fraud. Samsung then replaced that product with the one from Qihoo 360, and we know how that turned out.
The effectiveness of cleaning apps like those from Qihoo 360 and Cheetah Mobile is debatable at best, anyway. Many of them are just clever schemes to grab your data and display ads. Instead, try clearing individual apps' caches yourself. By choosing big offenders like Spotify or Chrome, you'll quickly end up freeing almost as much storage as a cleaning app would. If you absolutely rely on automatically saving space on your phone, check out Files by Google or SD Maid. Both give you more granular control, don't display ads, and show you what exactly they're doing.
Depending on which Android version your phone is on, you need to choose between these two Device Care versions on APK Mirror:
Android 9 APK
We've added the new Android 9 version of Device Care without Qihoo 360 to this post.
There has also been some confusion surrounding the version numbers, so here's the deal: Samsung publishes two altogether different APKs for Android 10 and 9. Version 11 releases are meant for Android 10, while version 10 is the one to get when you're on Android 9. Makes perfect sense, right?