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How to remove Touchwiz on your Samsung smartphone

Android is an open source system meaning that Google builds it, shares it and then manufacturers can pretty much do whatever they want with it. An example of this is Samsung’s customized UI layer TouchWiz (or Samsung Experience), which often finds itself the subject of heated debates -  not everyone is a fan. If you want to remove TouchWiz from your phone, we have several different solutions to help you out, whether you're the average user or an Android expert.

What is TouchWiz?

All Samsung smartphones come with Samsung's unique home interface, TouchWiz. Starting with the recalled Galaxy Note 7, a new interface design called Grace UX was introduced. With the Korean manufacturer's device update to Android Nougat, this new design has been expanded. The interface has changed a bit, along with the name, from TouchWiz to Samsung Experience, as we can see on the Galaxy S8.

However, not everyone likes this new user experience. If you have a Samsung smartphone but you’re just not feeling the interface, we can give you a hand with changing it.

Disable TouchWiz apps (non-root)

Obviously, this won’t completely erase TouchWiz from your Samsung device, but it will get rid of those annoying updates that the pre-installed apps (bloatware) constantly ask for and which continuously eat up your internal memory. We can get rid of the notifications and the apps that Samsung pre-installs.

You can begin by getting rid of the shortcut and widget, but to actually stop the app, you'll need to go to Settings -> Applications -> Application manager, look for the offending app and click on it.

Get rid of Touchwiz Setup 1
Disable annoying apps on your Samsung smartphone / © ANDROIDPIT

Once you’re in the app information:

  • Deselect the option ‘Show notifications’
  • Erase the cache
  • Erase data
  • Lastly, click on ‘Disable.'

This way, the app will stay in a kind of hibernation mode, it won’t update, and it will only take up the initial space it came with. If you want to turn it back on, all you need to do is go to the application manager again and under ‘disabled’, you’ll see all the apps you’ve turned off.

Install a different launcher so you don’t have to look at TouchWiz

This is the most drastic change you can make without rooting your phone. If the icons or the high-contrast background of Touchwiz aren't to your liking, you can always modify the look to make your Android experience a bit more bearable.

With a customized launcher, you can change the appearance of the desktop and icons. It simply requires you going to the Google Play Store and downloading one of the many available launchers. The most popular ones are Nova, Apex, and Google Now. You can find a selection of the best launchers here.

Get rid of Touchwiz Setup 2
Set the new launcher as the default on your Samsung device. / © ANDROIDPIT

Head to the Google Play Store and install whichever launcher you like most. The first time you open it, it will ask you which launcher you’d like to use. Choose the launcher you just installed and click on ‘always.' If for some reason you want to go back to TouchWiz, you can change this in Settings -> Default Apps -> Home screen, choose your launcher and click on the home button.

Opinion by Luis Ortega
I always customize the launcher when I get a new phone
What do you think?
362 participants

Erase TouchWiz: root and install an AOSP ROM

If you want to completely remove Samsung's UI from your device, your only option is to flash your device with a new ROM that doesn’t have a shred of TouchWiz in it. This will void your warranty though as the Knox counter will be set to zero. To flash your Samsung, the first thing you’ll need is Odin.

To erase Touchwiz from your phone, you’ll need a few things: first, install a custom recovery and then install the new ROM from the custom recovery. Some ROMs come pre-rooted by default, but for others it’s optional.

AndroidPIT odin samsung firmware flash
Modifying the software on a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. / © AndroidPIT

The most common custom recovery for Samsung is TWRP. To install it, you’ll need the exact file for your phone model. You can download it from its official page: devices supported by TWRP. To install the recovery with Odin, you’ll need the file with the .tar extension.

When the custom recovery is ready, you can start looking for a ROM without TouchWiz. In the XDA forum, you’ll find a lot of ROMS based on pure Android (AOSP) that you can try out. The main thing to keep an eye on is how often it updates and user comments. If you’re not sure where to start, Lineage OS might be a good place.

Do you like TouchWiz? If not, what modifications did you do to make TouchWiz more bearable? Let us know in the comments below.



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  • Mark G. 6 months ago Link to comment

    I can understand that some may not be happy with touchwiz, personally I like it. It is the main reason I buy a Samsung device. Sure in the early days it was a bit heavy, and yes I would like more control over which Samsung apps that I wish to keep on uninstall (not disable), but it's now a minor issue with increased internal storage and RAM. Certainly if I was still using my old faithful S3 then bloatware would be a concern.

    TouchWiz though is great, it's provided an enhanced UI and experience, I'm especially happy that with 7.0 and the latest version of touchwiz Samsung has brought back Air wake (though its now called "Easy Screen Turn On" settings - Accessibility - dexterity).

    This is just one of many great features (S planner / S Health / Gallery /customizable app drawer etc name just a few more).

    If you are buying a Smartphone but don't like TouchWiz then don't buy a Samsung, though I would highly recommend that you give it a try as it does provide a enhanced experience over Stock Android & other manufacturers UI's.

    Peace 🖖

    • Agree.
      Unless your phone has no more warranty or updates . That would be a good time to extend the life with a maintained Rom from XDA.
      peace ✌

  • storm 6 months ago Link to comment

    TouchWiz reaches deeper than apps and launcher. The notifications and settings themselves are rearranged, disabled or cluttered with extra crap. The bloatware mess of settings are more annoying to my taste than its launcher.

  • Mark
    • Admin
    6 months ago Link to comment

    My question is if you remove touch wiz do you remove the s pen functions for the note line up? Personally I have never had that big a problem with touch wiz which I use on my Note 4. I use nova launcher my LG G5 and S3

    • storm 6 months ago Link to comment

      Changing the launcher doesn't change the s pen apps or functions. There are TouchWiz ROMs that give you the fine control but preserve the s pen goodies. And there are after market apps that can bring s pen support to non TouchWiz ROMs like note buddy and a few others are apps. It's not as complete an experience but it's pretty good. Of course the s pen still only works on the note devices. An active stylus can bring some of these features to non note phones.

      • Mark
        • Admin
        6 months ago Link to comment

        Yes I know changing the launcher does not effect it. They are talking in the article removing touch wiz completely. That I believe would remove the S pen function also.

  • marty lk 6 months ago Link to comment

    I normally use Action Launcher 3 on all of my phones, but I'm finding the native launcher acceptable. The app icons seem to be a bit wacky, Samsung could do so much better at translating default app icons to squirkles.

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