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How to uninstall bloatware and preinstalled Android apps

How to uninstall bloatware and preinstalled Android apps

Not all preinstalled apps on your smartphone will be of use to you. By removing apps you don't want or need, you'll be able to improve your phone's performance and free up storage space. Apps you don't need but cannot uninstall are called bloatware. With our tips, you can delete, remove, disable, or at least hide preinstalled apps and bloatware.

What is bloatware?

Bloatware is often commercial software that is preinstalled on a device by the manufacturer, whether it's useful or not, and tends to waste memory and resources. Sometimes you'll want to get rid of these apps that take up space on your apps list, home screen and internal storage.

Most users never touch a lot of pre-installed apps on their new phone, but rather than leave them there wasting precious computing power and slowing down your phone, it's best to remove or at least disable them. This guide will show you how.

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Uninstalling vs. disabling bloatware

When it comes to shifting annoying bloatware, you essentially have two options - disable or uninstall. Both have their pros and cons, but what are the differences? Uninstalling bloatware is the more drastic of the two options, and involves completely removing the files from your device. While this is the best way to ensure that the app will not be bothering you anymore, it is risky as it could cause problems further down the line if some of those files are needed.

Disabling bloatware is much more risk-free. It will ensure that the app does not take up valuable RAM by running in the background but it also means that the app is not really 'gone', in the sense that it is if you have uninstalled it. Depending on the app and your device, the choice between uninstalling and disabling certain apps might not be yours to make anyway. Let's take a look at both approaches.

Disabling bloatware: general guidance

Many apps continue to consume resources while they’re not in active use. They also take up space in the app drawer. Since Android 4.0, however, there has been the option to disable apps.

  • Head to Settings > Apps.
  • Here, on most phones, you will find three tabs: All Apps, Disabled, and Enabled.
apps and notifications
Check out your apps in the Settings menu / © AndroidPIT

By tapping on this or that app, you will notice that some apps can be uninstalled. This applies to apps you may have downloaded yourself but there will also be unnecessary bloatware that you can remove (as in the above example, the phone came with Booking.com's app pre-installed).

Some apps cannot be uninstalled or disabled (the Settings app, for example). These apps are essential for Android to run properly. Anything that does not fall into one of these two categories can usually be disabled unless it is on a protected system partition (some manufacturers deliberately do this with their apps).

Or, if you use a third-party app for emails, you can make the default email app on Android disappear. When disabling an app, the system warns you that some programs might not work properly afterwards. This refers to apps that rely on the app in question to function normally.

Should you change your mind, you can return to the app list and reverse the process. Every app will continue to be listed there, even if it is invisible in the app drawer. Although the layout can vary slightly depending on the manufacturer's OS, the process is very similar on most smartphones. Below you can learn how easy it is to uninstall Samsung apps.

How to delete or disable Samsung's preinstalled apps

Samsung's UI deviates from stock Android in a few ways, and it comes with an alternative process to disable Samsung's bloatware apps:

  • Simply open the App Drawer.
  • Then long press on any app to bring up a bubble that will allow you to disable the app, or uninstall if possible.
disablesamsungapps
Long pressing on an app icon will bring up the option to disable or remove / © AndroidPIT

A disabled app will no longer run in the background and will not receive any updates, eliminating unnecessary drain on resources.

How to delete preinstalled apps

It can be frustrating when you really want to delete an app but the system only lets you disable it. If you really know what you're doing, there's a way to get complete control over your phone's software.

If you are not afraid of voiding your warranty, or getting rid of certain sensitive apps like Samsung Pay or certain online banking apps, you can also root your device. Then you can completely uninstall any app. System app remover (ROOT) helps you do just that. However, be warned, doing this might make any number of other apps stop functioning properly.

Consult these articles (and a tutorial specific to your device) before choosing to root, to better understand the process and its consequences:


Uninstall and disable standard Google apps

Android is a network of several software components and apps. Some of these apps become superfluous if you choose to use an alternative. The result is, after a while, dead weight in the system. Here’s a list of the standard apps that can be safely disabled once you've set up an alternative:

Apps and app ID

App Name App ID
Browser com.android.browser
Downloads com.android.providers.downloads.ui
Email com.android.email
Gallery com.android.gallery3d
Camera com.android.camera2
SMS/MMS com.android.mms
Sound Recorder com.android.soundrecorder
Voice Dialer com.android.voicedialer
Video Studio com.android.videoeditor

What happens if I disable Android apps?

Once disabled, the apps disappear from your app drawer, stop receiving updates and no longer run silently in the background. In addition, any apps that depend on the disabled app will stop working. Should you disable Google Play Services, for example, several system apps will go down and, more than likely, a few apps that are not directly related to Google will start to behave erratically.

It is therefore important to have a reliably researched list of apps that do not cause collateral damage when you disable them. The above list is incomplete, and will remain that way without your help. Therefore, we invite you to share your experiences with deactivated apps in the comments.

Uninstall tons of apps

We are all guilty of being at least a little lazy when it comes to cleaning up our smartphones. Apps that we no longer use can quickly accumulate out of sight. Uninstalling individual apps through the Play Store is time-consuming, so it is more practical to remove a load all at once. In our guide, we have summarized how multiple apps can be deleted at once using the free app Cx File Explorer.

The first step is to download Cx File Explorer from the Google Play Store.

  • Open the app. If it’s your first time opening the app, you will have to give the app some permissions such as photos, media, and files on your device.
  • Select apps at the bottom of the menu.
cx file explorer
From the side menu, select APP / © AndroidPIT
  • You can now tick the apps you want to remove on the right-hand side.
  • Select the apps you want to remove and tap uninstall at the bottom of the screen.

For safety, you must verify each app by pressing OK. The advantage of this is that you can choose not to delete an app you accidentally selected without having to cancel the entire operation.

There you have it, these are the best ways to delete, stop and hide those unwanted apps. When was the last time you cleaned up the apps on your phone? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Share them with us in the comments below.


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46 comments

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  • Or root the thing and get rid of whatever you want


  • AD_LB 4 months ago Link to comment

    There is also this app for Samsung devices, which can at least disable system apps:
    "Package Disabler [Samsung]"


  • Portia 8 months ago Link to comment

    I have a Nokia 3.1 with Android one. I have installed open source launcher, email, contacts, maps and phone dialler from F-droid, also duckduckgo browser extension. I have succeeded in shutting up almost everything by disabling including Google Play Services, although it still sends one annoying notification a couple of times a day saying 'Device Health services won't work unless you enable GPS'. This cannot be turned off. Apart from a notice that appears if I start playing sudoku that says it won't work without GPS, which is a lie that I ignore, everything else is fine. It is annoying though that unless one is a techhead, which I absolutely am not, Google makes it as difficult as possible.


  • F.Alam 11 months ago Link to comment

    Thanks


  • Zaxx 11 months ago Link to comment

    Motorola may no longer be a hot n trendy brand but my G6 is nearly pure Android...counts for a lot imho. ...and the G6 is a sweet mid-range offering, also imho.


  • "Early in the springtime we round up the dogies
    Mark 'em and brand 'em and bob off their tails

    COPY AND PASTE...............HEAR>>> www.profitclip.com


  • Android One devices and Google Pixel are free from additional bloatware.

    Bloatware is certainly undesirable. I remember buying Asus Zenfone Max which offered great specs for the price but came with 50 to 55 Apps pre-installed. I disable about 20 of them. Couldn't uninstall and they consumed a lot of internal storage. What's worse, updates from Asus added additional apps like Instagram. ZenUI was a nightmare.


  • Even Huawei and Sony Xperia is rubbish - bloated with bloatware, rooted the phone but there is no app that can remove any of the rubbish taking up my internal storage space.


  • Sorin Nov 23, 2018 Link to comment

    For now I'm happy with the current configuration. Now I'll know what to do to free up space. I did not root the phone, and this is the next thing I'm going to do, then the customization options are more numerous. But the most interesting thing is the possibility to uninstall implicit applications, even without root, that's what I'm really trying to do. Excellent article, very useful, thanks.


  • Wow, amazing article. It's really helpful and interesting
    thanks


  • storm Sep 7, 2018 Link to comment

    It doesn't really work that well be cause most of it is packed into the ROM.


  • I don't worry about Samsung pre-installed apps as I will never, repeat never buy another Samsung phone again.


    • It`s Yours choice. But you will never got rid off from Google spying and reporting to CIA. If you do no want root your device and apply to run programs as You wish, You have alternative choice- buy the I-phone. Nibbled Apple will supply your data to CIA directly. :D


      • You're correct, it's my choice and I will never choose Samsung again. I also would never choose apple either. Too over priced for the features that I love and not compatible with Project Fi which is the right price for me.


    • Does Samsung flagship smartphones also come with pre-installed bloatware apps? I am considering to buy Samsung Galaxy S10 next year. What about Bixby? Heard a lot of bad stuff about it. Can't it be disabled?


    • The hardware in the E tablets are next gen but they have more bloatware than installing a bloatware trojan can give you. But they surprisingly still have more space than most devices.


  • Ant Apr 1, 2018 Link to comment

    My phone came with apps that once uninstalled install themselves when I reboot my phone??? Dr Eye and KKbox I never use. When I click on Dr Eye it wants to download a database?! How do I permanently get rid of these?


  • Nice Article


  • Easyest way for customers: Buy a Nexus. Best wax for Google: Build a good Nexus for ~500 moneys again.

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