Most Android smartphone manufacturers load their smartphones with some of their exclusive apps while releasing them and many of this pre-installed Android apps are often locked by the device manufacturer to prevent the users from uninstalling them from their device.
While some pre-installed apps like file managers or Gallery apps are actually useful, not everyone wants a random app on their phone which they never use and just sitting there and running in the background potentially slowing down the performance of their phone or even reducing its battery life.
Even the smartphones from Google which are released with the stock version of Android which is essentially the purest version of Android comes with bloatware or unnecessary apps like Google Play Movies or Google Play Books which most users may not use.
So, if you are looking for a way to permanently uninstall or remove pre-installed apps and bloatware from your Android device in an attempt to increase its performance or battery life, here are a few ways to remove pre-installed apps and bloatware from Android.
While this method is the easiest one in the list and it does not require root access, it essentially just disables the app you want instead of uninstalling it and completely removing it from your phone.
This means that the app won’t run in the background or won’t be present in the list of installed apps on your device or appear on the Play Store updates list. However, it will still be present on your device and you can revert the action and enable the app to use it, in case you change your mind in the future.
To disable a pre-installed app or bloatware on your Android phone, first, open the settings app on your device and then click on the Apps option from the menu.
Now, click on the app which you want to remove from your phone from the list of installed apps on your device. Proceed with caution as disabling or removing any essential system app from your device might cause any issues with the normal functioning of your Android phone.
Once you are in the app page of the app you want to remove from your phone, just click on the disable option and allow the app to remove all associated data from your device and rollback to the version it was when you first got your phone.
The app is now disabled from your phone, which basically means that it can no longer be used and will not run in the background. However, it is still stored on your device’s memory and you can enable it and start using it whenever you want to by updating it to the latest available version.
Alternatively, you can also long press an app and select the disable option to disable or remove app directly from your home screen or app drawer. However, this method is not recommended as some apps may not have a disable option in the long press menu.
If you want to completely uninstall an app from your Android phone instead of just disabling it, then follow the below steps.
Note: This method does not require root access, however, you need access to a laptop or a PC to follow this method.
Make sure you have the relevant USB drivers for your Android device installed on your PC or laptop. If not, you can head over to your device manufacturers website and download and install the latest official drivers on your device. After you’ve acquired your drivers, download the official ADB tools from here and then extract them to an easily accessible location on your PC.
Open the settings app and navigate to the developer options on your device.
If you haven’t enabled the developer options already, head over to the software information section under the About phone option on your settings app. Now tap on the build number details seven times until you get the option to unlock the developer options.
You can now access the developer options at the end of your settings app. From there, navigate to the USB debugging option and then enable it.
Now connect your Android device to your PC using your USB cable and make sure that the file transfer mode is selected.
Open the folder where you had extracted the ADB tools file and then open a command prompt or a Windows PowerShell window at that location by holding the shift key and then right clicking on an empty space and selecting the ‘Open the PowerShell window here’ option.
Make sure your Android device is connected to your PC via USB and then type the command ‘adb devices’ on the command prompt. Now you will get a popup on your Android device asking you to Allow USB debugging on your PC. Just click on OK to proceed.
Download and install the App inspector app on your Android device. Open the app and then select the pre-installed app or the bloatware you want to uninstall from the list of installed apps on your device and then note down the package name of the app.
Type the below commands one by one on the command prompt window.
pm uninstall –k —user 0 “name of the package”
For example to uninstall the Microsoft Word app from your Android device just type
pm uninstall –k —user 0 com.microsoft.office.word
Note: Be careful not to uninstall any essential apps as it might affect the functionality of your device. If you are not sure what an app does, it is better not to uninstall the app.
Once you have followed the steps in the above method, the app you have selected will be uninstalled and removed from your Android device. While it will not be available for use on your device you can always install the app from the Google Play Store or by installing an APK on your device if you change your mind. The app will also be restored if you ever perform a factory reset on your device.