Our mobiles come with many pre-installed applications: the basics, Google apps, those from the mobile manufacturer and sometimes with a few extras. When the mobile comes with too many apps pre-installed, they are often called bloatware.
If you are not interested in some of these applications that come with the mobile, the best thing to do is to uninstall them to free up space, speed up the mobile or simply eliminate them. We explain all the ways you have to delete applications from your mobile, with and without root.
What is bloatware?
In Android, we inherited the term bloatware from the PC, although its meaning is slightly different. On PC, extremely heavy software or “bloatware”, pre-installed or not, is called bloatware. A typical example would be an anti-virus suite pre-installed on your PC or all-in-one applications like Nero Multimedia Suite.
While on your new Windows PC or laptop you could get rid of a lot of bloatware in an afternoon by uninstalling apps, on Android the solution isn’t so simple, since some apps are theoretically impossible to uninstall or , at least, not in the traditional way.
How to remove preinstalled apps
If you have a new mobile and it comes with some pre-installed apps that you are not at all interested in, there are several ways to get rid of them. Even better, these days you don’t need root to do it: there are some great no-root tools out there that make your job a whole lot easier.
It’s worth noting that system apps are stored in a different partition from the rest (in the system partition, to be exact), so deleting them doesn’t really free up much storage space. What you gain is that their data won’t take up space, won’t boot up, and you won’t have to see them in the app drawer.
Some apps can be uninstalled without delay
Before trying more complicated methods, it is worth checking whether the application can be uninstalled without further delay. Surprisingly, this is the case with some secondary applications from Google that often come with the mobile, but are not “mandatory”, such as Google Play Games.
When the mobile includes pre-installed applications with the agreement of the manufacturer, it is normal that they can be uninstalled without further delay, like any other application that you have installed. To check this, long press the app to see if the Uninstall menu appears. If your launcher doesn’t support this option, you’ll need to access its info screen in Settings > Apps. Here are the steps:
Other apps can be disabled
When fighting bloatware, most of the time you will find applications that cannot be uninstalled: the option does not appear directly in the menu or, if it does, it is impossible to press it . This is often the case for Google apps and manufacturer extras that might duplicate functions (like Google Calendar and Samsung’s Calendar app, for example).
In this case, you cannot uninstall the application, but you can deactivate it. When you disable an app, it no longer appears in the app drawer and cannot be opened. Thus, it will not use CPU resources and you will free up space if it was updated later, as well as its data and cache space.
The advantage of disabling an app is that you remove the middle app safely, easily, and you can change your mind at any time: you can re-enable it at any time. To disable an app, go to Settings > Apps, tap the app in question, then tap Disable (or turn off, in some layers). If it is a system app, you may need to use the View System menu. Here are the steps:
Enter mobile settings
Go to applications
Tap See all
Tap the ⋮ menu and choose Show System
Tap the app you want to disable
Tap Disable and confirm your intention
Uninstall any mobile app without root
The above method will work for many pre-installed apps, but not all. In some applications, the mute button cannot be pressed or these buttons do not appear directly. It is always possible to delete them using ADB commands. Technically, the application is still in the system, but not available to the specified user, so it is indeed very useful to remove bloatware without root.
Uninstalling pre-installed apps with ADB commands is possible, although it’s a bit tricky. You have to connect to the mobile with ADB and write a command for each app you are going to uninstall. For example, to uninstall the YouTube app, you would type pm uninstall -k –user 0 com.google.android.youtube.
A simpler option is to use Universal Android Debloater, which does the same thing but with an interface that makes your task much easier. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and after connecting the mobile to the PC, it shows you all the installed applications and suggests which ones to uninstall safely.
This is a tool to be used with caution, as uninstalling too many apps can cause issues with mobile, but it does make the job much easier. Basically, you click on an app, read its description at the bottom, and if you want to uninstall it, tap the Uninstall button to its right. It is even possible to select several applications at once and uninstall them all at once. Here are the steps:
Enable developer options on mobile
In developer options, enable USB debugging
Download Android Universal Debloater for your PC operating system
Connect the mobile to the PC with a USB cable
If the mobile asks for it, accept the debugging of your PC
Open Universal Android Debloater
Choose the apps you want to uninstall and tap Uninstall
Uninstall apps with root
The previous methods fulfill the principle of deleting the apps from the app list, preventing them from opening and freeing up space on the mobile, but their APKs will still be physically on the mobile.
The only way to completely uninstall system apps is to use root permissions and apps that take advantage of them, like App Remover or Root Uninstaller. You have to be especially careful in this case, because what you uninstall is “really” uninstalled and you won’t be able to recover them later in an easy way, as if it happened with non-root methods.
With root access, you can uninstall anything you want and it will be physically deleted from the system partition. This won’t give you any more free space on the user data partition, other than getting rid of space that your updates, data, and cache would take up. It is strongly recommended that you make a backup of what you are uninstalling before uninstalling it, if the application you are using allows it.