Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

Smartphone and tablet manufacturers just love freebies. They might not be the sort of freebies you or I want (you know, free hardware, free games, free cloud storage, etc.) but they include them on devices so that you have something to complain about.

After all, pre-installed bloatware is almost always completely useless, making strange assumptions about the user’s intentions and slowing performance. While it may not be as bad as the Lenovo Superfish malware debacle Lenovo Laptop Owners Beware: Your Device May Have Preinstalled Malware Lenovo Laptop Owners Beware: Your Device May Have Preinstalled Malware Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo has admitted that laptops shipped to stores and consumers in late 2014 had malware preinstalled. Read More , Android bloatware is an issue.

We already know that it is possible to remove bloatware from rooted Android devices What You Need to Know About Removing Android Bloatware What You Need to Know About Removing Android Bloatware Lots of phones come with annoying pre-installed software, but you can remove it. Here's how. Read More , but what about those of us who haven’t rooted?

No Root? Don’t Worry!

Regular readers may know that I run an Android device with the secure OmniROM ROM 5 Reasons Why You Should Flash OmniROM To Your Android Device 5 Reasons Why You Should Flash OmniROM To Your Android Device With a bunch of custom ROM options out there, it can be hard to settle on just one -- but you should really consider OmniROM. Read More and have been installing custom ROMs How to Find and Install a Custom ROM for Your Android Device How to Find and Install a Custom ROM for Your Android Device Android is super customizable, but to fully take advantage of that, you need to flash a custom ROM. Here's how to do that. Read More since the days of Android 1.6 (and before that on Windows Mobile 5 and 6). I’ve recently bought my first real Android tablet (having been quite happy with a HP Touchpad with Android installed How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes As slick, smooth and functional as webOS is on the HP TouchPad, and wherever the future of the platform may lie, there remains a problem – the shortage of apps. The fact remains that there... Read More for some time), a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, and was astonished by the volume of pre-installed bloatware.

As the device is really for books and comics, and a bit of social networking, I haven’t put time aside to install a recovery and flash a custom ROM just yet, and while rooting this device is apparently straightforward, I’ve also skipped that so far.

Amazingly, however, there is a method that can be used on this and other Android 4.4 KitKat devices. This is thanks to a Debloater tool, developed by XDA Developer regular gatesjunior.

Ads by Google

Using this Debloater, you can block any preinstalled apps on your device, reducing the impact of bloatware. Should you need to remove them completely, however, the device will need to be rooted. Note that devices running versions of Android prior to and since KitKat must be rooted for this method to work.

Let’s see how it works.

Using Debloater to Kill Android Bloatware

Get started by downloading the Debloater tool, taking care to choose the most recent version. Visit the original XDA thread if you’re interested for more details.

Note that this is a Windows application, and requires that you first connect your Android device to your PC via USB and install the drivers. Once you’ve done this, install the Debloater.

Next activate USB debugging on Android, by opening Settings > Developer Options. Check the box and take the time to read the resulting message and confirm the action. Wait a moment, and then confirm the RSA key fingerprint from your PC too, checking the Always allow from this computer box to keep things stable.

muo-android-debloater-usbdebuug

If Developer Options isn’t available, tap About device, then tap Build number eight times in order to activate “developer mode” which will add the Developer Options menu item.

Debloater should then be launched on your computer, and you may see a notice about what sort of app deletion your device supports. With this confirmed and Debloater running, look in the lower left corner to confirm Device Connected and Sync are both active. This is indicated with a green disc against each label.

Under Activity Status in the top left, click Read Device Packages to display a list of all the APK files on the tablet. You’ll need to distinguish between the apps you’ve installed and those that were preinstalled, so take your time before you delete anything.

muo-android-debloater-block

When you have found the files you want to block, select them using the checkbox on the left and then Apply. The app will begin blocking the APK files you no longer want, debloating your device in the process.

To repeat the process with other files, simply click Read Device Packages again to repeat the process. Remember to check your device to confirm that the bloatware has been blocked. You’ll know this has happened as it will not be visible in your app drawer.

Meanwhile, if you have difficulty finding the APK file or package name that you wish to delete, use the filter search box. For instance, if I wanted to find the Amazon Kindle APK, I’d enter “kindle”, and Debloater will quickly filter out all APK files except the one with “kindle” in the name.

If you make a mistake blocking bloatware packages, click the UnBlock All Packages option.

Check the video below for further details, including how to use Debloater on a rooted device.

Problems You May Face

Connecting your phone or tablet to your computer successfully will enable the Debloater tool to work as intended, but in the event that your device isn’t correctly identified, then the app will probably crash; it will certainly fail to display any apps on your computer.

To avoid this, ensure that you have Unknown Sources checked under Settings > Security, and that the correct drivers for your device are installed on your computer. Use a USB 2.0 port rather than USB 3.0, and on rooted devices FREE MANUAL! Take Control: The Android Rooting Guide FREE MANUAL! Take Control: The Android Rooting Guide Here's a guide for Android users that explains in detail everything you need to know about rooting your phone or tablet. Read More , you may find that disabling Fastboot in recovery can aid with the detection of your phone.

How Did This Tool Work for You?

We’ve established that this app is ideal for Android 4.4 KitKat devices as no root is required. This means that anyone can debloat their smartphone or tablet without the prerequisite steps of rooting!

While it is suitable for other versions of Android, those devices will need to have been rooted already, but you’ll also be able to complete remove the offending apps.

Have you tried the Debloater? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments.

  1. Fl
    October 16, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I have tried debloater but it just doesn't worked on my device. My device is Micromax Canvas A1, currently working on Android version 6.0.1. Thanks in advance.

    • Azue
      October 19, 2016 at 12:17 am

      I suggest that don't follow these steps. It's just a waste of time. It doesn't work.

      • Christian Cawley
        October 19, 2016 at 7:17 am

        NO, it does work, as long as your device is running the indicated version of Android.

    • Christian Cawley
      October 19, 2016 at 7:16 am

      As indicated, the technique works on KitKat, not later.

  2. sp the genius
    September 25, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Is it will work on Samsung J7 (6) marshmallow ? plz reply.

    Thank you.

    • Azure
      September 28, 2016 at 6:44 am

      No, These steps don't work

  3. Rodjey
    September 23, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I already did those steps, but when I am finished on the first process, I noticed that it does not remove the files that I selected. After that it automatically close and when I open it again, the error begins to appear. I am using Android 5.1.1(Lollipop).

  4. Rodjey
    September 21, 2016 at 5:47 am

    It has an error:
    "Unfortunately your device is neither rooted nor supports block mode, the program will now close"

    What should I do?

    • Christian Cawley
      September 21, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Is your device rooted to your knowledge?

    • Rodjey
      September 22, 2016 at 12:17 am

      My device is not rooted. As far as I know, this article shows how to remove bloatware without rooting my device.

    • Rodjey
      September 22, 2016 at 12:20 am

      Sorry, for the reiterated comments, I thought my comment din't post.

    • Christian Cawley
      September 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      No problem.

      Are you able to block the bloatware, as opposed to remove (see above). Also what version of Android, and device, are you using?

    • Rodjey
      September 23, 2016 at 12:33 am

      Does it really necessary to root my phone?

  5. Rodjey
    September 21, 2016 at 5:42 am

    It has an error

  6. Rodjey
    September 21, 2016 at 5:36 am

    It has an error: "Unfortunately your device is neither rooted nor supports block mode, the program will now close"

    What should I do??

  7. Rodjey
    September 21, 2016 at 5:32 am

    It has an error: "Unfortunately your device is neither rooted nor supports block mode, the program will now close"

    What should I do here?

  8. Joe
    September 12, 2016 at 3:34 am

    This doesn't work on a Verizon Note 5!

  9. Christian Cawley
    July 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Some context: this post was written in 2015, before the release of Android M. Things have since changed with the situation regarding blocking bloatware.

    As was ever the case, however, you can remove bloatware on rooted devices.

    • Rodjey
      September 21, 2016 at 5:49 am

      It has an error

      What should I do?

  10. Ben
    July 26, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Remove bloatware the title says. You say Block bloatware. Is this an attempt to climb the Bloat rankings?

  11. San
    July 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Worked as inteded. Thanks for the tutorial! My phone had a lot of garbage pre installed that I needed to block.

  12. Factor Three
    July 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Actually:

    This software is unnecessary. It "blocks" bloatware instead of removing it -- something that one can do with the App Manager that is included in the Android Settings.

    • Sumi
      September 18, 2016 at 10:42 am

      You are absolutely right, Sir.

  13. Pure
    May 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Same than what wat said, it doesn't block any app neither remove them, on my S7562 rooted with with CM11 (Android 4.4).

  14. prathamesh
    April 26, 2016 at 8:46 am

    does it just disable the app or it removes the application from the phone permenantly ?

  15. Mein
    April 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Does blocking an app means uninstalling it on your phone?

    • Christian Cawley
      April 9, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      No, it means blocking it. Most bloatware comes pre-installed and as such cannot be easily uninstalled. Please take the time to read the tutorial.

  16. Tevin.J
    April 5, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Dude your site is genius , it helped me so much , I installed a game and it became bloatware and Debloater removed it and everything is all well on my device. Cant find the app anywhere not even on the disabled list. Great App...

    • Christian Cawley
      April 5, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Great news, glad it worked for you!

  17. wat
    February 27, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Older Huawei phone with Android 2.3.5: All this program does is list the files. It doesn't even "block" them, much less remove them. The apps still appear in the master list on the phone and still work fine after going through the Debloater process.

  18. Tristan
    February 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Hello, I currently own a LG G Stylo on the Boost network and sadly upgraded to Marshmallow when it was made available to me and since the upgrade the phone is mostly worthless. I went from having three days of battery power using Lollipop 5.1.1 to getting 16 hours tops on rare occasions, after disabling Apps through the Apps settings mode. Can I use this method described in this article? When I followed the link;my phone model was not specified or can I just download the latest version? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

  19. Flabbergast
    February 5, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I tried to download something from the Internet and then, when I checked my apps, there are porn apps like three of it. And they become pre installed app. Is there a way to remove it? It can't be deleted even I'm rooting my phone.

    • Connor
      February 7, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      You might have just received malware I'm afraid. You can get malware even on smartphones and tablets especially rooted devices since they forgo most of the built-in security measures that non-rooted devices have. Most of the time, the malware comes from apps downloaded from poorly-checked alternative app stores as well as internet downloads which might be the case with you. DO NOT open the apps and try, if possible, to get an app like AVG and then scan the device. If that doesn't help then either factory reset the phone if you haven't rooted it or flash a new ROM after backing up your data if it is rooted.

      While I'm not suggesting for a second that you were to blame for getting malware in the first place, now that you've experienced it you can't claim naivety. If you do manage to remove it, then be careful exactly what you're downloading and from where. Download antimalware apps such as the aforementioned AVG and change critical information such as credit card details to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

  20. whitepaw
    January 1, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Hello. Was curious if there was a way after you disable everything you want and are sure the system is stable to also remove it from the machine totally to save the storage space. Thank you.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Unlikely, unfortunately, without installing a custom ROM

  21. Manny
    December 30, 2015 at 8:40 am

    please let me know how or what tool i can use that will keep what I want to disable for a lot of devices. thank you

  22. Manny
    December 15, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Hi Please let me know How I can use this for a roll out project

  23. Manny
    December 12, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Hi awesome job, and is exactl what I have been looking for. Is there a way to save the files I chose to disable so I can do the same thing on multiple tablets?
    I am doing a roll-out of 300 Samsung Tab 4 8" and want to do this for each one, but will take forever to manually click each and every item on every single tablet.
    Please let me know, you rock!!!!

  24. lleweldyn
    November 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    i use package disabler pro works fine for me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsgq2vHe9t4 :)

  25. juel
    November 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    BS to all the root apps, uninstall bloatware, etc....they are all BS. CELL PHONE ENEMY HELL.

  26. juel
    November 13, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    what a bunch of BS to all the rooting and uninstalling bloatware apps. Google Play does not even show these rooting apps or uninstall bloatware apps in the search, and people have correctly typed them in. Its all BS. Even when you hook up your phone to your PC and try it that way, IT STILL does not work. It just f**** up the phones worse when attempting all these apps and BS. Its all cell phone enemy HELL.

  27. Mohd Hafizul “pijut82” Borhan
    October 6, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Hi
    Im using samsung galaxy tab 4 7in SM-T231.
    i already installed the debloater and follow all the step but it seems cannot detect my phone.
    i have issue with this tab because i buy it from 3rd party company which did not allow me to have the admin right towards my phone.
    im unable to uninstall any apps that i install, i cannot click software update.
    im root the phone but still if i tried to uninstall, its become unsuccessful.
    any help?

  28. Excalibur “excalibur1812” Blade
    September 9, 2015 at 4:52 am

    So basically, this does NOT uninstall anything. It just hides or disables the apps, something I can already do in this nightmare of a phone known as the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy NOTE Edge. No root exists for lollipop 5.0.1 Any attempt to revert back to Kit-Kat basically bricks the freaking phone. Had to take it to Best Buy Samsung Experience counter. The tech flashed it in 2 minutes and I was out the door. I tried for 3 days with Kies and Smart Switch, both which are Samsung programs, and they both says "unsupported device". How nice of them NOT to support their own phones, huh?
    I'm ready to throw this $1,000 piece of crap against the wall. It has massive upon massive amounts of AT&T bloatware. Can't use Titanium backup or Ad-Free because the phone isn't rooted. Pop-up ads and videos galore. It's like cell phone HELL owning this phone.

    • Mihir Patkar
      September 9, 2015 at 8:02 am

      I'd say best to wait for a root. That's always the issue with Samsung phones, but they also get rooted faster than others

    • Jay Patel
      September 27, 2015 at 12:43 am

      Same freaking thing. When I went on investigating my why My Samsung ATT is being so slow. I noticed I had 25 applications hidden leaving no space for some meaningful applications.

      I just cannot get them off no matter what !

    • Christian Cawley
      September 28, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Sorry this didn't work for you.

      As with any tutorial, on whatever platform, I would always recommend that you conduct some research to ensure that it will work on your device.

      And it's rare to get root available straight away! Although I would also add, (as a general point to all readers) that it is preferable to factor rooting into your buying intention. HTC, for instance, offer software to root your phone. I know Samsung do too, although clearly in your case, Excalibur, there is a delay.

  29. John Bonifas
    August 29, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Unnecessary on my Galaxy S5. Android file management utility available for OSX, and Android 5.0 comes with a rooted app hiding utility already. It is impossible to gain root access on Verizon Samsung phones with the Android 5.0 BOG5 update installed.

  30. Chise Maro
    August 12, 2015 at 12:21 am

    didnt work at all

  31. Gena
    April 29, 2015 at 12:55 am

    I'm sorry and also apps are crashing, found apps I never downloaded, and could not disable or uninstall.

  32. Gena
    April 29, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Can an app root your device without you knowng ? And if so can you un-root? I have a Samsung 5s running lollipop UI. I was trying to figure out why a game wasn't working and looked in my folders and they were empty?

  33. Pete
    April 27, 2015 at 6:03 am

    What if I have a Mac?

  34. Bruce
    April 21, 2015 at 4:23 am

    Don't you love it when the article content directly contradicts the title?

    How to Remove Bloatware on Android Without Rooting

    "Should you need to remove [preinstalled apps] completely, however, the device will need to be rooted."

    Afraid if you didn't overpromise and used 'block' in the title nobody would read it?

    • michael hanon
      May 30, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Exactly what I thought!!! I won't be visiting this site again. A waste of my time.

  35. Gatesjunior
    April 10, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Yes, for most devices, you do need to install the manufacturer USB drivers. Thank you for the article and write up.

  36. Silverlokk
    April 8, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I don't mind bloatware as much as the inability to move them to my SD expansion card. Same's true too of a number of apps that insist on staying on the device

  37. PlaGeRaN
    April 7, 2015 at 10:55 am

    you forgot to add:
    with adb enabled on the device, you need adb and device drivers.
    with adb enabled you need to manually install your device on your system.

    Nothing of the sort is mentioned on the web page as this could also be an issue.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 10, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      There is a chance that this may be an issue for some users.

      Certainly as far as my HTC One is concerned, ADB and device drivers wasn't an issue, and I've never been able to get ADB detection since switching to Windows 8.1.

  38. Shawn
    April 7, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Not working for me either, Samsung Galaxy S5. =(

  39. New Zealander
    April 7, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Doesn't work on a (rooted/stock OS) Note3 9005 (LTE version) - program won't recognise the phone, in spite of being connected via USB with debugging enabled (same desktop as used to root the phone).

  40. Sam Park
    April 6, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Not working for my Fire HD 6 tablet... The program does not recognize it, or maybe it does not support Fire tablets.

  41. motowner
    April 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    It didn't work on my Moto X 1st gen. I am never buying another Android phone. I thought Android is suppose to be open. I still can't root my device to remove crappy AT&T address book.

    • Deere
      April 7, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Android is open, but it doesn't mean that each and every provider is.

      There's a difference.

  42. Michael J. Tobias
    April 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Doesn't work for me. Followed the directions, but I'm not given any prompt about the computer's RSA key and when I start the Debloater, the screen pops up but it obviously doesn't see my phone. It's a Moto X.

    • Rokas
      April 7, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Same to me. My phone is Prestigio. I always face difficulties with it. It's something wrong with drivers I guess or connection. Try different cable and restart adb server (in cmd adb stop-server and adb start-server). Although, I doesn't work for me for most people it does. I bought samsung galaxy note pro 12,2 for my programming because it's sometimes impossible to do what you want with chinese' phones.

  43. pravin
    April 6, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    What 'Blocking' means? Will that delete the application and free some memory or will it only disable the applications?
    If it only disable app, its of now use as we can do it manually without such tool.

    • Deere
      April 7, 2015 at 6:35 am

      1. It gives you a suggestion about which application is considered a bloatware.
      2. It's way faster and convenient.
      3. YOU might not be its primary target.

      Just saying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *