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Uninstalling an app that you have installed on your Android device from Google Play is simple — but what if you didn’t install it? What if the app you’re trying to remove is one of those that came pre-installed on your device, provided by the manufacturer, your mobile network, or as a part of Android itself?

Removing unwanted system apps from Android can be tricky, but it is not impossible.

Why You Might Want To Remove These Apps

Before you start deleting apps, however, you should spend a few moments considering just why you want to get them off your phone.

For instance, it might be that they are cluttering up your home screen. If this is the case, then long tapping and dragging to the Remove box at the top of the screen should get them out of the way.

On the other hand, these apps might be considered “bloatware” and take up valuable resources. Pre-installed games might take up space on your phone’s storage, while Internet-connected apps could be eating into your monthly allowance. Such apps might even be recording and/or uploading information How Bad Are Those Facebook Messenger Permissions Anyway? How Bad Are Those Facebook Messenger Permissions Anyway? You've probably been hearing a lot about Facebook's Messenger app. Let's quell the rumors and find out if the permissions are as bad as they claim. Read More that you would prefer they didn’t.

And then there’s the impact on your battery life.

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Unfortunately, removing these apps isn’t as easy as it could be. It really depends upon whether your Android device is rooted or not.

Options For Non-Rooted Devices

Deleting apps isn’t possible in most cases, but what you can do is disable them, or on older versions of Android, hide the ones you don’t want.

Prior to Android 4.4 KitKat (which you should now be using to protect against the stock browser bug This Android Browser Bug Will Make You Upgrade To KitKat This Android Browser Bug Will Make You Upgrade To KitKat A serious issue with the stock browser on pre-KitKat phones has been discovered which could allow malicious websites to access the data of other websites. Sounds scary? Here's what you need to know. Read More ), you could open the app drawer, tap the menu and select Hide Applications before selecting the apps you wished to hide and then tapping Done to finish.

muo-android-remove-apps-disable

For devices running Android 4.4 KitKat, you should go to Settings > Device > Apps and find the app that you want to remove. Select Force stop and then Disable — you won’t be able to delete the app, but it will stop running on your phone, never to be seen again until you perform a factory reset.

This isn’t a great solution, admittedly, as there are some apps that cannot be disabled in this way. Should you find that this doesn’t suit you, there is always the option of installing an app launcher replacement. Any app can be removed from a third party launcher, but remember that it will still be on your phone, hidden away in the background.

In most cases disabling and hiding an unwanted app is just as good as removal.

Rooted? Try These Tools

For those of you who have rooted their phones (a universal method of rooting doesn’t exist; you’ll have to head over to the XDA-Developers forums to get an idea of where to start for your model), the matter of removing unwanted pre-installed apps is a little easier.

NoBloat Free

This is a good, free solution that removes pre-installed bloatware and makes backups too — after all, you wouldn’t want to delete the wrong app and end up with a featureless phone!

A premium version is also available for $1.99 (£1.25), offering some enhanced features such as blacklisting system apps.

muo-android-remove-apps-nobloat

Titanium Backup

Arguably the first app you might think of for dealing with unwanted apps on your Android Device is Titanium Backup. It can handle any app you throw at it, whether downloaded from Google Play or pre-installed.

The free version allows you to backup and uninstall apps, but the paid version ($5.99 or £4.11) allows you to freeze apps and more.

muo-android-remove-apps-titanium

System App Remover

This app offers an easy way to remove apps while also proving the tools to move apps to your SD card, should this function be required.

Although ad-supported, System App Remover seems to be faster than the other two options in removing pre-installed system apps.

muo-android-remove-apps-uninstall

App Master

A final option you might want to check out is a simple bulk uninstall tool App Master: A Simple, Clean, Friendly Way To Bulk Uninstall Android Apps App Master: A Simple, Clean, Friendly Way To Bulk Uninstall Android Apps What if there was a bulk-uninstall tool that was focused just on that one task, making it as easy as possible? Read More we reviewed a while back that focuses entirely on batch uninstalling apps in a clean and easy way. Check it out if the above options don’t tickle your fancy.

Don’t Forget Custom ROMs!

There is one other solution for removing unwanted apps from your Android device: flash a custom ROM.

While it might take a bit of research Should You Really Flash That ROM? 5 Things To Consider First Should You Really Flash That ROM? 5 Things To Consider First Custom ROMs are powerful and allow you to get the latest version of Android without any manufacturer-installed junk and with advanced features and tweaks. But they have downsides, too. Read More to find out which new ROM will fulfill your needs, the solution can leave you with a stripped-back version of Android that you can keep particularly close control of.

newsletter-omnirom

OmniROM 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 Paranoid Android are two examples of custom ROMs that are designed for users with an eye on performance and privacy, and these are two key reasons why you might want to kill the bloat on your phone. You should definitely consider these an option, especially if you’re already rooted.

What’s Your Choice?

Did you know that you can remove unwanted system apps from Android? Do you use any of the Android app removal utilities or methods described here? Or do you have a favourite app that we haven’t mentioned?

Share your thoughts below.

  1. Jeb Bushmeister
    November 29, 2016 at 6:23 am

    I just mount as root using ADB on my PC, then delete the .apk files from /system/apps. Easy does it, though

  2. razia
    November 10, 2016 at 5:03 am

    Hi.I have qtab 300 android version.i my system app cook got annoying me by freezing my tab.it automatically got started by creating all.com.zfexm.tomato.it eats up all my battery in5 mints leaving the tab dead.it has damged my sdcaed too.now error showing damaed sdcaed try reformat.i reformat it but still error remain.I disable,force stop .clear data but this app got started again even without internet.I follow your method and download system app remover but says to download one click root i download it too .but what to do know,how I root it and remove this annoying app.I am a female and not have much idea about these roots etc.so kindly tell me next steps in detail.I shall be very thankfulif you reply me via gmai.

  3. ashu
    August 2, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Lava x8

  4. ashok
    June 2, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Nice its working

  5. Eric
    May 19, 2016 at 2:05 am

    I have a brand new LG V10 (waiting for root to become available) and am wanting to uninstall/disable all the junk I don't want. I have been searching high and low for anything like a list of apps indicating what each one does and if it can be disabled/uninstalled without causing another app i actually need/want to crash. How am i supposed to know what the heck "Android System Web View", or "App Source", etc...does and if I do away with it does my internet/phone/weather app stop working? Yes, I know there are billions of permutations of hardware/software combinations.. but lets be honest.. there's probably , I don't know, 30 or 40 that almost everyone has or is likely to have. So does such a list exist? How are we supposed to know the gory details on these things without having to do each one individually and waiting for something to start malfunctioning? There has to be a list or some other better way. Here's hoping such a list or alternative exists.. cheers!
    PS. Am desperately seeking an alternative keyboard.. I can't stand it anymore.. Don't like having my profanity censored and autocorrect just pisses me off anymore. What good is a keyboard that I spend half my time fixing "autocorrected" messages? I have tried Switftkey, Dextr, Textra, Swype, and many others - all free.; Everyone says great things about Swiftkey and a few of the other usual suspects but no matter what I get corrections to words that dont even exist.. and am sick of correcting the same word three times only to have it 'fixed' back to something I don't want to use. Am exasperated. I don't text in multiple languages, I don't use swype, I refuse to to type a list of all words I want my dictionary to "allow". Why should I have to spend hours creating a list that the geniuses that make the keyboards have already created? They'd have to have created it since they know exactly which words are flagged.

  6. gracia
    February 3, 2016 at 7:46 am

    how to delete applications in lenovo a5000?, it cant be uninstalled it seems to had a virus ..and all the applications are porn..my gosh i dont know how it happened i dont remember downloading it!..help me..thanks...:(

  7. gustavo g.
    January 23, 2016 at 1:02 am

    all good and helpful comments. but this my issue. in my lg leon lte i have installed a fiew files
    all is good. but now i am running out of system memory. so my phone is getting slow. i must get read of some upps. how know wich apps where the pre installed one. since there are 3 proviters. lg electronics. android. and google. please help!

  8. Edward
    December 5, 2015 at 1:30 am

    System App Remover can't remove these malware: Monkeytest, TimeService, mobileOcr, engrils. Any help?

  9. Parth Saxena
    June 10, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    how can i uninstall applock when advanced protection in on.....? Beacuse i can not deactivate it.............. reply me soon…..

  10. Aleksandar Nachev
    June 7, 2015 at 7:24 am

    If my device is rooted and i delete google related apps, such as Play Games, Play Music and Google+ would there be any problems for my device, seeing how most google apps are linked together?

    • Shaun Scott
      August 15, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      on my phone i removed google+ and google play movies, newsstand and books. Chrome is also gone. No issues with the phone, and all other apps still work.

  11. Alexis
    May 20, 2015 at 2:15 am

    OK so doing the one that says force stop and disable app is OK to do when that same message in the pic shows up? About other apps will misbehave... I keep getting error messages about not enough space to update some of my apps and am trying to find storage space... Will disabling pre installed apps help??

    • Aleksandar Nachev
      June 7, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Since disabling an app, still keeps it on the device, i don't think it'll help, maybe if you clear the app's data before disableing it. Also you could try an app caled SDMaid, for cleaning your device from cache, temp. files, files from old apps etc.

  12. larisa
    April 9, 2015 at 5:09 am

    I understood the basics of the article but I'm kind of a tech-noob. Is there perhaps a "for dummies" how-to? I have a Sony Xperia ion but plan on upgrading to the z3.

  13. jeni
    March 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    All r gr8 accept app master in case of rooted system

  14. Tavik Macwin
    March 6, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Can you just tell me that if i remove the default browser from my phone then will i be able to use third party browsers like uc, firefox etc.......? reply me soon..... if it is like this then i will soon change the whole android system to "phone for myself"...........

    • Christian Cawley
      March 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      of course you can!

  15. Gary
    February 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    This is a nice article, mostly over my head, but thanks. I do not have (or want, yet) a rooted phone, so I stopped reading early. 1 question though is what about the Clear (data) or Defaults buttons? The reason I want to stop these apps is I have a cheap Android 4.4 phone with little RAM so the junk just reduces very valuable resources.

    Another thing is that message shown. "other apps may misbehave" How the heck do we know what that means? It seems to come with every one so it is useless.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 2, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Clearing defaults is nothing to do with managing space, it concerns the setting of a preferred app for a particular task. Clear data will remove app-related data.

      "other apps may misbehave" refers to apps that may rely on information that is provided by the app to be removed.

  16. Tareq
    February 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    - Contacts have gone, and I have to re-import them again.
    - I can't change the white background behind applications.
    - Sometimes I would need to re choose the same thing to get a response.

  17. Tareq
    February 11, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I have searched a lot for a suitable ROM for my Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos (i9082). Unfortunately, most of them do not support (Dual Sim). Finally I installed (Resurrection Remix) version that support (Dual Sim) but it has multiple issues. Now I am searching for another one, can anyone help?

    Best Regards,

    • Christian Cawley
      February 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      What issues did you face with Resurrection Remix, Tareq?

      Can anyone help out Tareq?

  18. Teddy
    January 23, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Hi, I have my tv through a minix box via a movistar router and a tele fonica phone line. I keep , I think its an etting a phone on my tv screen, It can be cancelled but comes back every half hour and I have to search channels every time and lose at least 5mins on every program. Please help its driving mad! regards Teddy.
    PS I think the number comes from a company in India.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 29, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Whoah, this is pretty frustrating by the sound of things. Can anyone help Teddy?

      Teddy, might be worth submitting your question to http://www.makeuseof.com/answers

  19. Anonymous
    January 4, 2015 at 7:43 am

    How to remove unwanted application in my system..i can also delete in setting but i can see in running application

    • Chris
      April 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      How. do I uninstall apps?

  20. Jayakumar
    December 30, 2014 at 11:47 am

    How to uninstall system app in micromax canvas 2colours

  21. claude
    December 18, 2014 at 12:58 am

    How do I remove MagicJack from my samsung tablet

  22. PlaGeRaN
    October 6, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Super Manager, apk manager works good also. you have an option to backup before deleting the apk. (Root needed)

  23. mc
    October 5, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    What is AmaBoyapp? I think it appeared after I got a mobigenie root for my phone. I cannot seem to find anything about it, but I can't get rid of it

  24. Christian C
    October 4, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Great suggestion, Krish, thanks for sharing!

  25. Krish
    October 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

    One click root can be performed via Mobogenie on Windows. I have done this for 8 phones of my friends with no side effects. You can backup everything, update apps and do many things with it. I manage my phone from my desktop simply because I have the luxury of a big screen, keyboard and mouse.

    • razia
      November 10, 2016 at 5:09 am

      I have downloaded one click in my tab.can you tell me what to do next.plz tell all detail to do now.

  26. Santosh Reddy
    October 4, 2014 at 4:49 am

    Thanks for useful tip. Thanks a ton!

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