How To Freeze Or Uninstall Apps That Came With Your Phone [Android]

Erez Zukerman 10-04-2012

uninstall apps androidOne of the biggest problems Android has is that vendors are obsessed with the concept of somehow “adding value” to their devices. Instead of just shipping Android as it was meant to be used, Samsung, HTC, and the other phone makers insist on stuffing their devices full of “unique” applications that make the Android experience infinitely more confusing and irritating.


Case in point: Samsung’s Voice Command application, pictured above. This one’s a classic – it is very easy to launch by mistake, because it starts when you double-press the Home button. It speaks when it starts, with the most annoying computer voice. And it is impossible to uninstall by default.

uninstall apps android

See? No uninstall button, and the Disable button is… disabled. Brilliant, right? So, how do you get rid of annoyances like this?

Well, the first thing you should know is that to fix this sort of thing, your phone should be rooted. We’ve shown you how to root your phone How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick Read More before, and it’s a painless procedure. Being able to disable annoying system apps is just one of the numerous benefits of rooting your phone – so go ahead and do that right now, if your phone still isn’t rooted. Once that’s done, proceed to the next section.

Freezing System Apps With Titanium Backup

uninstall apps on android


Titanium Backup is a brilliant application – I think it just might be the most useful app on my phone. While I’ve shown you before how to use it to back up your phone How to Back Up Your Android Device Properly Here's how to completely back up your Android device by protecting your photos, SMS, contacts, and everything else. Read More , Titanium Backup can do much more. Its Pro key costs $6, and those are probably the best six bucks you will ever spend on your phone.

One of the Pro version’s best features is freezing applications. That means Titanium Backup won’t completely remove the offending app, but simply hides it and disables it. Don’t get me wrong. Titanium can also completely uninstall system apps, but freezing them is safer. A frozen app will never run, but if your phone starts acting strange because that application was actually system-critical, you can easily defrost the app and it would instantly be available again.

So, how do you freeze an app? Assuming you have Titanium Backup Pro, you first need to switch to the Backup/Restore tab and find the app you need:

uninstall apps on android


This is a very long list, and scrolling through it might get tedious. So let’s filter it, by tapping the right part of the header which says “Click to edit filters”:

uninstall apps on android

The Voice Command app is particularly annoying because it’s not easy to find out its name. It launches itself randomly (when you try to get to the home screen and double-tap the home button by mistake), and the caption displayed in the app is “Voice talk” which is not the app’s name (and makes no sense in English, either). But I did know it’s a Samsung app, so I filtered by all names containing Samsung, as you can see above.

The resulting list looks like this:


uninstall apps on android phone

Lots and lots of apps, but one seemed promising – voice command, the very last entry. How do I make sure that this is indeed the app I want to freeze? Single-tap it to enter its options screen:

uninstall apps on android phone

And tap the “Run app” button. The horrible color scheme on my device renders this button as black-on-black, but it’s the button immediately to the left of the app caption, marked with an arrow above. Tap it, and see what happens:


uninstall apps on android phone

Score! We have now confirmed that this is indeed the offending app. Let’s go back to Titanium Backup (just tap the Back button on your device), and get rid of the Voice Command app once and for all by tapping the button that says “Freeze!”, encircled below:

uninstall apps android

Since freezing is not a permanent operation, Titanium Backup won’t even ask for confirmation – it will just go ahead and freeze the app. Note that you can also uninstall it (via the “Un-install!” button), but I would strongly suggest freezing the app rather than uninstalling it – you never know what might break.

And That’s It!

The system app that was annoying the heck out of you is now gone from sight, and will never ever come back to haunt you again. Simple stuff, really, but things like this make the Android experience much more enjoyable.

Do you have a different way to remove annoying crapware bundled with your phone? If so, share in the comments!

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  1. David Troesch
    September 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I'm trying to build a spreadsheet database to be able to answer the question "Which items are safe to freeze/remove" now that you know how to freeze/remove apps :)

    Check it out here:

    If you find your answer, and can add it to the list please do to help others in the future.

  2. red-pepper
    July 28, 2012 at 4:31 am

    this is nice info, i have this titanium backup free version, but i never do the research for this app other function, i only use it for backup my phone.

    until i found that start up app keep running even i force stop it
    have try numerous app that do to stop the app but only getting worse and ram eater.

    and i have a question, since the uninstall function in the phone did not fully uninstalling app component, do the titanium backup uninstall function can really fully uninstalling all of the app component?

    thanks for the article

    • Erez Zukerman
      July 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Glad you liked the article! AFAIK, the removal is pretty complete -- but Titanium Support would be able to give you a more conclusive answer.

  3. Manuk
    June 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    does this free up the memory space that the frozen app was taking? I'd like to get rid of the Samsung launcher

    • Erez Zukerman
      June 7, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Freezing the app frees any RAM it took, because the app would no longer be running. To free internal storage space you would have to fully remove it, which is something Titanium can do as well. But most phones these days have ample storage space -- RAM is usually the issue, if any.

  4. Saurabh
    April 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    can it remove the launchers which samsung and HTC force down our throats.. the stock android launcher looks so good..

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

      Definitely! Can easily remove those.

  5. Alan Trinder
    April 11, 2012 at 4:04 am

    very good, any chance of the same for nokia running symbian?

  6. Susendeep.Dutta
    April 11, 2012 at 3:56 am

    I also don't like the default apps that comes preinstalled with any Android phone as they eat up valuable phone's internal memory.I always think that better to root the device than thinking much about it.But later on with the rate of device failure increased nowadays,I fear that if I root Android,I would lose warranty and hence won't be able to replace the phone.

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 11, 2012 at 5:44 am

      That's a valid concern, but I believe you can also "unroot" a phone. Is your warranty really good? Maybe warranties are just for show, and don't cover a lot of the stuff that really does end up happening to phone (breakage, water damage).

      • Susendeep.Dutta
        April 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm

        My friend earlier has taken a Nokia phone which malfunctioned in software front very badly that it didn't allow to read new incoming messages.I told him to clean that phone very nicely and assisted him in packaging that phone as it came when at the time of purchase.With 2 days of debate over resale value with the shopkeeper,finally we exchanged it with Samsung Galaxy Ace.So,I value warranty much and it's really good to save your precious 5 years.

        • Erez Zukerman
          April 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

          Definitely an interesting cautionary tale there! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Agro
    April 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    This is a great tip, but is there something similar (even if it has more limited functionality) for free?

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 11, 2012 at 5:45 am

      It has some nice reviews and is free.

      That said, Titanium is -great- for a ton of other things, and out of hundreds of apps I have used, I can easily say it is the most important one.

      • Steve
        April 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

        This article looks to me like an advertisment for Titanium. Shame on you Erez!

      • Steve
        April 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

        This article looks to me like an advertisment for Titanium. Shame on you Erez!

        • Erez Zukerman
          April 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm

          Actually, shame on you Steve, for not doing your research. I've been writing about tech for years now, and have -never- done a single sponsored post.

          I fully stand behind this article. Titanium is an amazing app. I bought it for full price, and they have never given me anything to say this.

          Some applications are just very good. My job is to spot them and say so when I do. I'm sorry if you feel that's something to be ashamed of -- it is actually a very valuable service for readers of MakeUseOf.

        • Umrtvovacz
          August 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

          I wholeheartedly agree with your article and your post. Titanium Backup is great and thanks to you I found a way to freeze apps without uninstalling them (also bought Titanium Backup from reading your post - if Titanium doesn't give you money they should :-D ) Ignore Steve he is either troll, making joke we missed or dumb/ignorant.

          It's people like you Erez who make the community around Android so good.

  8. Paulo
    April 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Nice tip about "freezing" apps. Thx.

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 11, 2012 at 5:46 am