What You Need to Know About Removing Android Bloatware

Chris Hoffman 15-04-2013

Updated on November 15th, 2016 by Riley J. Dennis.


Many Android phones come packed with useless software preinstalled by the device’s manufacturer and your cellular carrier 10 Money-Saving Reasons You Should Switch To An MVNO Are you out of contract with your cellular provider? Rather than upgrading your phone, and signing a new contract, consider switching to a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. You can save hundreds, even thousands,... Read More . Sprint even includes a NASCAR app with some of their phones. This bloatware takes up valuable storage space How to Free Up Storage Space on Your Android Device Ran out of Android storage space? Here's how to free up storage on Android by uninstalling big apps, removing content, and more. Read More , clutters your list of installed apps, and may even run automatically at startup, draining battery power 10 Proven and Tested Tips to Extend Battery Life on Android Suffering from poor battery life on Android? Follow these tips to get more juice out of your Android device's battery. Read More in the background.

Unlike on a Windows laptop, which also come packed with useless software How To Make Your PC A Microsoft Signature PC Without Paying $99 Windows PCs are notoriously junk-filled out-of-the-box. Buy a Microsoft Signature PC from a Microsoft Store (yes, Microsoft has a handful of stores across the US) and you’ll find it free of the usual junk. Soon,... Read More , it takes a bit of work to actually uninstall these apps on Android. Most versions of Android Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Hardware makers like to take Android and morph it into something that is entirely their own, but is this a good or a bad thing? Take a look and compare these different Android skins. Read More  allow you to get rid of bloatware fairly easily, but there’s a catch.

Disabling Bloatware

If you’re sick of bloatware, disabling it should be your first step. Open the Settings screen, tap Apps, and swipe over to the All category.

how to get rid of bloatware

Scroll down until you find a preinstalled app that you want to disable and tap it. Alternatively, you could start at your home screen, press and hold on the app’s icon, and drag it to the App Info option that will appear at the top of your screen. Both of these methods get you to the same place in the end.


remove bloatware

Tap the Disable button to disable a preinstalled app. You’ll see a warning, so ensure you aren’t disabling anything important. Many built-in Android system apps cannot be disabled, but some important apps can be disabled. Use your best judgment.

For example, disabling a NASCAR app is fine, but we wouldn’t recommend disabling the Messenger app if you want to continue to send and receive text messages.

remove bloatware


You can find disabled apps at the bottom of the All apps list. Tap a disabled app and tap the Enable button to re-enable it.

remove bloatware

Unfortunately, the above process only disables the useless software. It won’t appear in your app drawer and can’t run in the background, so this helps declutter your phone and save battery power. However, the bloatware apps remain installed on the device, taking up precious storage space.

The reason they can’t be uninstalled is that the manufacturer wants certain apps to stick around after you factory reset your phone. This ensures useful apps — like Gmail, the Google Play Store, or the Phone app — remain installed even after a factory reset Dealing with System Problems in Android: Safe Mode, Factory Reset & Restoring Backups If you've run into a problem on your Android phone or tablet, this method just might help you save it. Read More . So what if you really want to fully uninstall an app?


Actually Removing Bloatware

Most people will be okay with disabling the bloatware and forgetting about the wasted space. But let’s say you actually want to remove this bloatware and free up that space. There are several more technical ways to do this, most of which will void your phone’s warranty — so exercise caution.

Buy Phones Without Bloatware

Not all Android devices are saddled with bloatware. If you buy an unlocked device without a SIM card directly from a manufacturer, it will have very limited bloatware. It’s generally just carriers who load up their devices with bloat.

For example, if you buy a Moto Z or Moto Z Play directly from Motorola, it will come unlocked for all GSM networks and free of bloatware. That means you can then take it to AT&T or T-Mobile in the US (or any GSM carrier globally) and activate it on their network. However, if you buy a Moto Z Droid or Moto Z Play Droid (there’s even bloat in the names) directly from Verizon, you’ll get a bunch of preloaded Verizon apps.

Unlocked devices can often be found on Amazon or on the manufacturer’s website — but if you’re own a wireless carrier’s website, you can bet you’ll get bloatware.


What’s the worst bloatware you’ve ever seen on an Android phone? Leave a comment and share your horror stories or tips for overcoming bloatware!

Related topics: Android Customization, Android Rooting.

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  1. Mike
    November 23, 2019 at 1:00 am

    I wanted to try a Palm Phone just for fun and picked one up on eBay that was "unlocked". I use it on TMobile and that works great. Unfortunately, all of Verizon's bloatware is still there and the Palm folks tell me that Verizon used a locked bootloader on the Palm and there is no way to fix it. I have disabled the apps but the Verizon startup is long and ugly and the trash apps still take up a lot of my limited storage. Not sure what I can do except bad mouth Verizon to everyone I meet.

  2. tgm1024
    May 29, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Keep in mind that in the case of Verizon at least, many of the boat apps are installed as "system apps" which will require rooting to punt.

    AND (*this is much worse*), currently ALL unlocked phones are prevented from doing wifi calling. You have got to be kidding me....this is a nightmare. Verizon has turned into the "new Comcast" IMO....

  3. Leja
    April 25, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Am so glad I came across your site. Was researching specifically how to get rid of bloatware on unlocked cell. Never occurred to me to purchase directly from the manufacturer, which I will do so I can purchase a Moto Z for a member of my family. Many, many thanks!!!!!

  4. Kyle
    February 1, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Just got an LG X charge. Nice phone overall. But of the 16 gb available, 14.2 gb were already used up with bloatware.

  5. Carey J Manninen
    December 30, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Right now it has got to be the preinstalled amazon and other office apps on my samsung s5 (takes up a bit of space very annoying). Kidmode is also on it sigh lol don't even have any kids.

  6. Shane ponds
    December 15, 2017 at 1:15 am

    I don't shop online and I won't use the health app and I won't use the games apps they should let us put what we want in our phones I mean we are the ones buying the phone not the maker

  7. Oleg
    August 9, 2017 at 4:23 am

    The worst is TouchPal app from Cricket carrier. It runs adds in front of other apps.
    And Cricket is the worst carrier ever.

  8. Patti Rizzo
    April 28, 2017 at 6:45 am

    I am poor, so got a 'free' phone from my carrier. It was (is) my first smartphone. It makes me feel like a dummy. Worse, I let them help me pick it. It's more like they were unloading obsolete crap on me. So, I was able to get three apps on it- two games and a ghost detector. That was all she wrote. No more of the weenie 1.75 gigs of internal storage was left. They had topped it off with bloatware that I can't get rid of. The result- I have never been able to update any of my apps. As time went on, the apps I couldn't update prevented me from using anything that the apps ran. I would get refused the update because of no available storage, and refused the service because I couldn't update. I thought I was really bright when I got the 32 gig SD card. But I can't transfer anything to that card except pictures, and now I can't even see the pics people send me because It requires a Google Play store update. So, on a fixed income, I probably can't afford a new phone over $100 bucks. My requirements are- adequate internal storage, no bloatware- very good camera with front and rear, and that's about it. So I wasn't clear about where to get a sim card from. Are you saying that if you buy it separately the carrier can't add bloatware, because theirs are pre-loaded? I don't want to make any rookie moves, and I am not enough of a tekkie to do anything but simple stuff with my phone. But, there are lots of people out there like me who miss that thing called 'user-friendly'. If I make a wrong move this time, I have to live with it for a couple years like with this last antique ZTE Concord II.

    • Christopher Keller
      December 23, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      @ Patti Rizzo:

      You might want to look into an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) like TING.

      They have NO CONTRACT and don't lock you into ANYTHING. You pay for what you USE. (I know, WHAT A CONCEPT!) My average bill is about 23 bucks a month. If you use an app like What'sApp, the calls/messages don't go against your monthly usage.

      T-Mobile also has some senior plans for very cheap, same with Consumer Cellular.

      TING will "buy out your current contract" and send you a FREE SIM card. You can also get a GOOD cheaper phone on Amazon. Phones have come a LONG way in the past couple years. I hope that helps you out somewhat!

  9. Kelentaria
    January 2, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I think the worst bloat were I have ever had to deal with has got be Knox. I mean yeah great concept for someone if they will use it, but terrible for someone who never will. It just makes rooting that much more difficult. In order to get "peraroot" (permanent root), you have you find a way to disable it then get rid of it without tripping its security or you get the voided warranty counter to go up by one. (my first experience with Knox was on an S3.) I think it should be common place for all phones to come rooted, and only I mean only vital applications should be password protected, so the average user doesn't accidentally delete something they weren't supposed to, and cause irreparable harm to the device. I also think it should not come with all the garbage. You know the basics, but other than that there shouldn't be gigs and gigs off garbage, particularly something as controversial as Zoosk, that pardon my French is bullshit. Anyway I have rooted several phones all were pretty easy, look it up on xda. MAKE SURE THAT YOU READ THE COMMENTS BELOW AND CHECK YOUR MODEL, BUILD, AND OPERATING SYSTEM NUMBERS. Make sure that all these numbers line up before you try anything, if you have a later model phone DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE A ONE CLICK METHOD EVEN IF IT CLAIMS TO WORK ON YOUR DEVICE. There is a possibility that it will work, but there is a higher risk of bricking (making your phone a giant useless paperweight, granted there are probably a few ways to fix it but they are not going to be easy.) DO YOUR RESEARCH! READ READ AND RE-READ THE DIRECTIONS. TRY NOT TO USE ONE OF THE TUTORIALS THAT USE CMD PROMPT UNLESS YOU ARE VERY VERY COMFORTABLE WITH IT. I USED ODIN (COMPUTER UTILITY USED FOR PUTTING FILES IN THE SYSTEM OF YOUR PHONE) AND TWRP(A CUSTOM RECOVERY). THERE ARE A FEW OTHERS. IF YOU FOLLOW IT TO THE "T" (FOR PRE-MARSHMALLOW DEVICES) IT IS PRETTY EASY. IF YOU MESS UP DON'T WORRY IT WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO. (MOST OF THE TIME YOU JUST GET TO START ALL OVER.) BUT NO WORRIES ONCE YOU GET IT FIGURED OUT IT TAKES 10 MINUTES. Now realize that does not include special circumstances (S3 and above in the galaxy line notes included due to Knox). Exhibit A my current root task, an HTC desire 510 opv1 4.4.2. Seems to be a bet of an issue rooting it without CMD. I am fairly comfortable with it, but I would rather not. There are probably a few more complicated cases that I am not currently aware of. Anywho hope this helps someone. If in doubt and you have a question google and xda are your best friends in this matter matter.

    But really Knox sux butt Samsung...

  10. Cele3thehacker3
    September 28, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Worst bloatware? That's easy in my opinion. My android tablet came with a bunch of ANT+ based apps, as well as apps for literally every kind of addon you could think of, which totalled up to be about 2gb. Now, my tablet was 16gb, but 2gb is still a hog. Personally, I found a custom rom floating around, installed it (at the time, my tablet was too new that all the root exploits I was aware of, like kingroot, towelroot, etc), and then just grabbed a bloatware remover from the play store. I'm fine now, though I really don't see a reason I should have apps like "hancom office viewer", forced without my approval. All that I think should be needed are the basics. A browser, settings application, and the play store, as well as the internal apps used to run each device on their own. Maybe have a few 1st party apps. However, if you must provide a 3rd party app, please leave us an option to uninstall it, as if I were to download, say, angry birds, and no longer wanted it. Yes, I know that android is open source now, and anyone can build a custom rom, but you shouldn't have to destroy your warranty just because you want to use the apps you were familiar with, not having a default of some new app you never heard of.

  11. James L Long
    July 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    They manufacturers and carrier's claim that bloatware enables them to subsidisedsubsidised cheap phones. Really do they think we are idiots. How are $700 + prices and monthly instalments that will continue until you stop them subsidised prices.And you can get real cheap phones online. As far as one person's bloatware is another's favorite app maybe but if the are not capable of installing it themselves the wild not be able to operate it anyway.
    J Long

  12. anonymous
    March 11, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Microsoft Office on a Samsung Galaxy Tab E United States version,

  13. bromberg
    February 11, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    FYI ..typo: "rick" s.b. "rid"
    Thanks for the info,

  14. David T
    December 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I've got a google spreadsheet with a list of android apps with as much info as I can find. References to safe to freeze/remove, where I believe it came from, links to more info if available etc.:

    If you want to help update/curate the list send me a message with your google E-mail and I'll give you edit privileges (E-mail address is at the top of the sheet) :)

  15. IP Grunt
    December 11, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    The author states that

    "Android allow you to get rick of bloatware fairly easily"

    Who is this rick?

    Is he responsible for the bloatware?

    If so, please publish his email address -- I have a few questions for him.

  16. Anonymous
    July 1, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I did the "disable" thing for my unused bloatware (specifically "Bell TV" and "Google Hangouts", and a few others), and it gave me the warnings, disabled the app, freed up the space, and all was good -- for about 5 seconds. Literally seconds later, I get a notification that it's updating and re-enabling everything I disabled. Try it again, same result. Wonderful. It restarted all the apps (which are not essential, nor have I ever opened them) and now they just run indefinitely. My LG reeeeally wants me to use those apps, apparently.

    • Elizabeth Burleson
      November 21, 2016 at 4:07 am

      You have to go to your Google Play settings and disable automatic updates.

      • Bill
        December 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        On Samsung 3J:
        Settings > Application manager > Google Play Store > VIEW APP SETTINGS > Auto- update apps > Do not auto- update apps

  17. Anonymous
    June 5, 2015 at 8:42 am

    I have a Samsung galaxy S5 LTE-A Korean phone, it is updated in normal Samsung UI how do I get rid of the bloat ware on the Samsung UI

    • Tori
      January 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      @ I know what you mean. Every time my phone dies it reinstall all of the apps I disabled/deleted.

      The worst offender is Air G and Zoosk dating app. I am a married woman and my Husband thank god believed me when I showed him otherwise it could be pretty awkward that his wife is looking at chat and dating apps......

      Stupid phone

  18. 53north
    March 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Bought the little Jb alcatel s'pop as i knew it roots easy with 1click apks. Boy, I'm glad it does ... 300Mb of Amazon & Google apps on a mini phone!
    Felt so good uninstalling them, I think the phone sighed to get them off...

  19. john
    September 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I have the new Maximus HD 12.0.1 custom rom flashed on my HTC One. I also installed GO SMS App for my text messages. Unfortunately when a text comes in it comes in on both apps. Is it possible to delete the app that came with the rom without affecting anything else . ??

  20. Alexmrb
    August 25, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I bought an LG e720 (actually, it was handed down to me after 3 years of usage,) and the bloatware from LG and Bell Mobility combined left about 20 MEGABYTES of internal storage space left on the device out of around 200MB. Luckily, it was running Android 2.2 (Froyo,) so I fired up Z4Root, booted the device into temporary root mode, installed Link2SD and uninstalled the behemoth of useless crap which LG and Bell included.

    (PS-Bell mobility is a Canadian cell carrier, FYI)

  21. Teresa J
    August 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I have an LG Motion 4G through MetroPCS. There are a few things I was able to fully uninstall by myself that came on the phone, like live wallpapers, for instance. However, there are a lot of other things that I don't ever use and take up lots of space such as Google Play Magazines. I am never going to use this feature, nor the Google Play movies & TV app. How do I remove these? All I can every figure out to do is clear the cache or uninstall the updates, but then it'll automatically reinstall the updates on its own later, so that just wastes my time. What can i do? I Do not know what it means to root a phone. Please help. Thank you.

  22. Chinmay S
    July 28, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Samsung Galaxy S4 has the most bloatware. I recently bought 16GB model but i was shocked when i saw 8GB was already occupied by pre-installed apps.

    • Alexmrb
      August 25, 2013 at 1:03 am

      Microsoft does the same thing with their surface tablets, except that the OS alone takes up half of the storage space.

  23. Lawrie Cherniack
    April 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I wish I knew how to deal with bloatware. I have a Google Nexus S with Android 4.1.2. When Google divided Google Play into Google Play, Google Magazine, Google Music, Google Books, and prevented any of these from going to the SD card, my phone memory has filled up tremendously. I couldn't uninstall Magazine, Music, and Books, but I did undo all the updates, and that released some memory. I now have only 17% memory left, and am still experiencing some problems with the actual phone. I had to change the setting for "automatic update" as well. I am afraid to take risks with rooting the phone or doing anything "geeky", since I don't have the knowledge. But the situation is very annoying -- to the point that I am thinking of cashing in my remaining 15 months of contract to get a phone with more memory.

    • Kannon Yamada
      April 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm

      Lawrie, good choice in phones, by the way.

      Also, did you know that it's cheaper to stay off contract? If your Nexus S comes from AT&T or T-Mobile, you can just buy a MVNO SIM card and swap out your old SIM. It's really, really easy to do. Here's what an MVNO is.

      If you want to upgrade your phone, it's substantially cheaper to buy your own unlocked. And (if you have AT&T or T-Mo) then just do a SIM card swap. It doesn't take any technical knowledge, either.

      Most people save about $400-500 a year. However, if you barely use your phone, you can save as much as $1,000 or more per year by switching to what's called a Pay-Go plan. I get into what plan works best for you here.

      However, all users can save tons of money by switching over to a carrier like StraightTalk, which offers $45 per month plans, without a contract.

  24. A.D.
    April 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I think it's called crapware; bloatware is a different thing.

  25. Tug R
    April 16, 2013 at 10:41 am

    This is exactly why my next phone will be of the Nexus variety. I get that bloatware partially subsidizes the phone, but it's still aggravating as a consumer.

  26. Bob Henson
    April 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

    The suggested method of disabling doesn't work on my HTC Incredible S running ICS 4.0.4. There is no disable option, in the same position on the screen as shown in your shots is only an option to remove previous updates. I wholeheartedly concur that an international campaign to buy only those phones that have "pure" Android would help a lot. It won't happen, but it's a nice thought.

    • Diana
      June 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      I've found a way to disable on mine that might work for yours, even though I have a Samsung. When you're in the application manager under "all", choose the app you want to disable, deselect "show notifications", then uninstall updates. For mine, that reset the applications to factory version. When it was done, I had to click on the the application again but then the disable button showed up and I was able to disable from that point. It's a lot slower process but it does work. I don't know yet if they stay disabled. I suspect if you have to reboot your phone, they'll all re-enable themselves but hopefully if you don't update these apps, you'll be able to keep them set at factory version and be able to disable them again.

  27. Nevzat A
    April 16, 2013 at 6:26 am

    The biggest bloatware is Samsung's Touchwiz, and many Samsung apps that are the duplicates of the Google services and apps. Samsung even made their own sync ecosystem, where it syncs contacts, settings, photos to it's cloud. I've disabled many of the services in settings and used Nova Launcher instead of TouchWiz, now I have hundredths of megabytes more free RAM.

    • gresham
      April 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      What has made Samsung top the android platform is touch wiz which is a step ahead of pure or stock android. Touch wiz is refined android and the results are there for all to see as Samsung now is head above even stock android. So let's not view touchwiz as bloatware but the best android featured os.

      • Nevzat A
        April 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

        Maybe I was a little harsh to TouchWiz but it's a matter of choice. TW brings so many things but also needs more system resources which is crucial for the smooth operation of a limited-hw Android phone. I like it's innovative features, but my phone's RAM becomes less usable by other applications and battery lasts shorter.

      • Giovanni
        July 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

        There are a lot of other factors as to why Samsung tops the android based phones.

        And TouchWiz has some of the biggest bloatware possible. I'm not saying TW's bad, and for the casual facebook addicted dude or dudette TouchWiz can be handy and nice looking.

        But there are a trainload of features not neccessary and eating up resources. For example, why does Samsung need a second Play Store? It's basically the same thing but with samsung apps. And it's forced to run and update sometimes.

        No doubt Samsung gets my respect for their great phones and accomplishments, but TouchWiz is nothing better than other bloatware loaded operating systems.

  28. Chris Marcoe
    April 16, 2013 at 2:25 am I go. Jumping into the Custom ROM pool. Wish me luck!!!

    • Kannon Yamada
      April 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Good luck Chris!

      I would at this point suggest three key things - first, avoid rooting phones that have overly complex instructions. For example, Sony phones are notoriously hard to root. However, if you have a Nexus, it's remarkably easy.

      Second, you must install a custom recovery. Without the recovery, you will not be able to recover the phone in the event of a disaster.

      Third, once you have the recovery, make a complete Nandroid backup (which is a copy of your entire operating system) and find a way to backup the backup. I always save my backups to Dropbox.

  29. Kirby
    April 16, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I bought an ASUS Memo Pad last week and there are indeed pre installed apps there. My dilemma is that I don't know which of this are system recommended apps and which are the bloatware.