Farewell to Bloatware

Farewell to Bloatware: How to remove pre-installed apps from your Android phone

Your phone or tablet comes with a few pre-installed applications. Some of them are mandatory, as manufacturers who want to include Google services are committed to include a number of applications, but others come from agreements with third parties or because they thought they would be useful.

The problem is that some of these pre-installed applications may not be of interest to you, and you cannot always uninstall them without further ado. When this happens, they are called bloatware, a term that in this case is used to name the pre-installed applications that make the system heavier, without contributing much.

What is bloatware?

In Android, we have inherited the term bloatware from the PC, although its meaning is slightly different. On PC, bloatware is called enormously heavy software (bloatware literally means bloated software), which could be preinstalled or not. It would be the typical case of the huge antivirus suite preinstalled on your PC, or other all-in-one solutions as it was in its day Nero Multimedia Suite.

While on your new PC or laptop with Windows in an afternoon you could get rid of much of the bloatware by uninstalling applications, in Android the solution is not so simple, because some applications are theoretically impossible to uninstall. This is the biggest problem, since Android is very common, with very little space available, especially in low- and mid-range terminals.

How to remove these preinstalled applications

So you have bought a new phone and it comes from the factory with a handful of applications that do not interest you in the least. Do not despair, there are several things you can do: some require root permissions, some do not.

You may also like to read another article on FreshlookApp: Seven lightweight applications to do everything without running out of space

1. Uninstall normally

Just because an application is pre-installed on your phone or tablet does not mean that it is impossible to uninstall. In some cases, fortunately, applications are installed in a traditional way, so you can uninstall them normally.

The easiest way to check if it is your case is to make a long click and see if you have the option to uninstall (if this is how it works on your launcher). If not, go to Settings – Applications, look for the application in question and see if you have the Uninstall button on your information screen.

If the button is Uninstall instead of Disable, you can get rid of the application forever, no more.

2. Disable / disable

For pre-installed applications that you cannot uninstall normally (which, unfortunately, is the most common), your best weapon without entering the root territory is the disabling. A disabled app is still on the system, but you do not see it on the launcher, it does not open, and it takes up less space.

A disabled application is still physically in the system and occupying some of the available space, but is smaller because it is the size of the APK included in the system, not counting subsequent updates and data, which in some cases can be several hundred megs.

To disable an application go to Settings – Applications, find the application you want to disable and press the Disable button. This usually involves uninstalling updates that have been installed later. Sometimes Android will read and after uninstalling the updates, you must press the button again.

Disabling applications is not the final way to get rid of bloatware but at least it is the simplest solution to get an acceptable result, without having to do root or anything out of the ordinary. In return, you’ll be able to stop those applications from running, but you’ll get less space available than uninstalling them completely.

3. Uninstall with root

If you want to remove those pre-installed applications forever, I have a good and bad news. The good thing is that it is possible, and the bad thing is that you need to have your phone rooted. Uninstalling applications is, in fact, one of the most interesting advantages of having root.

I cannot guide you step by step on which method to use to rootear your device, although surely in the forums of XDA you will be able to find the information. Generally, I would not recommend rooting your phone just to uninstall applications, although in the end it is you who must decide between the pros and cons of using root and if it is worth it. If you do not use Android Pay or other applications blocked on root phones, probably yes.

Once you have root access, finding an application to uninstall applications “by force” will not cost you much. There are a good amount of them. Root Uninstaller is one of the oldest and most popular, but the free version only allows you to uninstall three applications. One free option is System App Remover.

One of the advantages of System App Remover is that you can check several applications with one box and uninstall them all at once. Thus, it becomes a great ally to lighten a mobile weight quickly and end up with all the bloatware at a stroke.

Try not to get excited by uninstalling more than the account, because you could return to the system unstable if you delete a key application for the customization layer. With pre-installed applications that are on Google Play you can usually be more careless, as you can always easily reinstall them.

If in doubt, better not to uninstall. A Google search of “you need the application + name” will surely give you good results, and another interesting technique is to try to disable first to detect if there are unexpected closures or everything works normally.