Many Android devices are bundled with bloatware in one form or another which tends to take up storage space and slow down your device’s performance for no good reason.
If you have a rooted device, getting rid of pre-installed system apps is trivial. But if your phone is not rooted, there’s no way to get rid of these apps completely. However, you can reduce the impact they have on system performance by blocking them.
Let’s see how we can remove pre-installed Android crapware without rooting.
If you merely need to clean up your app drawer, you can easily do so without going through any convoluted process. Many Android phones come with a built-in option to prevent installed apps from showing up in the app drawer, but if yours doesn’t, it’s easy to get that functionality by using a third-party launcher.
For example, to hide apps using Nova Launcher, go to “Nova Settings -> App & Widget Drawers.” Scroll to the bottom and tap “Hide Apps” under Drawer Groups. Tick all the apps you want to hide from your app drawer.
All the selected apps will no longer show up on your app drawer. If you want to unhide any of the apps, follow the same process.
Keep in mind that this method does not prevent the hidden applications from running in the background and consuming your device’s resources. Another way to deal with this problem is to disable the apps through the settings.
Disable Apps Through System Settings
Disabling pre-installed apps will prevent them from running in the background or taking up any system resources. The app will still be installed on your device, and you can re-enable it if you wish to, but you will not be disturbed by it once it’s disabled.
1. Launch the Settings app on your phone.
2. Scroll down and find “Apps” or “Application Manager.”
3. Tap on the app you’d like to disable.
4. There should be an option to disable the app: tap on it.
5. You will get a warning prompt asking you for a confirmation. Just confirm it.
6. The application will no longer show up in your app drawer or run in the background.
If you change your mind about the app you disabled, you can always come back here and re-enable it.
Disable Apps Through ADB
Disabling apps through the System Settings may not work for every app. In that case you can try using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to stop them from running.
Before you begin, you must have Android’s ADB and fastboot tools installed on your computer. If you’re running Ubuntu, enter these commands into the terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot
Windows users should follow this link to view instructions on how to install ADB and fastboot tools on your computer.
Once you have ADB installed, you may proceed with the following steps.
1. In your Android phone launch Settings and go to Developer Options. Make sure USB Debugging is enabled. If you cannot find Developer Options, you can activate it with the instructions here.
2. Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
3. When prompted, allow “USB debugging” from your computer.
4. In Ubuntu launch the terminal. In Windows open the ADB folder and launch the command prompt by pressing Shift and the right mouse button.
5. Confirm that your device is detected by running
6. Run the following:
adb shell pm list packages
to list all the installed apps on your device.
7. Find the package name of the app you want to disable and copy it. For example, the package name for Google Play Music is
8. Run the following:
adb shell pm hide <packagename>
to disable the app. For example,
adb shell pm hide com.google.android.music disables Google Play Music.
9. Reboot your device.
If you want to re-enable the app, simply run
adb shell pm unhide <packagename> to do so.
On devices without root access, there is no satisfactory way to get rid of bloatware completely. However, you can minimise the effects these apps have on your device by disabling them which should preserve your system resources for more important tasks.
If you really want to get rid of software bloat for good, consider rooting your device. It’s the only surefire way to make sure that these pre-installed apps are eradicated from your device forever.
If you know any other techniques for getting rid of bloatware on non-rooted devices, do share them in the comments section below.