When you buy a new Android phone, chances are it comes with plenty of preinstalled bloatware. While you can uninstall those third-party bloatware apps, some of the apps are installed as system apps and cannot be removed. This is especially true for the whole suite of Google apps. If you are not a fan of Google Play Music or Google Duo, sorry, you can’t remove them from your phone. To get rid of system apps, the easiest way is to root your phone. The bad thing is, it is not easy to root your phone, and you will void your phone warranty by doing so.
Here are a few ways to uninstall bloatware/system apps without root in Android.
Uninstall/Disable the bloatware
For the third party bloatware, most of them can be easily uninstalled.
1. On your Android phone, go to “Settings -> Apps & notifications.”
2. Tap on “See all apps” and find the app you want to uninstall and tap on it.
3. If there is an “Uninstall” button, tap to uninstall the app.
4. If you see a “Disable” button instead of an Uninstall button, this means the apps cannot be uninstalled but can be disabled.
“Disabled” means the app becomes dormant, won’t show up in your application list, and won’t be recognized as an installed app.
Tap on the Disable button to disable the app.
For Xiaomi phones, first install the “Hidden Settings for MIUI” app.
1. Open “Hidden Settings for MIUI.”
2. Go to “Manage applications” and find the application you want to disable.
3. Tap on the “Disable” button.
Uninstall system apps on Android using adb
Adb is a powerful tool to debug your phone. It also comes with commands to manage app packages (in this case, uninstall packages).
1. To use adb, you need to install adb on your desktop computer.
For Linux, you can just install “android-tools” from your Software Center or package manager.
For Windows, follow the instructions here to install adb.
2. Next, you need to enable “Developer Options” on your phone. Once enabled, go into the Developer Options, scroll down the list and enable “USB debugging.”
3. Connect your phone to the desktop via USB cable. When prompted, change the “charge only” mode to “file transfer (MTP)” mode.
4. In Windows, navigate to the adb directory and launch the command prompt in that folder. For Linux, just open the Terminal.
Type the following command to start adb and verify that the phone is connected.
If you see an entry listed under the “List of devices” section, then your device is connected.
5. Start the adb shell.
6. List all the packages installed in the phone.
pm list packages
The list will be very long. You can use
grep to narrow down the list. For example, to only show Google packages, use the command:
pm list package | grep 'google'
7. Find the name of the app you want to uninstall. The name is the entry after
Package:. For example, the package name for the Google Contact app is
If you have trouble identifying the package name, simply go to Google Play Store on your browser and search for the app. Check the URL for the package name.
8. Type the following command to uninstall the app.
pm uninstall -k --user 0 package-name
You should see the word “Success” if the uninstallation is successful.
--user flag in the above command is important because it tells the system to uninstall the app for the current user only (and
0 is the default/main user of the phone). There is no way you can uninstall the app from all users unless you root the phone.
As a word of warning, uninstalling system apps has the potential to break the system, so only uninstall the apps that you are sure of. Apps like Gmail, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies, etc., are safe to uninstall but never remove Google Play Store or any of the files associated with it. If the phone becomes unstable after you uninstall a particular app, either reinstall it back from the Google Play Store or factory reset your phone.
Disable system apps using Debloater Tool
If you find the process of ADB commands a bit tricky and lengthy, then fortunately for you, there is a Debloater tool available that will ease up the process of disabling unwanted apps on your Android device.
Some features of this Debloater tool are it allows blocking or disabling apps on your Android device, allow unlocking all apps at once, import blocked listings, etc. It is a pretty straightforward tool: once your device is connected, it shows you a list of apps installed on your Android phone.
Do note that in order to remove the apps, you need to have root access on your Android phone. This tool does not uninstall system apps from your Android phone without root access. However, disabling apps also is efficient, as the disabled apps won’t run in the background and eat up your phone’s resources.
Here’s how you can use the Debloater tool:
1. First, make sure you have USB Debugging enabled on your Android device.
2. Download and install the Debloater tool on your Windows PC.
3. Connect your phone with the PC via a USB cable. Open the Debloater tool and wait for it to detect your device.
4. Once your device is detected, the “Device Connected” and “Sync” notification located at the bottom of the interface will turn green, indicating that the connection is successful.
5. To populate the list with the apps installed on your Android phone, click on the “Read Phone Packages” button just below the “Activity Status” menu.
6. Simply scroll through the list of apps and check the box next to the app that you wish to disable.
7. After the selection is done, hit the “Apply” button at the top. The tool will execute that task and show you a completion message.
Note: a word of caution. Please do not disable any system apps because it may harm your phone by bricking it. Always double-check before selecting any app.
Depending on your phone manufacturer, some phones come with only a few bloatware, and the system apps can be disabled easily while others are full of third-party apps that you cannot remove or disable at all. The instructions above will allow you to uninstall bloatware system apps from your Android phone without having to root your phone, unless you are considering rooting your phone.
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