How to Uninstall System Apps on Android

It is likely that you have seen quite a few applications that you never use but are unable to remove from your Android phone. While there are some system apps that are required for your phone to function properly, there are also plenty that are not required and simply eat up space on your device’s storage.

On the bright side, there are a few different ways that you can get rid of or at the very least disable these annoying system applications on your Android device. As part of this tutorial, we will walk you through the various ways in which you can uninstall system apps from your Android device and reclaim some of that valuable storage space.

How to Uninstall System Apps on Android

What are System Apps?

System apps, also known as bloatware, are the preinstalled apps that come on your Android phone out of the box. These are put there by Google, your phone’s manufacturer, or your carrier. While a few of these like the Settings app are essential, many are unnecessary or redundant.

Common examples of bloatware include manufacturer apps like Samsung’s Bixby or pre-installed carrier apps for things like voicemail or account management. Google also includes many of its own apps like YouTube, Google Drive, and Google Play Music which you may not use.

The problem is, unlike apps you download yourself, most system apps can’t be uninstalled through the normal method in the Play Store. Manufacturers and carriers want to keep them on your device. However, there are still a few ways you can try to remove them.

How to Uninstall System Apps on Android

Method 1: Disable the App

The easiest way to get rid of a system app is to simply disable it. When you disable an app, it will be hidden from your app drawer and will stop running in the background. However, it’s not completely removed from your device. This is a good option if you think you might want to re-enable the app later.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps.
  3. Tap on App Management.
  4. Find the app you want to disable in the list and tap it.
  5. Tap Disable.

Tap disable

The app will now be disabled until you choose to enable it again from this same menu. Keep in mind, some critical system apps like Settings don’t allow the disable option.

Method 2: Uninstall Updates for the App

Some system apps, especially Google apps, may have been updated since you first got your phone. You can’t fully remove these apps, but you can uninstall the updates and revert the app back to its original factory version. This can help if a recent update is causing problems or taking up too much space.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps.
  3. Tap on App Management.
  4. Select the app you want to modify.
  5. Tap the three-dot menu icon.
  6. Select Uninstall updates.

Tap uninstall updates | How to Uninstall System Apps on Android

This will remove all updates and restore the original version of the app. You can still disable it with the above method if you want to hide it from your app list as well.

Method 3: Using a Debloater Tool

For more advanced Android users, there are third-party debloater tools which let you remove system apps in bulk easily. One popular option is the Universal Android Debloater tool.

To use Debloater tools:

  1. Install the Debloater tool.
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Scroll down and tap on About Device.
  4. Tap on the Build Number several times until you see Developer Options.
    Note- In some devices, the build number may be mentioned as version number.
  5. Connect the USB to your phone and then connect it to a PC.
  6. The debloater tool then scans your phone and presents a list of system apps that are likely safe to uninstall. You can select the ones you want to remove.

Tap on version number several times

This provides a more thorough removal than simply disabling apps, but it also carries more risk if you accidentally remove something important. Make sure to carefully research what each system app does before uninstalling it. It’s best to create a full backup of your phone before attempting this method.

Method 4: Rooting Your Phone (Not Recommended)

The most extreme, but also most thorough, method to remove system apps is to root your Android device. Rooting gives you admin-level access to the operating system, allowing you to fully uninstall any app.

The exact rooting process varies by phone model and Android version. It usually involves unlocking the bootloader and flashing a custom recovery. Rooting can be technical and it will void your phone’s warranty. A failed rooting attempt also risks bricking your device.

If you do choose to root, you can use root-enabled file explorer apps to mount your phone’s system partition and delete the APK installation files for any system apps you don’t want. This completely removes them as if they were never installed at all. Be very careful to only remove apps you are absolutely sure are not needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it safe to uninstall system apps?

It depends on the app. Some system apps are critical to your phone’s operation and removing them can cause issues. However, many bloatware apps from manufacturers and carriers are safe to remove if you don’t use their features. When in doubt, research what the app does before uninstalling it. It’s always safest to just disable an app instead of fully deleting it.

Will uninstalling system apps free up storage space?

Yes, removing a system app will free up its storage space on your device. However, some system apps are relatively small so you may not notice a huge difference. Disabling an app will prevent it from taking up more space with app data, but the original app install will still be present on your system partition.

Can I uninstall system apps without rooting?

In most cases, no. The system partition is read-only without root access. The only exceptions are being able to disable apps to hide them and uninstalling any updates to an app. To fully uninstall a system app, you need to be rooted so you can modify the system partition.

Will my phone still get updates if I uninstall system apps?

It depends which apps you uninstall. Removing manufacturer or carrier bloatware will not impact your ability to get Android version updates. However, if you uninstall any of Google’s core system apps, it may prevent your phone from updating to the next major Android version. Be very careful about uninstalling any Google or Android OS system apps.

Can I reinstall system apps if I change my mind?

If you disabled an app, you can simply re-enable it from the Apps list in Settings. If you uninstalled updates to an app then the original version will still be there but you’ll need to update it again from the Play Store.

If you fully uninstalled a system app via root then the only way to get it back is to factory reset your phone or reflash the original factory firmware. Make sure you have a full backup before uninstalling any system apps.

Also Read: How to Block a Specific App from Being Downloaded

Just be careful to research what an app does before you uninstall it, as some system apps are necessary for your phone to function properly. When in doubt, disabling an app is usually safer than completely removing it. With a bit of cleanup, you can optimize your Android device to only have the apps you actually use. If you have any queries or suggestions do let us know in the comments section below.

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