Smartphone and Laptop are becoming daily companions in every person’s life in this generation. Just imagine a day without working on your laptop or peeking at your smartphone’s screen…seems impossible, doesn’t it? With all the work we do on these gadgets, we eventually consume most of the memory available and the gadgets start to work slower. The first idea that comes to all of us is: Remove or uninstall pre-installed apps on android without rooting. During the process of selecting apps to remove, you have two types of apps: Apps you installed previously and apps that have been pre-installed into the device i.e. System apps. You can uninstall the apps you previously installed very easily on click of a button. But you cannot remove system apps because you are not given the option to uninstall them. These type of pre-installed, useless apps that take up a lot of storage space and RAM in a gadget are called as bloatware.
Let’s discuss bloatware in Android smartphones. We have to agree that some of the system apps in Android are extremely necessary like Phone, Contacts, Camera etc. and core module apps that run the background tasks in the gadget.
But we do not need apps like App Market, Navigator, Search Engines etc. which are redundant because the same device has pre-installed Google Play store, Google Maps and Google Search Engine. I agree that it’s the company’s decision to pre-install these apps. By the same token, it should be the user’s choice to keep or remove these apps from his/her gadget.
Why do smartphone companies agree to pre-install apps on android?
These smartphone companies are called as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). If the smartphone depends on Android OS, then the OEM has to sign an Anti-Fragmentation Agreement abiding which the OEM has to pre-install Google apps like :-
Google Play store, Google Chrome, Google Search Engine, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, YouTube etc. into their product.
Okay, most Google apps are useful and popular, many users don’t mind these apps taking up storage space. But why do the OEMs install bloatware into these phones? The OEMs answer would be that they want to provide good apps for the service of the user. The real answer is that developers of bloatware pay revenue to OEMs for pre-installing their apps on the smartphones.
AT&T apps in Samsung.
These pre-installed apps on android phone becomes useless to smartphone users because they think it is redundant. But the developer of that particular app believes that if many people have his/her app, they will find it useful and/or even better than its competitor app.
Though OEMs would like to give their users best smartphone and best user experience, they have to complete everything under budget, make the cost of device affordable for common people and get some profits.
hence it is one of the main reason we uninstall pre-installed apps on android without rooting.
Why are we unable to uninstall pre-installed apps on android smartphones?
You cannot uninstall pre-installed apps on android without rooting because they are hidden in the “root” directory of your smartphone. You do not have the privilege to access the root directory, so you cannot remove the bloatware.
Root is the basic directory of Android where all the app information and hard data is stored. Rooting is the process of creating an administrative superuser called as root in your phone, which gives the front-end user i.e. you, a power to have control on your Android OS and change aspects of your Android operating system. Thus, you can delete the pre-installed apps in your smartphone. Rooting is not illegal.
I have elaborated more on Rooting in my article “How to block Ads without rooting”.
But is it advisable to root? Yes. No. Maybe. All these are valid answers if you know what you are dealing with. Because with great root superuser power comes great responsibility.
When you root your phone, the security armour provided by Android is lost and it’s your responsibility to provide security for your Android OS.
In the process of rooting your phone, you may void your warranty which means that your mobile company is no longer responsible for the software in case it doesn’t work anymore after rooting. If there is no working OS inside your phone, it turns into a ‘brick’.
Okay, we agreed not to root our smartphones. Is there another way to get rid of the bloatware in our gadgets? Of course, there is. (Why else would I be writing this article? 😊)
How to uninstall pre-installed apps on android without rooting?
To uninstall pre-installed apps on android without rooting follow the process mentioned below, you need a PC or a laptop, your phone and a data cable. You also need to install ADB (Android Debug Bridge), OEM USB Drivers. You need to be careful while executing the process mentioned below. You would be uninstalling bloatware from your phone by connecting it to a PC or a laptop and executing commands in PC to remove software from your smartphone.
So lets get started to uninstall pre-installed apps on android without rooting.
- Go into Settings and Click on About Phone
- Now click on Build Number. Tap on it few times until you get a notification that says, “You are a developer now” or “Developer mode is turned on”.
- After turning Developer mode on, you will find Developer options in the Settings. Turn on Developer options if it is off. In the Developer options, you will find USB Debugging.
- Turn on USB Debugging. Click on OK when a (warning) dialogue box appears.
Work to be done on PC or laptop:
- Make sure USB drivers for your particular OS are installed and updated.
- ADB or Android Debug Bridge are tools offered by Google for developers who want to debug different parts of their application. The tools can be downloaded from here.
Choose the ADB binary file based on your Operating System (Windows, MacOS or Linux)
- You will download platform tools zip file from the link above. Rename the folder extracted as “adb”. Extract files into a suitable place like C:\adb.
- Plug your phone to the PC via data cable and keep the USB for “file transfer (MTP)”.
- Open the command prompt where adb is present (C:\adb)
- When you are in the command prompt/terminal, give the command: adb devices
- As you have observed in above picture, the ADB daemon has started successfully. After this, you will get a notification in your phone, for your permission to allow USB debugging. Click on OK.
- Now enter this command: adb shell
- After this command you can directly interact with your phone’s storage. The memory in our phones is divided amongst packages.
- We can know these packages by typing the command in the adb shell: pm list packages | grep ‘<OEM/Carrier Name/App>’
- We can also install apps like App Inspector to know the packages in the phone.
- Now I want to uninstall ‘Game Space’ App in my phone. I can’t uninstall them because they are preinstalled into my phone.
- To accomplish the uninstallation, I have to remove the package “com.coloros.gamespace”. We can uninstall a package by the command: pm uninstall -k –user 0 <name of the package>
- If you have given the right command for uninstalling a package and followed all the above instructions correctly, then you would get “Success” after uninstall command. Immediately after this uninstall command “Gamespace” app was removed from my smartphone.
- In the same way, you can remove other packages in your phone. But I am warning you not to remove Core module packages from your phone. Without these packages, your phone may not function properly.
- Finally we have successfully uninstall pre-installed apps on android without rooting.
OEMs like Samsung, LG, Nokia etc. which pre-installed a lot of bloatware received a lot of criticism from its users. Now some OEMs like Huawei’s EMUI, Lenovo’s Motorola, Google Pixel etc. are using Stock Android or pure Android as OS to provide bloat-free smartphones. And these bloat-free smartphones have been high in sales. As smartphone becomes an important part in a person’s life, the efficiency of it becomes a very important aspect to the user. If the OEMs still fill the smartphone with bloatware, they will lose their customers to their competitors.