Your mobile or tablet comes with a few pre-installed apps. Some of them are mandatory, since manufacturers that want to include Google services agree to include a series 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 might not be of interest to you, and you can’t always just uninstall them. 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, software is called bloatware enormously heavy (bloatware literally means bloated software), which may or may not be pre-installed. It would be the typical case of the huge antivirus suite pre-installed on your PC, or of other all-in-one solutions such as the Nero Multimedia Suite in its day.
While on your new Windows PC or laptop in an afternoon you could get rid of much of the bloatware by uninstalling applications, in Android the solution is not so simple, as some applications are theoretically impossible to uninstall. Here is the biggest problem, because it is also very common on Android walking short of available space, especially in low and mid-range terminals.
How to remove these pre-installed apps
So you’ve bought yourself a new phone and it comes out of the box with a bunch of apps that don’t interest you in the least. Don’t despair, there are several things you can do: Some require root permissions, others do not.
1. Uninstall normally
Just because an application is pre-installed on your mobile or tablet does not mean that it is impossible to uninstall. Fortunately, in some cases these are traditionally installed apps, so you can uninstall them normally.
The easiest way to check if this is your case is to do a long press and see if the uninstall option appears (if this is how it works in your launcher). If not, go to Settings – Applications, look for the application in question and see if it has the button Uninstall on your information screen.
If the button is Uninstall instead of Deactivate, you can get rid of the application forever, without further ado.
2. Disable / disable
For pre-installed apps that you can’t uninstall normally (which is unfortunately the most common), your best weapon without entering root territory is disabling. A disabled application is still on the system, but You don’t see it in the launcher, it doesn’t open and it takes up less space.
A disabled application is still physically on the system and taking up some of the available space, but it is more reduced 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 megabytes.
To disable an application go to Settings – Applications, find the application you want to deactivate and press the button Deactivate. This generally involves uninstalling any updates that have been installed later. Sometimes Android gets messy and, after uninstalling the updates you have to press the button again.
Disabling applications is not the definitive way to get rid of bloatware but at least it is the simplest solution to obtain an acceptable result, without the need to root or anything out of the ordinary. In return you will be able to stop those applications so that they do not run, but you will recover less available space than uninstalling them completely.
3. Uninstall with root
If you want to remove those pre-installed apps forever, I have good news and bad news. The good is that it is possible, and the bad is that you need have your phone rooted. Uninstalling applications is, in fact, one of the most interesting advantages of being rooted.
I cannot guide you step by step on which method to use to root your device, although I am sure that in the XDA forums you will be able to find the information. Generally, I would not recommend you root 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’s worth it. If you don’t use Google Pay or other blocked apps on root phones, you probably do.
Once you have root access, finding an app to “forcefully” uninstall apps won’t cost you much. There are a good number 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 multiple applications and uninstall them all at once. Thus, it becomes a great ally to lighten a weight mobile quickly and end all the bloatware in one fell swoop.
Try not to get excited by uninstalling more than necessary, as you could revert to unstable system if you remove a key app for the customization layer. With pre-installed apps that are in Google Play you can generally be more careless, as you can always easily reinstall them.
When in doubt, better not uninstall. A search in Google for “the application + name is necessary” will surely give you good results, and another interesting technique is try disabling first to detect if there are unexpected closures or everything works normally.