You turn on the mobile you just bought, and you see that the application drawer is full of applications that you have not installed, nor are you likely to use for as long as you are going to have the phone. That is bloatware.
Although manufacturers nowadays are very kind to their users, many of them still leave their OS flooding with bloatware. There are still some parts where people want to get rid of unwanted apps.
But not every bloatware is bad; remember that. And the one that can be easily uninstalled without root is definitely not a problem. In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about bloatware on Android and how to eliminate them forever.
At the beginning of the article, I referred to bloatware as the pre-installed apps on a device. It is true, the term bloatware refers to all that “bloatware” apps, which come pre-installed in the device’s OS, occupying and consuming storage without providing obvious benefits for users.
Therefore, it would not be correct to call the system settings app bloatware -which comes pre-installed on all Android phones-, but it would be an option within the settings.
The “junk software” is not limited only to applications. We can also find some options added in the system settings, modules, or even in the widgets of the UI. Despite not providing any value, are there taking up space, consuming resources such as memory or battery, or simply dirtying the experience with the device.
So what could we consider “good bloatware”? All those apps, which are not important for the OS but do provide a real utility. Apps that do not come in-built in AOSP like a file browser, a video player or a gallery application, would be examples of truly useful pre-installed apps, as long as they do not exceed the limit of incorporating more functions than necessary.
How to remove bloatware from your Android mobile
But there is good news – bloatware can be removed.
Some manufacturers offer the possibility of disabling or deactivating the pre-installed applications to free up some storage space on the mobile.
Although this can be a solution, it must be borne in mind that deactivating apps doesn’t delete the apps completely.
The most effective way to get rid of bloatware is to remove those applications pre-installed in the system by the manufacturer. The easiest way to do this, by uninstalling the app as usual through the system settings. However, it is not always possible; you may sometimes need to follow more advanced procedures.
Remove bloatware without root
You don’t need to have root access on your Android mobile to be able to remove bloatware. Just a USB cable and a computer with the ADB drivers installed on it. If you meet the requirements, these are the steps you must follow:
First, turn on USB debugging on your phone and connect it to your computer.
Now, open a command window – CMD or Terminal – on your computer.
To verify that the phone has connected successfully, run the command “adb devices”. The identification number of the device should appear in the command window.
On your computer, enter the command “adb shell”.
To list all the apps pre-installed by the device manufacturer, you must run the following command: pm list packages | grep 'brand' For example, pm list packages | grep ‘samsung’.
To remove a specific application, enter the following command: pm uninstall -k - -user 0 packagename For example, pm uninstall -k – -user 0 com.samsung.calculator.
Repeat the previous step for all the apps you want to uninstall.
The only con of this abd command method is that it will only let you uninstall an app, but you can not uninstall a setting or option / UI element. Fortunately, these unwanted options don’t consume many resources from your device.
List of some common Bloatware that you must remove from your Android
Here are the lists of bloatware that you can directly remove from your device. For your convenience, we made categorized lists!
WARNING: All the custom ROMs, Official Firmware, How-to guides, tutorials, roots, hacks, and tricks mentioned on our site belong to the respective developers. We are not responsible if anything goes wrong with your device. Perform it at your own risk. If you do something wrong and brick your device, we will laugh at you 😂
Caution: Be careful while uninstalling a particular app from your end. You must ensure that the app you are going to uninstall doesn’t use any system function or settings. Uninstalling a critical app may result in bricking your phone, and we won’t be responsible for that. We will laugh at you! So, proceed at your own risk!
Saeed Ashif Ahmed is a Blogger who has a keen interest in how emerging technology can help the world become a more just, equitable, and kind place. He enjoys interviewing CEOs of tech startups asking them what they are doing to bring greater opportunity and equity to our society.