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How to Uninstall Carrier/OEM Bloatware Without Root Access

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jnelsoninjax    10,235

I am posting this guide that I found on the XDA forums on how to remove the preinstalled junk that comes on Android phones.

 

Install the USB drivers for your device (Google has a list of some universal USB drivers here)

Download the ADB binary for your particular OS (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Extract the zip file into a folder that you can quickly access.

On your phone, go to Settings and tap on About Phone. Find the Build Number and tap on it 7 times to enable Developer Options.

Now enter Developer Options and find USB Debugging. Enable it.

Plug your phone into the computer and change it from “charge only” mode to “file transfer (MTP)” mode.

On your computer, browse to the directory where you extracted the ADB binary.

Launch a Command Prompt in your ADB folder. For Windows users, this can be done by holding Shift and Right-clicking then selecting the “open command prompt here” option.

Once you’re in the command prompt/terminal, enter the following command: adb devices

You will see that the system is starting the ADB daemon. If this is your first time running ADB, you will see a prompt on your phone asking you to authorize a connection with the computer. Grant it.

Now if you re-run the adb devices command, the terminal will print the serial number of your device. If so, then you’re ready to move on.

Enter the following command: adb shell

Execute the “pm list packages | grep '<OEM/Carrier/App Name>'” command (without quotes) to find package names.

ALTERNATIVELY: You can also easily find the package name of an installed system application by installing the App Inspector app on your phone. I prefer doing it this way so you know exactly what the app name is of the application that you are about to uninstall.

Step 1: Tap on “App List”

Step 2: Find the app you want gone. (eg. “Compass”)

Step 3: Find the package name under the App Name (eg. “com.huawei.compass”)

 

Execute the command like so: “pm uninstall -k --user 0 <name of package>” command (without quotes) to uninstall a specific system application.

As a word of warning, uninstalling system applications can be very dangerous so please know what you’re getting rid of before you complete these steps. Failing to do so could result in your phone becoming unusable until you perform a factory reset. Of course, by removing any given system application, another system application that may depend on it may also break so be careful what you remove. But if something does go wrong, you can always perform a factory reset to bring things back to the way they were. Which is something else you should know – these uninstalled system applications can/will come back after a factory reset.

This is a good thing, however, as it means that these applications truly aren’t being uninstalled from the device, they are just being uninstalled for the current user (user 0 is the default/main user of the phone). That’s why, if you omit the “–user 0” and “-k” part of the command, the command won’t work. These two commands respectively specify that the system app will only be uninstalled for the current user (and not all users, which is something that requires root access) and that the cache/data of the system application will be preserved (which can’t be removed without root access). Therefore, even if you “uninstall” a system application using this method, you can still receive official OTA updates from your carrier or OEM.

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techbeck    6,408

Looks easier just to root your device, remove the apps, and unroot.  

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Brandon H    2,069
2 hours ago, techbeck said:

Looks easier just to root your device, remove the apps, and unroot.  

true if you don't mind your device being factory reset from unlocking the bootloader (which most android phones require in order to get root).

 

this method looks to avoid unlocking the bootloader so you'd be able to do it without losing anything on your phone :)

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techbeck    6,408

Yea, but typically, a normal user wouldn't do this and those that were concerned about removing bloat  would have rooted their phones.  Cool tip tho. 

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Brandon H    2,069
Just now, techbeck said:

Yea, but typically, a normal user wouldn't do this and those that were concerned about removing bloat  would have rooted their phones.  Cool tip tho. 

for our own phones sure. we're tech-y people :)

 

I could see using this for say a buddy's phone if they want help removing something an OEM put on but you know they're not savvy enough to be trusted with a root on their phone.

or for someone that already has a lot installed on their phone and doesn't want to deal with a reset just to remove an OEM app.

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techbeck    6,408
14 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

for our own phones sure. we're tech-y people :)

 

I could see using this for say a buddy's phone if they want help removing something an OEM put on but you know they're not savvy enough to be trusted with a root on their phone.

or for someone that already has a lot installed on their phone and doesn't want to deal with a reset just to remove an OEM app.

I get it.  I just never had anyone who is non techie want to remove bloat off a phone before.  Just what I have seen is all.

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