Your mobile or tablet comes with a few pre-installed applications. Some of them are mandatory because the manufacturers that want to include Google services commit to including 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 may not be of your interest, and you can not always uninstall them. When this happens, they are called bloatware, a term that in this case is used to name the pre-matched 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. In PC, bloatware is called enormously heavy software ( bloatwareliterally means bloated software ), which could be pre-installed or not. It would be the typical case of the huge antivirus suite preinstalled on your PC, or other all-in-one solutions as it was at the time Nero Multimedia Suite.
While in your new PC or laptop with Windows in an afternoon you could get rid of much of the bloatware by uninstalling applications, in Android, the solution is not so simple, because some applications are theoretically impossible to uninstall. Here is the biggest problem, because in Android it is very common to walk scarce of available space, especially in terminals of low and medium range.
How to remove these pre-installed applications
So you bought a new phone and it comes from the factory with a handful of applications that do not interest you in the least. Do not despair, there are several things you can do: some require root rights, others do not.
1. Uninstall normally
Just because an application is pre-installed on your mobile or tablet does not mean it is impossible to uninstall. In some cases, fortunately, they have traditionally installed applications 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 you get the option to uninstall (if that is how it works in your launcher). If not, go to Settings – Applications, find the application in question and see if you have the Uninstall button 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 applications that you can not uninstall normally (which, unfortunately, is the most common), your best weapon without entering the root territory is disabling. A disabled application is still in the system, but you do not see it in the launcher, it does not open and it takes up less space.
A disabled application is still physically in the system and occupying some of the space available, but it is smaller because it is the size of the APK included in the system, without counting the 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 Deactivate button. This usually involves uninstalling the updates that have been installed later. Sometimes Android is bundled and, after uninstalling the updates you must 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 they do not run, but you will recover less available space than uninstalling them completely.
3. Uninstall with root
If you want to eliminate those pre-installed applications forever, I have good and bad news. The good news is that it is possible, and the bad news is that you need to have your phone rooted. Uninstalling applications is, in fact, one of the most interesting advantages of having root.
I can not guide you step by step on what method to use to root your device, although I’m sure that in the XDA forums you will be able to find the information. Generally, I would not recommend you to root your phone only to uninstall applications, although in the end it is you who must decide between the pros and cons of using root and if it is worth it. If you do not use Android Pay or other blocked apps on root phones, probably yes.
Once you have root access, finding an application to uninstall applications “by force” will not cost you much. There is a good amount of them. Root Uninstaller is one of the oldest and most popular, but the free version only allows you to uninstall three applications. A free option is System App Remover.
One of the advantages of System App Remover is that you can check several boxes and uninstall them all at once. Thus, it becomes a great ally to lighten a mobile weight quickly and end all the bloatware in a stroke.
Try not to get excited by uninstalling more than the account, because you could go back to the unstable system if you delete a key application for the customization layer. With pre-installed apps that are on Google Play, you can usually be more careless because you can always easily reinstall them.
In case of doubt, it is better not to uninstall. A search in Google of “the application + name is necessary” sure will give you good results, and another interesting technique is to try to disable first to detect if there are unexpected closes or everything works normally.