Anytime you buy a new phone from a vendor it comes loaded with bloat apps you cannot remove. You may be able to disable some of them but they still remain taking precious space on your phone. This tutorial will show you how to remove those apps without having root privileges on your Android phone. It is always a good idea to remove unnecessary apps, for they do offer an additional attack surface on your device. This will help keep your device clean and attack surface light.
Check Your Drivers
First make sure you have the correct drivers installed on your PC for your device. If you can write files to and from your PC and device connected with the USB cable, you should be good. If not, you have to get the correct drivers so your computer can recognize your device. Visit your manufacturers website.
Install This App on Your Device
To make it easier to get the exact names of the apps we want to remove we can install the App Inspector app on the device we need to remove apps from. Once installed, look for the apps you want to remove and write down the package names.
The image below is the example of the Google Chrome app listed in App Inspector. The exact package name of the app we want to remove is com.android.chrome
(Note: If you cant install this app but still need the package names you can get them while running the ADB & Fastboot, scroll down)
Download and Install the Minimal ADB and Fastboot on your PC
You will need Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your PC. Normally you can get this from the full Android studio but this comes with a lot of unnecessary software we do not need for this specific task so we will be using the Minimal ADB and Fastboot only.
Download and install the Minimal ADB and Fastboot latest version.
Allow for the shortcut on your Desktop during install, this will make things easier.
Prepare Your Device
Now prepare your device to remove unwanted bloat apps. Plug your phone into your computer using its USB cable. On your device, go to Settings, About Phone, scroll down and keep clicking Build Number until is says “You are a developer!“. Go back, click Developer Options, Turn on USB Debugging.
On your device’s screen it should now prompt you to allow USB debugging with your computer. Check Always allow from this computer, click OK as seen in the image below.
If this did not come up, open the Minimal ADB & Fastboot by clicking the shortcut on your desktop and typing in the command below (which will list your connected device):
Minimal ADB & Fastboot Commands
Open Minimal ADB & Fastoboot by clicking the shortcut on your desktop.
(If you couldn’t use the app to get the package names of the apps you want to uninstall you can use this command below, otherwise skip it):
adb shell pm list packages
Now enter the command to get shell access:
Enter the uninstall commands to remove the apps or you can enter the command to disable apps and not uninstall. This is considered to be safer in the event you accidentally remove something you might need later. You can always disable apps first, test your device out for awhile, go back and uninstall completely after tested.
Here for example is the command to uninstall the Google Chrome browser:
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.gms
Or to disable the app instead, use command:
pm disable --user 0 com.google.android.gms
More Information on Removing Apps
You should now have been able to remove or disable these apps without rooting your device. If you have comments or questions, post them below.
For a more comprehensive list of bloat apps you can remove or disable which might help you, check out:
Some apps I was able to remove on a Pixel 2 with Android 9 Pie OS without problems:
Google Messaging – Replace with Signal Private Messenger.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.apps.messaging
Google Search Bar Widget – Replace with Simple Search and set your search provider to DuckDuckGo for example. NOTE: The Google searchbar can be hard coded into the Google launcher. If it is and you remove this widget, the search bar will still appear but will not function. In this case, look for a new launcher instead. Replace with: Evie Launcher or Launcher <3 or Lollipop Launcher or Torque Launcher or ADW Launcher or Nova Launcher Prime (paid).
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.calendar
Google Pictures – Replaced with Simple Gallery.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.apps.photos
Project Fi – If you don’t use Project Fi as your service provider.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.apps.tycho
Google VR Core – If you don’t use VR.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.vr.vrcore
Google Support Services – Allows Google technicians to connect to your device for live support.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.apps.helprtc
Better Together – Allows you to connect the default Google android messenger to Windows 10 – Replace with Signal Private Messenger app & Signal Desktop for the PC.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.apps.multidevice.client
pm uninstall --user 0 com.android.email
Hot Word Enrollment – Voice training for Google Assistant which is required when updating to 8.1 from previous builds. OK to remove If you don’t talk to your phone.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.android.hotwordenrollment.xgoogle
Ok Google Service – OK to remove if you don’t talk to your phone.
pm uninstall --user 0 com.android.hotwordenrollment.okgoogle pm uninstall --user 0 com.android.hotwordenrollment.tgoogle