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One of the main advantage of rooting is removing bloatware [I guess]. Is removing unwanted brand-based or operator-based app any different from disabling it from All Application in Settings? I don't find any improvement in memory too since these apps were pre-loaded in OS and you can't use those space any way.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As it has already been said: the main difference is that disabling an app simply marks it unavailable (which can easily be reverted), while removing physically removes the app and all connected data from the device.

What was still left open is: What do you gain from removing an app, that you didn't get by disabling it – so it would be worth the risk of not being easily reverted?

  • Space: You're probably talking about system apps here. Those are usually installed on the /system partition, which is mounted read-only, and cannot be used by "normal (user) applications". So removing the app itself doesn't give you space to "simply install other apps". But still: Almost all apps have data, which is stored in /data/data/<app_package_name>1. While pressing "clear cache" and "delete data" from Settings→Apps resets those, it doesn't completely delete everything. Removing the app does. So you gain at least some space here.
  • Performance & battery: If you disable an app, it becomes invisible to the user – but the files are still there. Also, the package manager still knows it exists. Plus the app's "intents" are still available: if another apps directly calls them, the disabled app still responds to the call. It also seems to listen to some broadcasts it previously had registered listeners on (example: my LG Optimus 4X has those bloated LG stuff I've disabled. Nevertheless, after each boot I receive prompts from their "remote service" app to approve).
    That means, a disabled app can still be running in background, if called from some other place – and consume battery plus CPU, even bandwidth and other resources. A removed app obviously can't.

1 Some apps also store (usually "huger chunks" of) data on SDCard, but almost all apps have at least their central data below /data/data.

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is /data/data space usable? –  sameer Mar 6 at 13:16
    
Yes. As I wrote, that's the partition available to all apps. Each app gets a directory assigned there on install (/data/data/<package_name>), where they can store their data in. For details, see Android Folder Hierarchy and Where Android apps store data?. Also, .apk files are installed on this partition, see Where in the file system are applications installed? –  Izzy Mar 6 at 13:51

You answered your own question really:

Is removing unwanted brand based or operator based app any difference than disabling these app from All Application in Settings?

To which you wrote:

I don't find any improvement in memory too since these apps were preloaded in OS and you cant use those space any way.

Disabling an app merely "hides" the app from your app lists and prevents it running in the background. But it still consumes space in the phones memory. Whereas, removing an app deletes all traces of the app from your phone and frees all up related space.

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freeing related space, but these space cannot be used by the user rite? –  sameer Mar 6 at 12:43
    
It can be. If an app is deleted and the space is freed up the user can use it, which is not the case when you disable the app(the space is still consumed). –  Karan Raj Baruah Mar 6 at 12:45
    
The os were loaded in the phone memory which cannot be used I think so.Correct me If I am wrong –  sameer Mar 6 at 12:50
    
^^ You're not deleting the OS. If flashing a Custom ROM frees up space(say the new ROM uses 200MB of space instead of 300MB by original ROM, you can use the additional 100MB freed up). –  Karan Raj Baruah Mar 6 at 12:52
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I dont think so, Since the phone memory listed in the Setting>App is not connected to the memory in which the android os is installed atleast I never found a difference in phone memory when installed a 500 mb custom rom and 300 mb custom rom. –  sameer Mar 6 at 12:56

In either case (removing or disabling), the app won't be running in memory. If it was a service that kept running, like Samsung's apps, you'd have lesser apps using the CPU, and that may improve battery life.

If you remove / uninstall an app, you are definitely going to free up some memory/storage. But if the app is very small to begin with, the freed up storage is probably going to be negligible.

If you disable an app, you have an advantage of being able to enable it when you need it. There's no need to download and install it again.

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Another difference that I've not seen mentioned here is that removing the app might cause problems with firmware updates, so I'd suggest clearing app defaults, force stopping, clearing data and then disabling app unless absolutely necessary or your phone is no longer receiving updates anyway

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