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Believe it or not, but I want to remove a few Google Apps which I have no use for and want to free up space, resources and mobile data usage by not having them on my phone at all.

These include:

  • Google Currents
  • Google Play Music
  • Google Play Movies
  • Google Play Newsstand
  • Google Keyboard
  • Google+

I have ‘uninstalled’ them via the Play Store, but they still appear in my ‘Installed’ items in ‘My apps’ in the Play Store and instead of ‘UPDATE' and ‘UNINSTALL’ for any other app in my ‘Installed’ list, they stubbornly remain and only have ‘OPEN’ AND ‘UPDATE’ options.

Also going in the ‘All’ list in ‘My Apps’, all these apps are also different from other ones, where unlike other locally uninstalled apps that have their payment status (‘FREE’ or ‘PURCHASED’) and a ‘X’ at the top to remove it from your Google Account entirely, these Google Apps that I don’t want on my Android and want to be completely optional for my Android experience, only have an ‘UPDATE’ and no X up the top of their listing.

I don’t mind them remaining on the Google Account if Google insists on this, but I just want listings to ‘update’ them in my Google Play updates list to be removed, given this is Google basically forcing me to reinstall them against my will.

Is there a way to do this?

I’m on stock 4.3 Gnex.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The solution is to ‘Disable’ the apps from the Android system settings and they will no longer appear in your Play Store updates list.

E.g. for Google Currents:

Settings > Apps > All > find ‘Currents’ - tap it, select ‘Disable’.

The same applies to the all other listed apps in the question (with the exception of 'Google Play Newsstand’ which I couldn’t find in the list), and when you open the Play Store updates list anew, they will finally be gone from it as desired.

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N.B. I worked this out after already writing out the entire question so thought to document it here for others in the future instead. – user31812 Mar 22 '14 at 4:33
Update: I'm now trying to remove Hangouts, and it isn't in the list of 'All' apps in Android system app settings, and it's still bugging me by being in the updates list, forcing itself to be there and in my way. sigh. anyone know how to remove it from the Play Store? I'm rooted, if that helps. – user31812 Mar 22 '14 at 5:46
Worked out Hangouts: in the 'All' apps list in settings, it's '' :)... – user31812 Mar 24 '14 at 2:35
Disabling really isn't removing Google apps, it's just disabling. So this isn't really answering your question, just band-aid'ing it. – HasH_BrowN Jan 11 at 5:05

Above answer only stops them from appearing, it doesn't remove them. For that you'll need to root. Here's a guide that kind of answers your problem: Be careful! Droidviews: Removing Stock Apps.

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That was excellent, thank you very much! Not all apps I wanted to remove were there, but for the ones that were that was even better than my 'disabling' solution! (Though I'm not sure whether they should be disabled first anyway, in case it mucks up the Play Store apps presence issue or not...[if they're hard deleted suddenly despite wanting to still sync them to the account or something.]) – user31812 Apr 2 '14 at 0:32

Unless rooted, there is no way of uninstalling stock (system) apps.

That being said, even rooted uninstalling a stock app does not give you any usable free space (they're not on "user storage"). Disabling these app however, as suggested before, gives you all the other benefits you desire even on a stock, non-rooted Android.

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This is getting more complex than I thought. Even if ROOTed, the phone apps may be on ROM (much cheaper than Flash) and there fore impossible to remove. It depends on how the phone was designed.I am beginning to think Disable may be the best option. It turns off (I think) at least some of that task and along with Clear and Default should free up some resources. I do worry about the warning (every time?) that it "...may cause other apps to misbehave..."

Some smart guy with a rooted phone and lots of experience needs to check memory before and after Disable and then Root remove and compare. It is harder and more dangerous to use root and we all need to know if it is a benefit to resources, including RAM, CPU cycles, as well as more ephemeral things like reliability and useability.

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I build these things for a living. I've never heard of system apps stored on ROM -- at least not for Android. If you did that, you couldn't even update them during a system update. Most of the devices I've worked on only used ROM for the first-stage bootloader and last-ditch recovery mode. – Edward Falk Aug 25 at 22:28

I rooted my phone then installed Link2SD and Root Explorer. I used Root Explorer to backup the .apk files in the system folder, then from the Link2SD interface selected carefully the system (odex) apps I didn't want and uninstalled them.

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I rooted my phone (Pantech P9070) and froze a lot of unwanted stuff using Link2SD. I thought freezing was a better option than removing, just in case. I also installed DCentral1 to see what apps could be spying on me.

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You don't need root to disable apps. See @foregon's answer. – nyuszika7h Mar 28 at 16:55
Some apps have the "disable" grayed out. So this is useful sometimes. – Hello World Aug 7 at 17:08

protected by Community Mar 28 at 18:14

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