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I'm using a Samsung I9000 and I have some annoying apps that came pre installed by the phone vendor, like a music store, a custom web browser and other memory leaking apps.

Those crappy apps can't be uninstalled neither by "manage applications" tool nor by editting the apps tiles in the front menu.

I guess I have to be root user or something to get rid of those apps, but I don't know how.

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For options for unrooted devices (though more limited), see How can I deal with unwanted system applications without rooting?. –  eldarerathis May 1 '13 at 21:30

6 Answers 6

up vote 32 down vote accepted

Yes, you have to be rooted. To get rooted, see this question: How do I root my device?

One of the easiest ways to uninstall system apps after rooting is to use Titanium Backup. You can just click an app and choose Uninstall.

Note: Be careful what you remove! You might want to use Titanium to back them up before you remove them, in case it makes your phone unstable or stop working.

Also note that the bootloader may restore system apps on reboot. If possible, unlock your bootloader; you may also need to install a custom ROM that's deodexed, or to edit the image that is restored by the bootloader. That depends on your particular device, but with the SGS you should have no bootloader-related problems.

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What if removed system app returns after reboot? –  Genius May 20 '11 at 8:30
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@Genius In that case your bootloader is likely attempting to verify your system partition and failing, and restoring from a saved image. You could edit the image or, depending on your device, somehow disable that. A custom ROM wouldn't suffer from the same issue. –  Matthew Read May 20 '11 at 13:04
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Important caveat: removing stock apps will usually cause OTA updates from your carrier to fail. You are generally speaking better off to simply use TiBU to "freeze" the apps so that updating is hassle-free. –  Logos Dec 28 '11 at 5:43
    
Freezing is the best solution even if you don't need OTA updates. Freezing is equivalent to uninstall if you ignore space on ROM. With this, you can revert changes if you need it in future... –  Sachin Shekhar Mar 1 '12 at 15:04
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@SatyaPrakash Not that I know of, no. –  Matthew Read Jul 25 '13 at 17:47

You can't remove them without root, they're installed to a directory that cannot be accessed without root. However, you can do the next best thing, close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and go la-la-la-la, pretending they don't exist. The way to do this is to get a launcher (such as ADW if memory serves), that allows you to hide icons. In that case, they will still be installed (and if something triggers them, they'll pop up), but at least you won't have to look at them any more.

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ADW is doing the trick more or less. I could not find a way that "hides" the apps, but I'm able to move all the offending app icons into a folder so that they are out of the way. If someone knows how to "hide" them in a more effective way, please let me know. –  Dave M G Jul 26 '11 at 6:25
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LauncherPro can hide the apps from the app list so that they won't bother you (Menu -> Preferences -> General Settings -> Hidden Apps). But they still show up in search results etc. but this is probably the closest you can get un-rooted. –  onik Jul 26 '11 at 11:46

You may also use ADB to remove applications, but the application methods are easier. Since use of ADB does not require a market, this will work for users who are rooted but who cannot or do not wish to use Android market or similar marketplaces.

./adb remount #ROOT IS REQUIRED TO REMOUNT /system read-write
./adb shell
cd /system/app

To see what's installed: pm list packages

To remove a package:

rm PackageName.apk
pm uninstall class.name.of.package

CyanogenMod, as far as I can tell, only requires the rm step, not the pm step; if you are running a de-odexed version of Android, you may only need the rm step.

If you are concerned you might need the application in the future (over the air updates), you can use adb pull to copy the apk to your desktop (instead of moving it to another location on your phone) or just mv the apk to your uSD card or USB storage.

See http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Barebones for more information.

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rm PackageName.apk returns READ ONLY file system although i am root. consequently pm command returns FAILURE. any pointers? –  hAcKnRoCk Jan 29 '12 at 20:07
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adb remount is not an optional step. You need to re-mount your /system partition read-write. –  Broam Jan 29 '12 at 23:49
    
I see. thanks. I uninstalled using the Titanium backup app. seems that is safer for removing system/app packages. Anyone who is absolutely sure that he does not want an app can remove packages from the shell as you have shown. Geeky but risky :-) –  hAcKnRoCk Jan 30 '12 at 17:44
    
My answer is here because there is a group of Android users that don't have (or don't want) Google's Android market, but do have root access to their devices. It's easy enough to adb pull the apk to your desktop before removing it from the phone. I will add that to my answer. –  Broam Feb 2 '12 at 13:47
    
I also like pm disable com.package to freeze apps. It is easy to enable them again if something breaks. Use adb shell then su to switch to root. –  Chloe Jun 13 '13 at 21:29

Yes, you have to root your phone in order to remove preinstalled apps.

See these questions here and here.

Before you remove any applications, MAKE SURE YOU MAKE A BACKUP via Nandroid. You may delete an app that the system relies on (for one reason or other). Do some searching and make sure it is safe to remove the apps you want to remove.

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Woha, Tanks!. I will try Titanium and Nandroid to make a safe delete. –  akim Mar 10 '11 at 16:34

No you can't remove the pre-installed applications without rooting the phone first. Am I right in saying it's a I9100 Galaxy SII? The exact model number should show on first startup, you can google that number and see if a root exists. As Samsung ships a few phones for different countries with different internal model numbers. Once the phone is rooted, uninstall away!

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Thanks for the tip about searching for roots. Since I just got the phone, I'm a little less inclined to root it right away of more gentle solutions become apparent. But it is a step I might consider if more serious interface concerns emerge. –  Dave M G Jul 26 '11 at 7:29
    
Well more for serious interface concerns CyanogenMod shouldn't be too far off now, so I imagine the rooting procedure will be tested a lot more in future, especially considering the popularity of the phone androidspin.com/2011/06/06/… –  wonea Jul 26 '11 at 7:35

Step1: Root your phone. Use OneClickRoot (google this word+android rooting) on windows to root your phone(I did it on Galaxy S I 9000). Works like a breeze. Be absolutely careful of whatever you do. Make sure your phone model is compatible with the software you want to root with. Try donating to those excellent guys who did this work, although the exploit/vulnerability was discovered by a different person i guess (OPTIONAL STEP ;-))

Step2: Install Titanium backup application. Backup those annoying packages/apps you want to remove first. then uninstall them using this same app. Since u grant root priveleges to this app, this app will show system apps too. Go ahead. enjoy.

Also read this nice post before you begin http://www.adilhindistan.com/2011/11/on-rooting-android.html

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OneClickRoot just changed few setting in my browser (def search engine, etc) and other thing. Still did not worked on my system. My Tablet is already rooted. I was looking to remove vendors apps. –  Satya Prakash Jul 24 '13 at 17:03

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