Non-rooted users can't uninstall system apps but are able to uninstall updates to them such that they are reverted to the base version of the app that shipped with the system image.

When a user does this operation, does it clear the data for the app?

Context: Newer versions of an app may write data incompatible with old versions of the app.

  • You can try making full backup of a system app using adb and then experiment the question yourself. – Firelord Mar 24 '16 at 21:48
  • Thanks, I'm aware that I can check myself but if someone has tried it before then that could save some time. In any case, seems not to be the case and I'll write up an answer shortly. – arcyqwerty Mar 24 '16 at 22:06

Uninstalling updates to a system app does clear the data, tested by uninstalling a system app with data and observing the storage consumed by the data portion of the app go to 0.00B.

For reference, it also outputs intents broadcasting android.intent.action.PACKAGE_REMOVED just as if the entire app had been uninstalled as usual.

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