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I'm using: Huawei Nexus 6p with Android 6.0.1 and stable version of Chrome Browser.

How do I completely switch to Chrome Beta without having two browsers installed on my phone? Is there a way to do it?


* UPDATE *

My phone IS root'd & w/out any mods.

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As root, you have full access to your phone's System partition, hence you'll be able to completely uninstall Chrome. Here, I'll describe two procedures for doing so.


Via a Terminal Emulator

By using an app known as a Terminal Emulator, you can manually remove Chrome and any leftovers lying in the Data partition. Firstly, you'll want to issue:

su

to gain root privileges. Next, execute:

mount /system
mount -o remount,rw /system

to remount the System partition as readable and writeable. Then, issue:

temp="$(pm path com.android.chrome)"
temp="$(temp#p*:}"

in order to retrieve the path of the Chrome app, and store it into a variable called temp. Finally, do:

rm -rf $temp
rm -rf /data/data/com.android.chrome

in which the first line will remove the actual app, and the second will clean up its data. The full script follows:

su
mount /system
mount -o remount,rw /system
temp="$(pm path com.android.chrome)"
temp="${temp#p*:}"
rm -rf $temp
rm -rf /data/data/com.android.chrome

Via Titanium Backup

If you don't like to type too much, your alternative is to download an app called Titanium Backup. Even if its main purpose is to... backup, it is also capable of uninstalling system apps, providing that you grant it root permissions when asked.

Firstly, launch it and grant it the abovementioned privileges. Next, tap the central tab (Backup/Restore), and then find the app you wish to remove. Once you find it, tap its tile and select Uninstall.


That's it. Remember that it's generally recommended to wipe both the Cache partition and the Dalvik Cache after uninstalling a system app. Otherwise, you may incur into really funky side-effects.

  • Damn auto-correct. Reposting: I think the commands adb root and adb remount will also accomplish your first few steps. – Edward Falk Jun 14 '16 at 14:52
  • @EdwardFalk adb is meant to act as interface between a computer and an Android device, while my commands are written to be executed from the Android device itself. Plus, one cannot start the adb client on a mobile device, unless they have root privileges, which makes the whole adb root redundant. – Death Mask Salesman Jun 14 '16 at 15:06
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You probably can't. System apps, including the browser, are stored in the /system partition, which is effectively read-only from the user's point of view. Downloaded apps (and upgrades to system apps¹) are stored in the /data partition. Odds are that Chrome beta is in /data.

That was the bad news. The good news is: keeping those /system apps around when you're not using them doesn't cost you anything in terms of /data space. So just ignore them.

More good news: although you can't delete system apps you can go to "Manage Apps" and remove any updates to them, resetting them back to the version in the /system image. This will free up the space in /data that was consume by the updates.

Finally, if you haven't already done so, you can remove the browser app from the dock and install the beta in its place, if you like.


¹ This is why I rarely accept upgrades to system apps if I don't need them.


Edit: If you have a rooted phone, and you really want to do this, see my notes at http://www.efalk.org/Docs/Android/debug.html#Remove_system_app

You're braver than I am if you try this, though. I only did it while I was developing new Android products, and I always had the luxury of re-flashing the device from scratch if I screwed it up.

I'm not sure I see the point though, it won't free up any space for data or applications. Unless you plan to install your beta browser into /system, in which case you're really brave.

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If you're rooted you can uninstall it and install the Beta / Dev version of Chrome.

Else, disable regular chrome and install Beta / Dev. Regular version won't show up anywhere else but the Settings -> Apps screen.

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