Is it possible to remove the TouchWiz UI and have the phone behave like the vanilla Android UI?

  • There's a somewhat similar question about replacing HTC's Sense UI here that may be informative since the concepts are similar. Do you want to remove TouchWiz completely (all its apps, widgets, etc) or just replace the launcher/homescreen application? Nov 24, 2011 at 13:48
  • I want to replace the launcher/homescreen but also dialer, notification widget, apps and so on. By "stock-ui" I mean "nexus" phone. I am aware that it may not be completely possible atm. Nov 24, 2011 at 14:04
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    it will really depend on your device. If there is a 3rd party custom ROM out that is stock and works for your device. For example, I run CyanogenMod on my Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, which is the stock UI. I no longer have any of the touchwiz ui. Nov 24, 2011 at 14:27
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    What specific phone? There's several ROMs for captivate that have the android launcher.
    – Chance
    Dec 16, 2011 at 17:14
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    "My understanding is that newer versions of android should allow this without root." Removing all TouchWiz? No, still not possible. You can change: the launcher, the messaging app, the dialer, find alternatives to Samsung services (e.g.: S-Voice -> Google Now), but not much more. Jan 2, 2015 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


It's impossible to root out TouchWiz without modifying the Samsung source code to remove and replace it; it's heavily embedded in the OS. This would be a massive effort and I don't believe anyone's done it. The only alternative is a ROM built from stock in the first place, such as Cyanogen as Ryan mentioned.

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    @MBraedley this answer, and all the comments are not at all out of date. Manufacturers take the android source code, modify it to be unique for their liking, and include the drivers needed for their specific hardware. They change core components of android, so the only real way to have a truly stock UI is to use a ROM that is built specifically for the device, or build it yourself. This is why even variants of the same device can't usually run a ROM for a different version. Even the most minor change in the hardware will cause problems. Dec 28, 2014 at 4:39
  • @RyanConrad I thought Google was basically forcing device makers to make their "enhancements" available as apps, and not as deeply integrated changes to the OS, hence the bounty. Essentially, device makers would only be allowed to make necessary changes to the OS is they still want to access the Play Store (with TouchWiz being an unnecessary change).
    – MBraedley
    Dec 28, 2014 at 5:06
  • @MBraedley all I have found that restricts what manufacturers put on the devices is this. Which doesn't restrict their changes to the OS, it is more on requiring the Google suite of apps. If there are restrictions to Android L, very few devices even have it, but looking at what was leaked for the LG G3, LG still heavily modified the OS. Google will not completely restrict manufacturers from changing it, or they will stop using Android. Dec 28, 2014 at 5:15
  • @MBraedley just my opinion, but if device makers were forced to make their "enhancements" available as apps, then I'd see there was no value to buy their devices if they could buy the cheaper one and install the customization, which is certainly a loss to most of companies. Even until now, HTC is still using SenseUI, and Samsung is still using TouchWiz, and they are close-sourced.
    – Andrew T.
    Dec 29, 2014 at 5:48

You can try installing Google Now Launcher.

The Google now Laucher will give a complete stock experience. You can check out the video here.

If the play store says that your device is not compatible, you can download the '.apk' from this article by phonearena.com

Note: This does not customize the phone application. You will need Android 4.4 if you expect the launcher to work perfectly, but it will work with earlier versions, at least partially. You probably want at least version 4.1.

References :-

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