I know it's potentially a Bad Idea (tm), but hear me out.

I've got an HTC Desire, and its internal storage space is severely limited (150 MB, barely), running Cyanogenmod 7.1. I'm not entirely happy with the supplied keyboard, and have tried Swiftkey X Keyboard, to a great satisfaction. Now, since keyboard apps cannot be installed on the SD card when they are used, this eats up more than 15 MB of that precious internal space and severely limits the number of apps I can install.

It occurred to me that I could convert Swiftkey to a system app and integrate it in the ROM, and after that freeze and remove Android Keyboard -- using Titanium Backup. Naturally, I'm not too keen to try it without asking around first, for it can have disastrous consequences.

So, my question really is:

Can I remove Android keyboard if I have an alternative input method application?

  • I would suggest no. Another way to get more space on the HTC Desire is to use an app to partition some of your SD Card as one of the heavier internal memory folders and so save up some space that way. There are several guides on this around the net. Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:11
  • @Ramengo: Yes, I'm aware of these, but such manipulations are not for the faint of heart. Besides, SD cards are not suitable for short-term volatile storage and can wear down quicker -- I've seen posts to this effect on the net, and maybe even on Android-SE. Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:13
  • I know, removing the keyboard is not for the faint of heart either so, I thought you wouldn't mind considering this type of avenue ;) . Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


Hi Martin Tapankov: Yes. It is safe to remove the stock Android Keyboard application if you have already installed an alternative IME (Input Method Editor) on your phone. You may go to "Settings->Local and text->Text settings->Select input method" to select ONLY ONE preferred IME and then reboot your phone to ensure it automatically picks up your IME. Please bear in mind you should NOT install or move your preferred IME application to the SD card because, after your phone is restarted, the default IME will revert to Android keyboard (if you still have the stock Android Keyboard application installed) or your phone will show a lot of ForceCloses (if you have uninstalled the stock Android Keyboard application). Good Luck!

FYI, I have already done this before on my Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G (SPH-D700) which comes with a hardware slide-out keyboard, so my risk factor has been much smaller than yours. :-)

  • Just a tangential comment--turning off the spellchecker in settings really cut down on the "Android Keyboard AOSP" CPU usage (from 20% to basically 0%) maybe because it was over-scanning my 2000 contacts? No idea.
    – Jay Brunet
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 21:20

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