Say I have a rooted phone, and I "debloat" it by removing some system apps. This means removing apk files from /system folder. On the other hand, user-installed apps on internal memory go to /data/app folder, according to this answer.

Does this mean the system reserved space is still not available for app installation unless I use something like an app-systemizer (that forcibly stores apk files in /system folder)?

  • Correct... Think of these "directories" (which are actually mount points) as partitions with fixed amounts of space. So /system is actually the mount point for a partition of a fixed size, if you remove a file from that partition it does not give that space up to the whole device, only that partition. And repartitioning the eMMC if a smartphone is incredibly difficult and not recommended. Once mistake and your device is a permanent brick. – acejavelin Aug 24 '19 at 14:00

You are totally right, removing pre-installed apps from the system partition has absolutely no effect on the free space of the user data partition where apps and their data are stored into.

The only chance to be able to use the free space of the system partition would be to decrease the size of the system partition and use the now unpartitioned size to increase the user data partition. However these complex operations may end up in a total data loss even if the used tools support to perform it without data loss.

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  • Then why do people run after debloating if the system space cannot be regained without formatting the partition? – Wrichik Basu Aug 24 '19 at 13:59
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    @WrichikBasu They do it to increase performance or decrease RAM usage and CPU overhead, thus improving battery life to varying degrees. Years ago this could make a huge impact on the device as far those things go, but in modern devices it is much less relevant. – acejavelin Aug 24 '19 at 14:02
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    @acejavelin Understood, thanks. – Wrichik Basu Aug 24 '19 at 14:05
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    @WrichikBasu in my view debloating is to get rid of non-AOSP stuff AMAP which is loaded on device just to do tracking, profiling, analytics, and to serve ads, and to keep you bound to the OEM. /system isn't the only partition which contains bloatware, it could be in vendor, odm, misc or possibly other partitions. Though the .apk files don't reside on userdata, but their data files, caches, downloaded stuff, dalvik code... everything is on userdata, depriving you of valuable space, in addition to consuming CPU, RAM, mobile data and battery. Unnecessary apps also reduce eMMC life. – Irfan Latif Aug 24 '19 at 14:34
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    Two more words on this: you free some space on /data as well (where those apps would store their configs and data), but that can also be achieved by "freezing" them and deleting their data. As for partition resizing: even if it works out, this might bring you big issues with system updates which do not expect the different partition size. – Izzy Aug 24 '19 at 18:20

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