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We have an old Galaxy that grandchildren use for play. No SIM card, but on wifi.  The Google account previously used is obsolete, so we can't sign in.  But without signing in, the "play store" won't let us get to the list of apps to delete them.  And some of them need root to delete, and I don't want it rooted.

We'd like to delete things like the entire contact list, the list of calls and transcribed voicemails, facebook messenger stuff, etc.  Nothing to hide, as the saying goes, but no need to have curious little ones reading about deceased relatives, other peoples' phone numbers, things their parents did as kids, or questions on child-rearing. :-). Or unintentionally tapping a name and sending an e-mail.

The method that I used on the Moto X4 that I lost in Spain a year ago for deleting messages doesn't work here.

If we reset to factory settings, all the games disappear too, and we'd have to log in to a valid account to get them back.

  • Why can't you just to Settings - Apps and delete/disable the apps? No access to Play Store should be required. That said, I would highly suggest recovering that Google account if you have many purchases on that account, as this will be a continuing issue. And you can't factory reset without the Google account credentials or you will likely be locked out of the device unless you remove the Google account prior to the factory reset. Otherwise if the account is truly inaccessible, perhaps you should just get a new one with proper recovery information and repurchase the apps if it isn't much. – acejavelin Oct 6 at 17:07
  • Can’t find the settings! And since that account hasn’t been used in years, there must not be any purchases we need. To delete the account, we have to recover the account (which might be worthwhile). – WGroleau Oct 6 at 21:27
  • Finally found the settings, after lots of hunting. Background was camouflaging it (which is probably a good thing if the kids are playing with it). The App Manager UI is rather pathetic but I did manage to delete almost everything that the kids shouldn't be messing with. Contacts, messages, and mail do have ways to delete all the items received/sent, though they aren't the greatest UI either. – WGroleau Oct 7 at 3:36

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