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The title says it all. Say I have an application, a game for instance. Which I wish to uninstall from my phone, and reinstall sometime in the future. However, I don't want my game save to be lost.

Is it possible to uninstall an app but to keep its data?

Thanks in advance.

3 Answers 3

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Edit

Oarfish writes in the comments that the technique described in this post is no longer useful.

My technique

If you don't want to root your device, you can use adb and pm instead. These steps will be hard to follow unless you already are familiar with the use of command-line tools.

  1. Install adb on your computer, and set things up so that it can communicate with your device. Don't forget to enable USB debugging on your device. It's a big hassle to get adb working for the first time; the consolation prize is that you only have to do it once.

  2. Use a USB cable to connect your computer with your device.

  3. Use adb shell to connect to your device.

  4. Use pm list packages to see a list of installed package IDs.

  5. Use pm uninstall -k plus your package ID to remove the package but keep your user data.

See also this related post.

Conclusion

Oarfish writes in the comments that the technique described in this post is no longer useful.

If you try it yourself, please add your own comment and let us know about your own experience.

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  • 1
    SD Maid will now try to remove all data from an App without asking. Please update your answer.
    – Otheus
    Sep 20, 2021 at 13:08
  • CAUTION: pm uninstall -k leads to being unable to reinstall the app via play store or f-droid. Play store complains that "another user has already installed this app"
    – oarfish
    Feb 24 at 22:39
  • @Otheus: Done, belatedly. Next time please consider submitting an edit yourself, for faster results. :)
    – jasonspiro
    Feb 27 at 3:53
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Try this program SD Maid.

Open program, go to AppControl tab and click the app you want. There is an option called, "Remove app but keep its data".

Edit:

I'm not sure but it might require root.

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    Seems like the latest version of SD Maid do not have "Remove app but keep its data" option. Jun 30, 2019 at 1:24
-1

Eventually, simply uninstalling and reinstalling normally worked! Turns out data is saved this way or another.

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    I'm pretty sure this isn't true for most apps. When you uninstall an app, everything in /data/data/<packagename> is thrown away. Maybe your app saved to a different location or has cloud saves.
    – a cat
    Aug 30, 2013 at 15:32
  • @lunboks: Perhaps, but since it worked for me, I accepted it. It's clear that the better answer would be to use some sort of backup app, just in case, and it reflects by the answer with most votes :) Aug 30, 2013 at 15:54

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