Will the uninstalling of apps leave files in the root (Android's subsystem)?

When we uninstall some program on Windows, it leaves some files along the system, does it happen on Android too? If this happens, would it be be wise to access the root to erase this files and free some space?

  • What do you mean by "Android's subsystem"? – Flow Aug 18 '12 at 8:44

Not in the internal filesystem, but it may leave files on the SD card.

Apps on Android are only able to write on two places within the filesystem

  • /data/data/<packagename>
  • /mnt/sdcard/ or /sdcard

The /data/data/<packagename> directory gets deleted when you delete the app, so the only place where file cruft can be found is the SD card.

| improve this answer | |

That depends, a lot of developers do not properly take care of their associated application's data and may leave them lying around. The Package Manager uninstalls the apps from /data/data/..../ depending on the package name.

For example, Application MyFooBarApp whose package name is org.foo.bar.app then this would be the spot - /data/data/org.foo.bar.app/ which would have the following:

      +- databases/
      +- lib/
      +- shared_prefs/
      +- cache/
      +- files/

Those five sub-directories are standard placeholders for the apps to function. And Package Manager will only remove those files and sub-directories upon un-install of said application.

All too often, out of hindsight or bad code, the apps would not automatically clean up after themselves, such as placing temporary files on the /sdcard or heavens-forbid, in /data/local/tmp which incidentally, is the worst abuse of it as it is world writeable!

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  • 1
    And for this comes some rescue with the SDMaid app, which tries to find the dead bones left. But to find them all, it requires root... – Izzy Aug 18 '12 at 23:39

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