I want to disable some of the stock apps that I don't use (e.g. Drive, Keep). These are stock Android/Google apps, not third-party apps. When I attempt to disable them:

  • I get a warning that disabling them may break things (I accept)
  • I get a request asking if I want to install the factory version (I accept, because if I don't, they are not disabled)
  • they are removed from the apps menu
  • when I restart the device, the newer version is downloaded and the app is no longer disabled

As a side note, other users on the same device (with their own accounts) may want use some of these apps. Can I disable them for my account only?

If it matters, I'm running KitKat on a Nexus 7 (2012).

Disambiguation: I have not found a duplicate of this question because it is:

a) about stock Android apps, not so-called stock apps from a third-party vendor

b) about disabling these apps, which the system at first permits me to do, not uninstalling them

  • 1
    I've added the tag you were looking for (the "official" feature to "disable" an app was introduced with ICS, while "freezing" via e.g. Titanium Backup was already available before – and princically is the same; so no "new tag", though a "synonym" might be helpful).
    – Izzy
    Jul 9, 2014 at 10:20
  • 2
    Not an answer but with root Titanium Backups 'Freeze' functionality has always worked for me with ANY apps.
    – RossC
    Jul 9, 2014 at 10:27
  • @RossC for me, too. As for the "tag request", I've opened a synonym request at Meta: Should we introduce 'disable-app' as synonym to 'freeze-app'?. Be welcome to up/downvote (all of you, including d3vid ;)
    – Izzy
    Jul 9, 2014 at 10:33

3 Answers 3


There is no way to disable an app for some users of a device but not others; it's possible to freeze an app using a third party program (ie, disable it by changing it's permissions so it can't run) but that will disable it for all users. Android apps and services don't distinguish between physical users of a device - they all run using a single logical device user account.

That being said, depending on what exactly you're looking for it may be sufficient to disable data synchronization for a specific Google account in the settings. In Android 4.4.0, this would be under Settings->General->Accounts->Google->[account name], which will bring up a checklist of services for which data syncing can be disabled.

  • thanks for the insights, I've clarified the question re users - separate logins - does that make a difference?
    – lofidevops
    Jul 9, 2014 at 16:04
  • "Login" here is ambiguous, as the term is often misused :( If we're talking about logins to Google accounts then no, it makes no difference. Android runs all apps and service under a single local operating system user account, regardless of how many Google accounts are associated with that device's local user.
    – Logos
    Jul 9, 2014 at 16:32

In 5.x the option to disable the stock mail app may be greyed out if you have an active mail account. First, delete that mail account. This is not done over the app but rather over Android's settings > Accounts > [Email] > [Your Email Account] > 3 dots on top > remove account.

Only then you can actually deactivate the app over Settings > Application Manager > All > Email > deactivate. "Delete data" in case you want to delete local emails, as well.


Note: Please be sure with what kind of Application you are going to Dis-able as disabling a wrong app(Factory app like keyboard will not display keyboard) could cause your phone to miss-function(not able to Enable the mobile data etc.)So please proceed with caution

As you see that Google has some pre-installed apps which are loaded on the phone at the time of purchase like Google maps, Google Play music, Google Drive, Google Chrome etc.(let's say Google Play Music is the most unwanted app you want to disable).

You can do it very easily just follow these steps carefully.

Step 1:Go to settings>Application Manager.

Step 2:You will have three side scroll options under the Application Manager.

- Downloaded: It will list the apps which you have downloaded from the play store or any third party apps.

- Running:It will list the apps which are presently running on your phone in the background.

-All:This will list all the apps i.e.the installed apps from the play store , running apps on your device, Stock apps from Google.

Step 3:Choose the All option by scrolling to the extreme right/left.

Step 4:Choose the app which you want to disable.(Say Google Play Music.)

Step 5:After selecting the desired app you will have some options like

  • Force Stop.
  • Disable.
  • Clear App Data.

Step 6:Choose clear App Data to remove any data stored by the application.

Step 7:Choose Force Stop to stop the application from running.

Step 8:Choose the Disable option to disable it from running again (it will be in your phone but will not be displayed under the Menu).

Step 9:After selecting the Disable option your App which you have disabled should appear in the bottom of the All screen. (Say you disabled Play Music then Play Music will appear in the bottom of you All list apps along with a Disabled displayed to the right).Also in the play store under All Apps the application will be displayed at the last with the same disabled next to it.

After doing all the above 9 steps correctly and in order your disabled application will not be enabled automatically and will not show any updates to you as it has been disabled Permanently.Also if you choose auto update application even then your application will not be updated.

  • He already did all those steps, it say so in the post. The apps come back (re-emable) after a reboot despite the fact he has disabled them. Also the OP stated 'other users may want to use them' which further complicates the issue, and afaik cannot be done at all.
    – RossC
    Jul 9, 2014 at 14:09
  • Did he try to un-install the updates and then disable it.
    – user285oo6
    Jul 10, 2014 at 5:08
  • You have to reset to factory image to disable it in the first place. @d3vid I tried this myself on a few ROMs and devices and this appears to be a 'feature' of Kitkat :O It's doing the same on mine, once I reboot the app is back and looking to update itself again. I have auto update off so it wants me to manually update (same issue as you though) and I have to disable it again. The only solutions I have require root access I'm afraid.
    – RossC
    Jul 10, 2014 at 9:48

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