Hey I have a moto G (no SD card!) and so space is a premium.

I have 'removed all updates' and cleared data on Gmail but I would like that extra 40 MB back. Is it possible to remove Gmail completely?

Now I'm not so sure this was a good idea, as Inbox is a front-end for Gmail.

Inbox seems to be working fine...

  • 2
    You don't need the Gmail app to use Inbox, so no issue there. The answer below is correct that you can only uninstall it with root, but you could disable the app which afaik reduces the file size as it resorts to the factory app which is smaller.
    – RossC
    Jan 12 '15 at 15:23

Deleting the Gmail app wouldn't give you extra space, as it came pre-installed as system app. Those "system apps" live in a different partition (/system, which is why they are usually called "system apps"), which is mounted read-only – and not available to the user to be written.

However, Google Apps (including Gmail) are regularly updated via Google Play. Those updates are placed in user-space (inside /data), and thus consume space you could use otherwise. To claim back that space from system apps you don't need:

  • From the home screen, go to Settings › Apps
  • Select the "All" tab
  • Scroll to the app in question (here: Gmail), tap its entry
  • Now you see some details on that app, including some buttons you can press. Press:
    • Force Stop to "shut down" the app
    • Clear Cache to make it release its "temporary files"
    • Delete data to get rid of its configuration and stored user data (optional; if you think you might need this app later, skip this step)
    • Uninstall updates to get rid of the app-updates installed in user-space
    • Now that button gets renamed to Disable, hit it again (it should be renamed now a second time, and read Enable – so in case you need it at a later time, you can do so. Note it then would draw-in the latest updates again)

Now the app should no longer be visible in the app drawer, and also its shortcuts etc. on your home screen(s) should be gone. Storage claimed by the app's updates, caches, and (optionally) data is freed, and available to you to be used for other purposes.

  • Thanks for the helpful directions - I was presented with the option to 'Disable' the app right off the bat, is that recommended or is it best to click the force stop, clear cache and data, and uninstall updates buttons manually?
    – kjones
    Mar 8 '18 at 23:39
  • 1
    @kjones to be sure everything gets cleaned up, I'd use the longer way. Usually, with Google apps, there are already updates installed so it's rare you directly see the "Disable" button. Still, I've seen it often enough that just pressing "Disable" leaves corpses behind. And hey, it's 3 additional button pushes to be sure everything is gone as it should. TL;DR: My personal recommendation is to use all those steps, YMMV, and it's not "wrong" to try the straight way. If you do, check whether the app still consumes space (data/cache); if it does, you know what to do.
    – Izzy
    Mar 9 '18 at 5:56

I don't believe it is possible to remove GMail from the system, unless you root the phone of course, then you're allowed to remove whatever you want.

  • 3
    They could just 'disable' Gmail on the device which will set it back to factory state (and disable it of course), without root it cannot be uninstalled is right.
    – RossC
    Jan 12 '15 at 15:22

In addition to @Izzy 's answer,

I did the same steps in my Samsung Galaxy S4, but what I have noted is that when there are updates available on Google Play, the disabled system apps get re-enabled again.

So disable "Automatic updates" in Google Play Settings.


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