Android phone up close.
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Manufacturers and carriers often pre-install a bunch of apps on Android phones. If you don’t use them, they just clutter your system and drain your battery in the background. Take control of your device and stop the bloatware.

Uninstalling vs. Disabling Bloatware

You have a few choices when it comes to removing bloatware from your system. Uninstalling an app is exactly what it sounds like—the app is entirely removed from your device. This is only possible for “non-essential” apps.

You can’t uninstall a system app. These are typically apps like the phone, calendar, messaging, file manager, etc. Removing them could make the phone malfunction, which is why it’s not possible without extreme measures. What constitutes a “system” app depends on the device. Sometimes you can’t even uninstall the calculator.

Apps that could cause issues if they were fully uninstalled can sometimes be “disabled.” A disabled app is still installed on the device, but it can’t be opened or run in the background. For practical purposes it’s “uninstalled,” just not technically.

Still, not all apps can be disabled, either. For example, the phone app and messaging app are typically not able to be disabled. The manufacturer doesn’t want you to end up without them.

RELATED:How to Uninstall Android Apps From Your Smartphone or Tablet

How to Remove Bloatware on Android

First, swipe down from the top of the screen (once or twice, depending on your device) and tap the gear icon to open the Settings menu.

Next, select “Apps.”

Select "Apps."

You may need to tap “See All [Number] Apps” for the full list of installed apps. Some devices show the full list right away.

Tap to see all apps.

Select the app that you wish to uninstall or disable.

Select an app.

On the app info page, you’ll either see the option to “Uninstall” or “Disable.” Tap it to remove the app.

"Disable" or "Uninstall."

A pop-up will ask you to confirm that you want to uninstall or disable the app. Tap “OK” or “Disable App” to proceed.

Tap "OK" or "Disable App."

If the app can’t be disabled, the option will be grayed out.

Can't be disabled.

That’s all there is to it. To re-enable an app, visit this page again and tap “Turn On” or “Enable.”

Tap "Turn On."

As mentioned, uninstalled apps will be completely removed and you’ll either need to re-install from the Play Store or sideload the APK. Disabled apps are still on the device. Hopefully, you don’t have too much bloatware to remove.

RELATED:How to Sideload Apps on Android

Profile Photo for Joe FedewaJoe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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