While Android is the operating system (OS) of choice for a majority of mobile users and manufacturers, unfortunately, very few handsets come with core Android. Almost all mobile-makers modify the Android OS as per their requirement (that is, keep control in their hands and add unnecessary apps or bloatware).
While some of the pre-installed apps are, indeed, good and help in some way, there are several apps that just drain the battery or consume data by running in the background. The worst part is that the user is not allowed to uninstall any of this bloatware. At the most, what you can do is to disable or force stop the app. But there is no guarantee that the app will stop running in the background.
For example, when you buy a Samsung mobile, there are several apps that are pre-installed on the device. One such app is Samsung Pay Mini. It keeps popping up all the time, despite your disabling or force closing the app. This is just an example. There are several apps installed by the manufacturer that may not be even of any use to the buyer.
Under normal circumstances, the only way to get rid of all these intruding or unwanted apps is root the device which would make the warranty void. There is one method to uninstall these apps and it may not void the warranty, since here the apps are removed only for the current user. This means that when the device is re-set, all unwanted and uninstalled apps will appear again.
But this is technical argument and it depends entirely on the company whether to consider the warranty void or not, in case you remove pre-installed apps. Also, note that uninstalling unwanted apps is not for the faint-hearted and you cannot hold anyone—including me—responsible if anything goes wrong.
If you are ready to take the risk (and, thus, earn peace of mind from intruding apps), follow this method to remove unwanted apps or bloatware without rooting—use Android debug bridge (ADB) commands. For this, you will need a PC or laptop and the mobile device.
1. Install USB drivers for your device. Here is a list of universal USB drivers from Google
. Download and install USB drivers for your device.
2. Download ADB binary file for your PC or laptop. I am only referring to the Windows OS. Here is the link to download ADB binary for Windows
. Extract the zip file in a folder.
3. Enable developer options on your mobile device. Go to settings and tap on 'about phone'. Tap on the 'build number' for seven times and the developer options would be enabled for your mobile.
4. Open the developer options. Find USB debugging option and enable it.
5. Connect your mobile to the PC or laptop and change the connection option to file transfer or media transfer protocol-MTP mode.
6. On your PC or laptop, browse to the directory where you had extracted the ADB binary zip file.
7. Open a command prompt window from the folder. (In Windows explorer, hold shift + right click (of the mouse) and select ‘open command prompt here’. For Windows 10, open the folder in windows explorer, press Alter+D and then type cmd. This will open a command prompt for the ADB folder.
8. In the command prompt window, enter this command: adb devices
9. This command will start ADB daemon. Your device may ask your permission to allow USB debugging. Click OK.
10. You can again run the command adb devices to check if your device is listed there or not. If yes, you can move forward.
11. Enter new command adb shell.
12. Now, you need to find out apps that are installed on your mobile. For this, you need to type this command: pm list packages. If you want to know the apps installed by the manufacturer or any particular app, you can use this command: pm list packages | grep '' (for example, to find out apps installed by Samsung, type: pm list packages | grep ‘Samsung’ (alternatively, to find out exact package name of the app, you can use App Inspector app from Google Playstore.)
13. After identifying the app, use this command to uninstall it… pm uninstall -k --user 0 (Remove <> from the command before executing it). For example, if I want to uninstall OnePlus launcher from the device, here is how my command will be: pm uninstall -k --user 0 net.oneplus.launcher
14. You can remove all other bloatware or pre-installed apps from your mobile device. However, please make sure that you are uninstalling apps that you are sure about deleting. Before uninstalling any app, do a search by using the package name and find out more about it.
15. So far so good. But what if you have uninstalled an app by mistake? Do not worry. As I mentioned earlier, in this method, you are uninstalling bloatware only for current user and, thus, the apps would remain inside the system.
16. To re-install an app, follow the same steps until you came to the uninstall command. Instead of uninstall command, give this command: adb shell cmd package install-existing (Remove <> from the command before executing it). For example, if you want to re-install the OnePlus launcher, here is how the command should be: pm install-existing net.oneplus.launcher