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Android 14 has a hidden feature that can help you find and delete bloatware

The feature appears to be hidden behind some developer flags.

Published onFebruary 8, 2023

realme GT review showing bloatware on screen
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • The developer preview of Android 14 has rolled out.
  • Android 14 DP1 has a hidden “apps installed in the background” menu.
  • The feature lists every app installed in the background and allows you to delete them.

If there’s anything we can all agree on, it’s that bloatware can be a real pain in the neck. A new feature found in the developer preview (DP1) of Android 14 seems to hint that Google may give us a tool to help get rid of bloatware.

Google has just released Android 14 DP1 to allow developers and the general public to test the waters before an official release. Owners of Pixel phones ranging from the Pixel 4a 5G to the Pixel 7 Pro can install the Android 14 preview right now.

According to a report from XDA Developers, there appears to be a menu hidden within the operating system. This menu is called “Apps installed in the background.” The menu appears to be located in an alternate version of Settings called “Spa.” To get to Spa, you reportedly have to flip two hidden developer flags to make it appear.

This menu is said to use a feature called “Background Install Control” to track apps that are installed in the background. Any apps that are silently downloaded in the background are listed in this menu. You can then look through the menu to delete apps you don’t want.

Supposedly, this service appeared in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) — an open-source operating system development project repository for Android — a few months ago.

With a feature like this, it would be a lot easier to find and get rid of any bloatware weighing down your device. This could especially be helpful for the Samsung Galaxy S23 which seems to be plagued with bloatware.

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