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How to disable Android bloatware without root

Trying to get rid of that pesky bloatware? Not a problem! Click through to find out the best ways to get rid of unwanted apps without rooting your Android phone.
How To
August 6, 2015
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Every single time I get a new phone, my first mission is to get rid of that pesky software manufacturers and carriers insist on pushing down our throats. Yes, I am talking about bloatware, those apps which come pre-installed in your new handsets, but you will likely never use and can’t truly uninstall.

These applications include, but are not limited to, carrier services, cloud storage, sports and games. I have come to the realization that they mostly exist so that us Android enthusiasts can complain about something. But don’t you worry, for there are ways to get them out of your way, and you don’t even need to tinker away and get root access. Let’s show you how this is done.

Hiding apps

The easiest way to clean up your app drawer is by hiding your apps. This used to be a feature we could only see in third-party launchers, which was heaven-sent for those of us who wanted to get rid of bloatware without having to root. The good news is some manufacturers have started baking this feature straight into their launchers, so you may not even need a third-party launcher to do this.

We can’t exactly tell you how to hide apps, as this process is very different for every manufacturer and launcher, but it’s usually an option in the app drawer settings.

Here’s how I can do it in the LG G4:

The downside to this is that hiding apps doesn’t do much other than keeping them out of sight. These apps will still run in the background and take up space. And given that most times bloatware can’t be uninstalled, the next best option would be to disable these applications from the system settings.

How to disable apps

Disabling apps will ensure installed applications are not running in the background. The icons will also fail to appear in your app drawer or home screens. The only issue is the app will continue to be in the phone, taking up precious space, but at least it won’t be draining other resources or cluttering your apps drawer.

  1. Open your Settings app
  2. Scroll down until you find “Apps” or “Application Manager”, tap on it.
  3. Find the application you want to disable and select it.
  4. There will be an option to “Disable”.
  5. You should get a message warning you about the risks of disabling an app. Just press “Yes”.
  6. You are done! The app is now out of sight and no longer active.

Keep in mind that some of these steps may vary a bit depending on your specific device. It shouldn’t be difficult to figure out, though. Just find the application manager and enter the app. Your option should be there.

While none of these methods are quite as satisfying as completely removing bloatware from a device, it is certainly better than just leaving the apps enabled and eating away at your system resources. For those that want to take it to the next level, you can always root your phone and there are then plenty of free root-enabled apps that will help you further eradicate the bloatware menace.