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3 Best Ways to Remove Apps That Phone Won’t Let You Uninstall

Android phones from manufacturers such as Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, and others come loaded with preinstalled apps and bloatware that you may not wish to use. However, these apps consume storage space and other resources on the device. Some of these apps can be disabled but a majority of them cannot be removed. Therefore, here’s how to remove preinstalled apps that the phone won’t let you uninstall.

How to Remove Apps That Phone Won’t Let You Uninstall

Android allows you to disable most system apps and bloatware that you don’t intend to use. And for cases when these apps cannot be disabled or the Disable button is greyed out, you can check device admin privileges and or remove the app using ADB. Read on.

Method 1- Disable App from Settings

The easiest way to uninstall pre-installed apps or bloatware is to disable it in settings. Here’s how to go about it:

1. Open Settings on your Android phone.

2. Navigate to Apps or Manage Applications and select All Apps. The exact steps may vary depending on your phone’s make and model.

3. Here, look for the apps that you want to remove. If you cannot find it, use the search bar on top.

4. Finally, select the app and click on Disable. Confirm when prompted.

That’s it. Once disabled, the app will disappear from your home screen and app drawer. Moreover, it will no longer run in the background or eat unnecessary space by collecting cache. When you change your mind, re-enable the app by repeating the steps above and choosing Enable.

Method 2- Remove Admin Access for Apps

Some apps have device admin permission and hence cannot be installed easily. This is usually the case with Antivirus or anti-malware software, App Lock, Find My Device, and other apps that have been granted device administrator permission by you or your organization (if applicable).

To remove these apps, you need to revoke administrator permission, as shown below:

1. Open Settings on your Android phone.

2. Scroll down and tap Security and privacy > More security and privacy.

3. Tap on Device admin apps.

4. Select the app and tap Deactivate this device admin app. Enter your phone’s password if prompted.

You can now uninstall the app regularly from your phone’s home screen, app drawer, or settings.

Method 3- Uninstall App Permanently Using ADB (No Root)

The other option is to connect your Android phone to a PC and manually remove each application using ADB. It doesn’t need root but is a little tiresome. Also, you must have a basic knowledge of what ADB is before you proceed.

Step 1- Enable USB Debugging on Your Phone

The first step requires you to enable USB debugging on your phone, to facilitate ADB connection with the PC.

1. Open Settings on your phone and navigate to the About phone section. Here, tap on Build Number or version continuously seven times until you see the toast message saying, “You are now in Developer Mode.”

2. Return to the Settings.

3. Click on System and select Developer Options. On some phones, you’ll find it in the ‘Additional Settings’ section.

4. Toggle on Developer Options.

5. Now, scroll down and enable USB Debugging.

Step 2- Connect Your Phone to PC

Once you’ve enabled USB debugging, you can connect your phone to a PC using a compatible USB cable.

Make sure to select ‘Transfer Files’ mode from the notification pane. When prompted to “Allow USB Debugging,” check the box next to ‘Always allow from this computer’ and tap OK.

Step 3- Install ADB Drivers on Your PC

Install ADB drivers on your computer if you haven’t done it before. You can download the package through these links- WindowsMac, and Linux.

Once ADB is installed, open its directory. Press Shift + Right Click and select Open PowerShell Window here. Now, type “ADB devices” and see if your device’s code name appears with its serial number in the next line. Enter the same code again to be able to use commands to uninstall apps on your Android.

If you’re using a Mac, follow our guide to using ADB on Mac.

Step 4- Use ADB Commands to Remove Apps that won’t Uninstall

You can now use specific ADB commands to remove the bloatware of your choice from your phone. The general code is “pm uninstall –k ––user 0 <name of package>without quotes.

For example, to remove the Realme App Market on Realme phones, you need to type “pm uninstall –k ––user 0 com.oppo.market.” Similarly, to delete the default Oppo music app, you can use the command “pm uninstall –k ––user 0 com.oppo.music.

Don’t Know the Package Name?

To know the package name of applications on your phone, download and install the App Inspector app from the Play Store. You can then search for the package name of the desired application, which can be used in the command line to delete the app.

This method neither requires root permissions nor voids your phone’s warranty. However, we’d suggest you stay careful about what you uninstall as removing sensitive apps may break certain functions on your phone.

Wrapping Up

This was all about how to remove apps that won’t be uninstalled easily on your Android phone. Anyway, which method did you use? Have any other tricks to add? Do let us know in the comments below. Also, feel free to reach out for any doubts or queries.

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Ritik Singh

Ritik is the Managing Editor at GadgetsToUse. He manages the website and oversees the content to ensure it's as informative as possible. He also heads the sub-sites in the network. Putting work aside, he has a great interest in personal finance and is also a keen motorcycle enthusiast.