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removing bloatware from your android phone
Tech tips

5 ways to delete bloatware and pre-installed Android apps

Crapware, not to be confused with malware or ransomware, are all those apps that come installed on your phone that you’ll probably never use. Sometimes it’s referred to as bloatware, because they take up space on your device, bloating your memory usage. We prefer the name crapware because, well, it makes for a better headline, doesn’t it?

Whatever you call them, bloatware or crapware, you aren’t stuck with them. Sure, you could ignore them, but they take up space that other apps and files could be using.

You have a few options for dealing with them, which we’ll go over next.

4 ways to remove unwanted apps

First, you should try to delete unwanted apps from your Android the proper way, by tapping and holding the icon and dragging it to the trash-can icon that says “Uninstall.” If this doesn’t work, because sometimes your manufacturer installs apps that can’t be trashed, try disabling the app. We’ll show you how a bit later.

Another way to uninstall an app on your phone — and this may vary, depending on the version of Android OS you’re using, as well as the model of your device — is by going to Settings >> Apps & notifications >> See all apps. Find the name of the app you want to uninstall, and tap “Uninstall.”

If this method doesn’t work, you have another option: disable the app. To do this, go to Settings >> Apps & notifications >> See all apps and tap the disable button by the apps you want to turn off. The apps are still on your phone, but they won’t run until you turn them back on.

The last thing you can do is hide the app from the home screen, which may not work on all versions of Android’s OS and manufacturers’ models.

Tap and hold the icon for the app and drag it to the bottom of the screen to the “Remove from home screen” box. This doesn’t remove the app and it doesn’t disable it. It just moves it out of view, so it doesn’t clutter your experience.

Apps that remove bloatware

If you’re just dead set on removing the apps, you might try one of these third-party apps, but always read the fine print, user reviews, and user instructions.

NoBloat Free claims to delete unwanted apps that come installed on your phone. It’s fine for removing apps from your system list, but it doesn’t actually delete the files.

It has a free version that disables system apps, creates backups (and restores), and deletes system apps. In order for NoBloat to work, it needs root access. The app makers say if you don’t know what root access is, you probably don’t have it, so don’t use NoBloat.

System app remover also requires root access and gets slightly higher marks from Google Play users. It also has this nice feature that recommends whether you should remove or keep an app. It also filters out apps that cause instabilities if they’re uninstalled. There is a free version that’s supported by pop-up ads, and a paid version for $1.99.

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