[How-To] Remove System/Stock Apps on Android

Your Android device basically comes packed with quite a good amount of manufacture-installed apps for, say Social Networking. Say you’re not a social networking guy, or you’d just want to save on phone memory space, you cannot remove those apps with regular uninstallers since they are stored in the ‘system’ partition.

Remove Stock/System Apps on Android

To save you from this, there are a couple of apps in the Android Market. And before you proceed with downloading these apps, make sure you have a rooted phone. No root? Skip to the second part of the post.

AntTek App Manager is a one-stop app to backup, freeze, remove cache/data and to remove system/regular apps.AntTek App Details screenAntTek Apps list The ‘Apps’ tab lists literally all the apps on your phone, including those responsible for Google Accounts & Synchronization, so you should be a little careful as this might lead to serious issues if you remove such apps.

To remove a System app, select from the list of apps and tap ‘Delete’ in following screen. You can freeze an app as well, which means, the application will not consume RAM/CPU Usage but will remain on the phone memory. To download, search for ‘AntTek App Manager’ in the Android Market. Market Link | AppBrain Page

If you’re looking for a light-weight alternative with no frills, but does the job of uninstalling System/Stock apps, Root Uninstaller could be your choice.
Market Link | AppBrain Page

No root? The ADB way!

If your phone has not been rooted, Android Debug Bridge (ADB) might do some help. Before you proceed, this is for advanced users! A little Unix knowledge is appreciable.

Download the Android SDK & extract it locally. Open command-prompt and point it to the /tools directory. Connect your phone to your computer with USB Debugging enabled on phone (Settings->Applications->Development and check USB Debugging).

Check if your device has been recognized

adb devices

If your device is listed, browse to system/app. System apps are stored in /system/app.

adb shell
cd system/app

‘ls’ lists the files in the present directory. Identify the file-name of the app to be removed, and type

rm example.apk

where example.apk is the name of the file with its extension.

If you prefer to back it up to SD Card, you can move the file instead (which also removes from phone)

mv filename.apk /sdcard/appbackup

where ‘appbackup‘ is a directory.

Done! Repeat the steps until all the apks that you want removed are done. Optionally, restart your device.