Isn’t it annoying to see all those preinstalled apps on your smartphone that you probably don’t want or didn’t ask for? Though bloatware is a mild condition, it is still an unpleasant one. Such apps are used by manufacturers to push their own apps and services instead of what the smartphone offers by default.
While most of the bloatware isn’t harmful, these unwanted apps tale up storage space and system resources that could be used by apps that you really want to use. Also, bloatware can leave you with several apps on your phone that all do the same job.
That said, from security and privacy point of view, it’s worthwhile to remove bloatware apps that you’re not using.
How to remove unwanted apps on an Android phone?
Bloatware is a common problem on Android phones as many manufacturers are putting out Android devices. In some phones, you can find a dozen of apps that you may never use.
To get rid of unwanted apps and bloatware from your Android phone, go to Settings and choose Apps and notifications, then See all apps. If you are sure that you can do without the app, select the app, and choose Uninstall to remove it. However, in some cases, you won’t be able to remove an app completely because of the way the manufacturer has integrated it into its version of Android.
In such cases, look for the Disable option instead of Uninstall. This will at least prevent the app from running and using up vital resources of your system.
The process may vary slightly depending on the make and model of your phone and the Android version you’re running. However, if you go to the main settings app, you should be able to disable to remove apps easily, leaving you with less junk on your phone.
As mentioned earlier, some Android phone makers may install apps that can’t be removed through the usual method. So, if you want to completely remove apps rather than disabling them, or have bloatware that can’t be disabled, you will have to opt for some more advanced options.
On a Windows or macOS install the Android Studio developer tool
Go to About Phone in Settings and tap Build Number seven times. This will reveal a new Developer Options menu in the System tab of Settings. Next, enable USB debugging. While there is no harm in doing this, do note that it can open up several other new options and you must be careful if you want to experiment with them.
Now, you are ready to connect your phone to your computer via USB and get going. Next, open a PowerShell (Windows) or Terminal (macOS) window from the Android Studio folder where the Android Debug Bridge(ADB) is installed. On Windows you can use the path C:\ Users\ <user>\ AppData\ Local\ Android\ Sdk\ platform-tools (where "<user>" is your Windows user account name). Next, Shift+right-click inside the folder and click on Open PowerShell window here.
With the PowerShell or terminal window open, run ".\adb devices" to start the link and then "adb shell" to control the connected Android device. You don’t need the ".\" on a Mac. Next, you need is “pm uninstall -k --user 0 <appname>", with <app> the package name of the app you to remove. You can use App Inspector on your phone to find these package names.
The second way to remove bloatware is to root your phone. This requires a little bit of technical knowledge but it will also void your handset’s warranty and risk (small) bricking your device. Though it is troublesome to remove some unwanted apps, there are options if you need it.
If you consider rooting, you will get full control over your phone and its software. Once you’ve modified your phone, you’ll be able to use apps such as Root App Deleter or System App Remover to get rid of unwanted apps.
How to remove unwanted apps on iPhone?
iPhones have many fewer issues related to bloatware as only Apple makes them. Though Apple produces some bloatware, you definitely don’t get any third-party apps that you weren’t expecting.
Some of the pre-installed apps like Safari and Messages can’t be removed. However, since the launch of iOS 10 in 2016, Apple has allowed users to remove a lot of stock apps if they are not going to use them. Other apps that you can get rid of are Calendar, Calculator, Contacts, Compass, FaceTime, iBooks, Home, iTunes Store, iCloud Drive, Music, Mail, Maps News, Podcasts, Reminders, Videos, Notes, Tips, Stocks, Watch, Voice Memos, and Weather.
To remove these apps, long press on the icon, then choose Delete App from the menu that appears. You will then be shown a confirmation window, then you can hit Delete to complete the process. In case, you need any of these apps again in the future, you can find them in the App Store.
In some cases removing the app won’t harm the associated functionality that is actually built into iOS itself. For example, if you delete FaceTime, you can still make and receive Face Time calls via the Phone app. The Phone app also holds a copy of your contact list even if you delete the actual Contacts app.