You turn on the mobile that you just bought, and you see that the application drawer is full of applications that you have not installed, nor are you likely to use for as long as you are going to have the phone. That is bloatware.
Although manufacturers are increasingly benevolent with users and little by little many have been putting aside the mania of flooding the software of their phones with applications of all kinds, there are still those who refuse to get rid of these additions, despite for a good part of its users to show that they do not want to use them.
But not all bloatware is bad, mind you. And the one that is can usually be uninstalled without too much trouble. In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about bloatware on Android and how to eliminate it forever.
What is bloatware
At the beginning of the article, I referred to bloatware as the applications pre-installed on a device from the day you buy it. Broadly speaking, it is true, but generally, the term bloatware refers to all that “bloatware” software, which arrives pre-installed in the device’s operating system, occupying and consuming resources without providing obvious benefits for users.
Therefore, it would not be correct to call the system settings application bloatware –which comes pre-installed on all Android phones–, but it would be an option within the settings that, for example, can be used to analyze installed apps in search of the virus even though Android already includes a tool of this type through Google Play called Play Protect since it has been shown on more than one occasion that it is not necessary to have an antivirus installed on Android.
And it is that the “junk software” or “filler” is not limited only to applications. We can also find options added in the system settings, modules, or components of the user interface that, despite not providing any value, are there taking up space, consuming resources such as memory or battery, or simply dirtying the experience with the device.
So what could we consider “good bloatware”? All those applications or additions that, despite not being essential for the operation of the system or the device, do provide a real utility or are there to improve the user experience. Applications that do not come by default in AOSP, such as a file browser, a video player, or a gallery application, would be examples of handy pre-installed apps, as long as they do not exceed the incorporation limit more functions than necessary.
How to remove bloatware from your Android mobile
But there is good news: bloatware can be removed. Some manufacturers offer the possibility of disabling or deactivating the pre-installed applications to free up some storage space on the mobile. Although this can be a solution to get rid of bloatware, it must be borne in mind that deactivating apps consists of eliminating the installation of the application itself, keeping the installer package so that, in the future, it can be recovered.
The most drastic and effective way to get rid of bloatware is, therefore, to uninstall those applications pre-installed on the system by the manufacturer. The easiest way to do this is, of course, by uninstalling the app as usual through the system settings. However, it is not always possible, and it is in this situation when you have to resort to a more efficient solution through somewhat more advanced procedures :
Remove bloatware without root.
You do not need superuser permissions on your mobile to be able to remove the bloatware. Just a USB cable and a computer with the ADB drivers installed on it. If you meet the requirements, these are the steps you must follow:
- First, turn on USB debugging on your phone and connect it to your computer.
- Now, open a command window –CMD or Terminal– on the computer.
- To verify that the phone has connected successfully, run the command “ADB devices.” The identification number of the device should appear in the command window.
- On your computer, enter the instruction “ADB shell.”
- To list all the applications pre-installed by the device manufacturer, you must run the command “pm list packages | grep ‘mark.’ ” For example, pm list packages | grep ‘Samsung’s.
- To remove a specific application, enter the command “pm uninstall -k – -user 0 packagename”. For example pm uninstall -k – -user 0 com.samsung.calculator ”.
- Repeat the previous step for all the apps you want to uninstall.
The only bad thing about this solution is that it only allows you to delete specific applications and not added to the phone’s software as options within the settings menu or interface elements. Fortunately, this type of addition, despite being annoying, does not usually consume as many resources as system applications do.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.