Get useless bloatware off your Galaxy S4

Get rid of those bloaty, unnecessary apps that come pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Just a small collection of the bloatware that ships with the Samsung Galaxy S4 (AT&T). Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Like pre-installed programs on a Windows PC, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is full of "bloatware," unnecessary apps and services from Samsung or your carrier that offer no value and often attempt to duplicate what Google (or third-party) apps have already mastered. (AT&T Navigator, anyone?)

The greatest insult is that you actually can't uninstall these apps without rooting -- they'll stay in your app drawer and task manager even if you don't use them. The best solution is to disable them, which will effectively remove them from your app drawer and prevent these apps from being active in the background.

Head to Settings > More, then go to the Application Manager. Here, swipe left to the "All" pane and find a bloaty app you want to hide, like AT&T Navigator or S Memo.

Normally when you tap an app from this list, you'll see the option to uninstall it. But for pre-installed apps, you'll see a "Disable" button. First, uncheck the Notifications box, then tap Disable. Repeat this process for any other bloatware you want to get rid of.

To see if it worked, head back to your app drawer -- you'll notice that the icons for the apps you disabled are gone. Rejoice!

Getting rid of these apps is exciting and empowering, but before you go on a bloatware-disabling rampage, a word of warning: be careful not to disable any essential system processes, which are usually accompanied by the Android logo. In the event you make this mistake, you can always re-enable the process (and any other apps you disabled) back in the Application Manager.

 

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