Removing stock apps on rooted Android devices

Some stock apps don't give you an option for uninstalling, but if you have root access, they can be removed for good.

Uninstalling apps you don't use is a great way to keep some free space for new apps and can sometimes lead to improved battery life or even a faster device. If you've followed the  guide for uninstalling apps  without the Android Market, you may have noticed that most of the preloaded apps are resistant to being removed. For help removing these apps once and for all, follow this guide:

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Note: Removing these apps requires root access. For help rooting your Android device follow  this guide , courtesy of CNET's Seth Rosenblatt. Remember that there are always certain dangers involved in rooting your Android device; be extra careful and do your research before jumping in!

Terminal app before any user input. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 1: Download and open the Android Terminal Emulator app from the Android Market

Step 2: Become root user by entering "su" (without quotes). If this step is successful, the prompt on the screen will have changed from a "$" to a "#." If not, you do not have root access and will need to fix this before moving on.

Steps 2 and 3. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 3: With this complete, enter the following command (again, without quotes): "mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblk3 /system"

Example of what you may see after performing Step 4. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 4: To see all of the apps installed on the phone, enter "ls /system/app" and a long list should appear. To remove an app from your phone, enter "rm /system/app/".

Again, it cannot be stressed enough to be very careful. Don't remove an app unless you're 100 percent sure that you know what it is and are positive that you want to get rid of it. Check the image above for some common examples.

Step 5. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 5: Once you've removed all the apps you wish, run the following command "mount -o remount,ro /dev/mtdblock3 /system." Use the back button to close the terminal session.

Your device should now be free of those apps you couldn't remove before. Note that some devices, such as the T-Mobile G2, have some additional protection in their storage that may restore these apps once the device is rebooted.

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About the author

Nicole Cozma has an affinity for Android apps and devices, but loves technology in general. Based out of the Tampa Bay Area, she enjoys being a spectator to both sunsets and lightning storms.



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