How to remove “non-removable” applications from your smartphone

To increase the attractiveness of smartphones, manufacturers put as many different programs on them as possible. It’s clear. We just take and delete the unnecessary … Stop.

It turns out that some programs cannot be removed. For example, on selected Samsung models unable to delete Facebook (there is only the ‘disable’ option). They say that the Samsung S9 also comes with Microsoft’s “non-removable” apps preinstalled.

These smartphones are for example. The same problem with other models. Many have non-removable programs from the manufacturer itself.

All this must be cleaned up.

There are very few examples of models that do not have extra programs. For example, when the first iPhone came out, Apple firmly fixed the package of installed applications, so AT&T was unable to add its usual garbage there.

There is also an example of smartphones from Google starting with the Google Phone G1 in 2008, then the Nexus line and up to the current Pixel (Pixel 1, 2 and 3). On them, too nearly no garbage, except for too many Google applications, which are also supposedly systemic and are not completely removed. Well, and a small number of third-party non-removable applications. For example, the Nexus5 has HP Cloud Print hardwired. But more on that later.

In principle, according to this logic, numerous applications from Apple on the iPhone can be considered unnecessary garbage. To be precise, there are 42 preinstalled apps on iPhone, not all of which easy to remove: App Store, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Clock, Compass, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, Game Center, Health, Home, iBooks, iCloud Drive, iMovie, iTunes Store, iTunes U, Keynote, Mail, Maps, Messages, Music, News, Notes, Numbers, Pages, Passbook, Phone, Photos, Podcasts, Reminders, Safari, Settings, Stocks, Tips, TV, Videos, Voice Memos, Wallet, Watch, Weather.

There are 29 preinstalled applications on Android, and some of them also cannot be removed by standard tools: Android Pay, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Chrome, Clock, Contacts, Docs, Downloads, Drive, Duo, Gmail, Google, Google+, Keep, Maps, Messages , News & Weather, Phone, Photos, Play Books, Play Games, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Settings, Sheets, Slides, YouTube.

Note: The method described below allows you to uninstall any of these applications.

However, we are talking primarily not about garbage in the default operating system, but about other situations when a third-party manufacturer like Samsung fills its smartphone with a huge bunch of non-removable programs, from their own branded applications to Facebook and Microsoft programs. Other manufacturers do the same.

Why are they doing that? Well, obviously because of the money. Under partnership agreements, it costs only money to install partner programs. And install the same programs in the form unremovable – already completely different money. This is just a guess.

It’s just amazing though. We pay hundreds of dollars for a Samsung phone! And they also want to snatch a couple of bucks on partnership agreements!

There is no option to uninstall the application

Facebook has always stated that “disabling” an application is the same as deleting it. Although it (the application) then takes up a little space in memory, it should not be active or collect data. But lately, people have lost their trust in Facebook so much that they don’t even believe that. Like, why is it not completely removed from the system then?

Facebook and Microsoft have been making agreements with phone makers and carriers around the world for years. Financial terms were not disclosed. Facebook also refuses to say which specific partners it has deals with for non-removable apps.

However, they are “non-removable” only theoretically. In practice, it’s enough to open ADB (Android Debug Bridge) and run a couple of commands.

Your phone must have USB debugging enabled and your computer must have a USB device driver installed.

You can download ADB for different operating systems using the following links:

We extract the contents of the zip archive to any convenient place, and already there we launch the console window.

Now let’s get started.

pm list packages | grep '<OEM/Carrier/App Name>'

lists installed packages.

pm list packages | grep 'oneplus'

Alternatively, you can install a free program on your phone Application inspector… It will show detailed information about all installed applications, their permissions. In addition, it can extract (download) APK files for any installed application.

To remove a specific package, run the following command:

pm uninstall -k --user 0 <name of package>

It works without rooting.

For the “non-removable” programs mentioned at the beginning of the article, it looks like this:


pm uninstall -k –user 0 com.facebook.katana

Facebook App Installer

pm uninstall -k –user 0 com.facebook.appmanager

Microsoft OneDrive

pm uninstall -k –user 0

Microsoft PowerPoint

pm uninstall -k –user 0

Microsoft OneNote

pm uninstall -k –user 0

… etc.

By the way, it’s really better to remove Facebook apps because they collect and send to the company a huge amount of personal data about all aspects of your business. To get an idea of ​​the amount of data collected, take a look at this chart. It compares what data different messengers collect about you: Signal, iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

A source: 9to5Mac

Facebook Messenger literally sucks everything it can. Signal, on the other hand, is much more respectful of users. This is understandable: this is a privacy-oriented crypto messenger.

It is clear why Android cannot remove system applications using standard tools. But the list of “system” applications is also ambiguous. For example, the listed packages can hardly be called system packages. But it is also impossible to remove them by standard means, only disable them:

  • Google Play Music
  • Google Play Movies
  • Google Play Books
  • Chrome
  • Youtube
  • and etc.

However, the above method allows you to completely remove them too.

For example:

Google Play Music

pm uninstall -k –user 0

Google Play Movies

pm uninstall -k –user 0


Moreover, the method is generally suitable for any system component.

For example:

pm uninstall -k –user 0 net.oneplus.launcher

… and we get rid of the built-in launcher forever.

Note with xda-developers forum… As for the system applications, they will appear again after a factory reset. This means that they are still not really deleted from the device, but are simply deleted for the current user (user 0). That is why the adb command does not work without ‘user 0’, and this part of the command just specifies to delete only for the current user, but the cache / data of the system application will still remain in the system. And this is good, because even after removing the system app, the phone can still receive official OTA updates.

By the way, from April 1, 2021, Russia will begin to forcibly install Russian software on all new smartphones. The list of 16 applications has already been approved, here are some of them:

  • ICQ (for messaging);
  • news;
  • OK Live;
  • MirPay (payment system, only on Android);
  • (aggregator program for access to socially significant Internet resources).

Let’s hope that this stuff will be removed by standard means, or better with one click of a button – all programs at once. If not, then we know what to do.


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