Is your phone full of bloatware? Here’s how to disable apps on Android

5 apps to download 9 6 15 lg g3 hands on screen 1
Android phones will often contain apps that you aren’t able to uninstall. All of the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) stick their own apps on your phone before it ever reaches you, and the carriers follow suit with their own bundle of bloatware. Occasionally these apps serve a useful purpose, but all too often they are useless to you.

Sadly, even if you aren’t using them, many of these apps may still run in the background, eating up system resources and/or spamming you with notifications. We’ve looked at how to shut off Android notifications before, and how to go from mere mortal to superuser, but today we’re going to explain how to disable Android apps you have no interest in.

How to disable Android apps

It’s very easy to disable apps, here are the steps required:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps and scroll over to the All tab for a complete list of your apps.
  2. If you want to disable an app simply tap on it and then tap Disable.
  3. Once disabled, these apps won’t appear in your primary apps list, so it’s a good way to clean your list up.

How to re-enable Android apps

It’s equally easy to get those apps back if you want to:

  1. Any app you disable will be listed on the Disabled tab to the right of the All tab in Settings > Apps.
  2. If you miss something, there’s a problem, or you just change your mind you can find the app in question on your Disabled tab. Tap on it and select Enable.

You have to be careful about disabling apps randomly because there are apps running that perform important functions and it’s not always obvious what they are. You may also find that some apps don’t have a disable option, or are grayed out.

Try searching for a list of apps that it’s safe to disable for your specific device. You’ll find some useful threads with suggestions for most Android smartphones over at XDA Developers forum.

How to freeze or uninstall any app

If you want to disable an app, but there’s no option to do so, or the option is grayed out, then you can still do it by rooting your Android phone. This will also allow you to remove any app you want.

For a look at the pros and cons and some advice about how to proceed, check out our how to root Android article.

There you have it, that’s how you disable apps on Android. If you have any comments or questions then please post a comment.

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.

Master your new Nokia 7.1 with our favorite tips and tricks

At $350, the Nokia 7.1 is a nearly perfect budget phone. It has a gorgeous body, good hardware, and a capable camera. Recently purchased the Nokia 7.1? Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get you started with your new phone.

Keep on clicking with the 10 best browsers for Android

Browsing the web on an Android device should not be a pain. Check out our picks for the best browsers for Android, so you can surf the web with greater ease and access a trove of unique features.

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.

No cash. No talking. What goes next? Welcome to your ‘app-tive’ digital life

Bank of America's 2018 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found mobility has changed our lives. Mobile tech influences how most of us communicate, meet people, build relationships, and handle money as we move toward a cashless society.

The Motiv smart ring is coming to 20 more countries and physical stores

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.

Everything you need to know about Garmin’s GPS watches and trackers

Garmin jumped into the GPS smartwatch and fitness tracker market five years ago and has built a portfolio of devices that rivals competitor Fitbit. Here's your guide to the latest and greatest fitness devices that Garmin has to offer.

Sharp doubles down on the notch trend with Aquos R2 Compact

As if one notch wasn't enough, Japanese manufacturer Sharp unveiled a new smartphone that has two -- one teardrop style notch at the top, and a bigger notch at the bottom. Here's what the world's first dual-notch smartphone looks like.

Verizon has made its first 5G video call … with a phone that’s already out

Verizon has announced that it has successfully made its first video call, using a smartphone that's already available: The Motorola Moto Z3. To make the call, Verizon used the 5G Moto Mod.

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.