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

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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.

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