We’ve seen the reports — millennials are lacking in loyalty toward apps. When you look at the average user’s app habits, it is easy to see why. There are now more than 3 million apps available on the Google Play store, and not every app is going to be perfect for you. Your device’s memory is limited and it is filled with apps that you no longer want — it is time to purge your device of the apps you never use. But how do you cleanse your device of unplayed games, lifestyle apps, and otherwise? Have no fear! We heard your terrible plight and we put together this simple guide on how to uninstall apps in Android.
As a small tip before we begin, if you do not intend to reinstall the app you are removing, take the time to “Clear Data” on any app you are uninstalling. You can usually find this button in the “Storage” section near to the “Uninstall” button in each of our guides. This ensures that as little data from the app as possible will be left on your device post-uninstallation. If you are just removing an app temporarily — for instance, to make space for an operating system update — feel free to leave the data there, so it will still be available when you put the app back onto your device later.
Finally, some apps are not able to be removed. This is usually the case with apps crucial to your device’s daily running, or — in more insidious cases — apps that have been added by your carrier or phone manufacturer. Thankfully, even though you cannot remove these apps without rooting your phone (here is our guide on rooting your Android phone if you are interested in that), you can usually disable them, and we added small notes to each of our guides to highlight how you can do this. But be warned — be sure you know what you are disabling. While it is difficult to brick a phone by disabling apps, it never hurts to be sure you are turning off something you really don’t need. If you need a more in-depth guide to purging your phone of these apps, then check out our guide on removing bloatware.
How to uninstall apps in stock Android
Stock Android is the base level of Android, as created by Google. Though stock Android is found primarily on Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices, you will find that many phone manufacturers put a light modification on top of stock on their devices (usually referred to as “skins”). Since stock Android is the underlying skeleton of most Android phones out there, you usually only need to look further than this entry if your phone has a more heavily modified Android skin, like Samsung’s TouchWiz (recently re-dubbed Experience).
Uninstalling apps from stock Android is simple:
- Select the Settings app from your app drawer or home screen.
- Tap Apps or Applications.
- Scroll down the list until you find the app you want to remove and tap it.
- Select Uninstall.
If you come across one of the apps that cannot be removed, then simply follow the same instructions as above, just substituting Disable for Uninstall in the final step. That should ensure that the offending app — while not removed totally — cannot be activated or impact your day-to-day activity.
How to uninstall apps in Samsung Experience
Samsung’s modified Android skin has evolved a lot over the years. Previously known as Touchwiz, it was maligned as one of the worst Android skins in the world — to the point where Google almost stepped in to make it better. The Samsung Experience that comes with the Galaxy S8 (and now with the Note 8) is a much better experience and one that changed a lot since the bad old days, giving us the smooth and sleek feel we have come to crave.
Strangely enough, uninstalling apps on Samsung Experience is actually easier than on stock Android. While you can still navigate to the Settings app, to the app list, and so on — Samsung has given users an even quicker shortcut to uninstall or disable unwanted apps.
- Find the app you wish to uninstall.
- Long-press (tap and hold your finger) on the app, and wait for a pop-up menu to appear.
- Tap Uninstall.
- If you want to uninstall multiple apps on an S8 or newer, then you can tap “Select multiple items” from the same pop-up menu, select each app you want rid of, then tap “Uninstall” at the top left. This option isn’t available on older Samsung phones like the S7 Edge pictured.
To disable apps that are not able to be uninstalled, simply follow the same steps again, only tapping Disable instead of Uninstall.
That is the simple low-down on how to uninstall apps in Android and one of the most popular non-stock Android devices out there. Looking to refill that space after doing a good clear-out? Then check out our up-to-date list of the best Android apps currently available, or just relax with our pick of the best Android games.
- Escape reality with the best augmented reality apps for Android and iOS
- Don’t be left out in the cold! Plan ahead with the best weather apps for Android
- Here’s how — and why — to use Safe mode with an Android phone
- How to root Android phones or tablets (and unroot them) in 2018
- How to sideload an APK or install an Android app from outside the Play Store