Android OEMs and if you’re in the US or a similar place, the network carriers, love putting their apps and services (you know, free hardware, free games, free cloud storage, etc.) that only annoy you each time you see them and know they can’t be removed. Maybe they think their devices are a little too perfect and they include the bloatware on devices so that you have something to complain about. After all, pre-installed bloatware is almost always completely useless, making strange assumptions about the user’s intentions and slowing performance.
While it may not be as bad as the Lenovo Superfish malware debacle, Android bloatware is an issue. We know if you have a rooted device, you have several ways and apps to remove whatever you want and the possibilities are almost endless. But most users don’t have that luxury. Good news for them because somebody was indeed thinking about them as well. This is thanks to a Debloater tool, developed by XDA Developer regular gatesjunior.
This Debloater lets you block any preinstalled apps on your device, reducing the impact of bloatware. Should you wish to remove them completely, however, the device will need to be rooted.
This method only works for devices running Android 4.4 Kitkat or above. Others will need to be rooted and if you are rooted, kind of makes this pointless doesn’t it? Ensure that you have Unknown Sources checked under Settings > Security, and that the correct drivers for your device are installed on your computer. And if you face issues try using a USB 2.0 port rather than USB 3.0
How to use the Debloater to block system apps?
1. First connect your Android device to your PC via USB and install the drivers. Once you’ve done this, install the Debloater.
2. Next activate USB debugging on Android, by opening Settings > Developer Options.
3. If Developer Options isn’t available, tap About device, then tap Build number several times in order to activate “developer mode.” It should tell you “you are now a developer” within eight taps which will add the Developer Options menu item.
4. Check the box and take the time to read the resulting message and confirm the action. Wait a moment, and then confirm the RSA key fingerprint from your PC too, checking the Always allow from this computer box to keep things stable.
5. Now launch the Application and it will automatically Load the Apps Installed on your Android smartphone and you may see a notice about what sort of app deletion your device supports.
6. With this confirmed and Debloater running, look in the lower left corner to confirm Device Connected and Sync are both active. This is indicated with a green disc against each label.
7. You’ll need to distinguish between the apps you’ve installed and those that were preinstalled, so take your time before you delete anything.
When you have found the files you want to block, select them using the checkbox on the left and then Apply. The app will begin blocking the APK files you no longer want, debloating your device in the process.
To repeat the process with other files, simply click Read Device Packages again to repeat the process. Remember to check your device to confirm that the bloatware has been blocked. You’ll know this has happened as it will not be visible in your app drawer.
Meanwhile, if you have difficulty finding the APK file or package name that you wish to delete, use the filter search box. For instance, if I wanted to find the Amazon Kindle APK, I’d enter “kindle”, and Debloater will quickly filter out all APK files except the one with “kindle” in the name.
If you make a mistake blocking bloatware packages, click the UnBlock All Packages option. Check the video below for further details, including how to use Debloater on a rooted device.