How To Delete A Stock App (for Android)

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Please note: In order to delete a stock app from your phone, you will need to have two things:

  1. Root Permissions (your phone must be rooted).
  2. Root Explorer (or another file manager that gives you access to the root menu of your phone).

One of the reasons why I prefer having a rooted phone over a regular stock phone is the ability to delete the “extra’s” the phone manufacturers include on their phones. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the apps phone manufacturers include are useful. But from my experience, most of the time they are just a waste of the phone’s storage space. And by making them un-uninstallable (not uninstallable) it can annoy a lot of people (like me).

But if you’re rooted, you can finally get rid of those apps! Here is how:

1. Open Root Explorer: If you haven’t downloaded it already, you can do so here (it’s $3.91 but worth every penny). You can also download ES File Explorer which is available for free (make sure to check “up to root”, “root explorer”, and “”mount file system” with this app.

2. Make sure you’re at the root menu: If you look at very top of the app (right below the notification bar) you will see the name of the folder you are currently in. Make sure it shows nothing but “/” (without the quotes).

3. Find the “System” folder and open it: When you open it, the name of the folder at the top should be “/system” (without the quotes).

4. Find the “App” folder and open it: When you open it, the name of the folder at the top should be “/system/app” (without the quotes).

5. Find the app you want to delete: I strongly recommend you don’t actually DELETE the app. Instead, MOVE it to another folder (like on your SD card) so you can move it back later if something goes wrong. If you delete it, and later find out that you needed it, you will have to do a factory reset!

Once you have done that, you’re done! You don’t need to, but I recommend doing a reset before doing anything else just to make sure everything goes smoothly.

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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.

  • Sérgio

    where can i get that task manager we see you using in the video?

  • Charles

    Hello,
    When I move an AT&T Garbage app (Infuse 4G) to the external SD, does the app continue to run in the background, or continue to use memory in any way, when the telephone is started?
    Thanks
    Charles

    • David Rahimi

      No, as long as it stays on the SD card the app will not run in the background or take up any system memory.

  • Bernie

    Just downloaded the Root Explorer and followed the directions as above but when I clicked on the desired app none of the options shown above appeared (delete, move etc). Message says this is a package installer. What action would you like to perform? Install, View or Cancel. The app is Kindle and I can’t remove by conventional means and it is annoying because it keeps launching if I touch the screen and I can’t even move the icon. I’m disappointed I bought this Root Explorer and it doesn’t work as you’ve described. Any other ideas or work around?

  • ali

    First I want to thank you it is an annoying apps but I can’t niether move nor delete the apps from system>app.
    Please help I’m using htc chacha and there’s too many apps that I don’t need and take from the internal memory space.

  • Leopeo

    How will I know if my androd phone is rooted or not? How to find a root?

    • David Rahimi

      One of the easiest ways to know if your rooted is seeing if you have the SuperUser app installed on your phone. But if you have to ask if your rooted, it probably means you aren’t because you wouldn’t forget the whole process you went through to root your phone.

  • UCLAlum

    Hi. I was very excited to get rid of the boatload of apps that Sprint stuck me with. I downloaded the ES File Explorer (from one of your other videos), and got to the root directory, but when I tried to move an app to the SD card, it still was in the system/app directory. When I tried to then delete it from that directory, it said that it could not be deleted. Having enabled the root in ES File Explorer, do I still need the SuperUser app?

    • David Rahimi

      I’m assuming you already have root access (if not, do that first). In the settings of ES File Explorer, make sure that both “Up to Root” and “Root Explorer” are checked. Once you do that, you’ll have the option to check “Mount File System” which will make the files writable meaning you’ll be able to delete them. Hope this helps.

      • Alberto Moraes

        My mobile is rooted and I have installed the ES File Explorer 3. However, There is no Root Settings. I can’t see anywhere “Up to Root” and “Root Explorer”. Are there another version of the application I need to install?

  • Jeff Brewer

    Running a Pantech Breakout. It will not allow me to activate Root Explorer so Mount File System stay unavailable. Message = Feature cannot run on your phone. Up to Root is activated. Any other settings I need to look at?

  • EM Tanaka

    Thanks for the tutorial, I’m still having some difficulty deleting some apps bc when I try to delete it, the system says it cannot be deleted because it is a “read-only” file… how can I overwrite that?

    Thanks

    • Spark

      @EM Tanaka

      ever find a solution to the ‘read only’ problem? I am seeing the same thing. Droid razr M