How to Delete Default Apps on a Rooted Android

By James Crider

Most phones running Google's Android operating system can be "rooted," a process that gives the user and selected apps access to the core software. This allows for adjustments and customizations not accessible to normal users. A common step for root users is to remove some of the applications pre-installed by the device manufacturer. The simplest way to do this is through a file explorer with root access. This process is for advanced Android users only.

Things You'll Need

  • Root-enabled file explorer

Step 1

Turn on your phone and unlock the screen. Press the "Home" button. Tap the application drawer at the bottom of your screen, then tap your file explorer program.

Step 2

Go to the "root" or top folder of your Android file system if it does not appear immediately. Scroll down and tap the "System" folder, then tap the "App" folder.

Step 3

Find an app that you want to remove. Note that several apps do not use the labels that appear in the main Android home screen. Use the icons to find oddly-named apps. Tap and hold an app that you want to remove until a pop-up menu appears. Tap "Delete," then "OK" to remove the app.

Step 4

Repeat Step 3 for every app you wish to remove. Press the "Home" button, then tap the application drawer. You will see that the apps you deleted no longer appear in your app drawer.

Tips & Warnings

  • A user may decide to retain copies of unused system apps in case of a software error or other contingencies. You can do this by renaming the extension of the app so that the file remains on your phone, but the app is no longer accessible by the Android software. For example, renaming "Music.apk" to "Music.old" will remove it from the application tray, but you can rename it to "Music.apk" to access it again.
  • Removing certain applications may damage your phone's software. In some cases, this may make your phone completely unusable, requiring a complete reinstall of Android. Before removing or renaming a system app, make sure you understand the consequences.