How to remove bloatware for Android phones

With CyanogenMod installed, you can remove bloatware (e.g. Amazon MP3, GenieWidget, etc) and free up resources on your phone.  It's very simple.

Open up the Terminal Emulator app from the app drawer (already installed along with cyanogenmod) and log in as SuperUser:
su
It will ask for SuperUser permissions.  Select Yes.  Now give read and write permissions to the system folder:
mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system

Change directory to the app folder:
cd /system/app
List all of the apps installed:
ls
List all of the apps that start with the letter 'A':
ls A*
List all of the apps that end with the letter 'm':
ls *m
List all of the apps that contain the 'mp3':
ls *mp3*
These are all standard UNIX commands and are case-sensitive. Most filenames are more or less like the names you see in the app drawer. Use the command below to disable apps you don't want by renaming them. (Rename instead of deleting so you can rename them back if you break something.) If you're not sure what something is, DO NOT mess with it. Especially do not mess with BackupAssistantClient.apk

To rename Bluetooth, for example:
mv Bluetooth.apk Bluetooth.bak
This will disable the app after syncing because Android OS won't recognize it.
To reenable the app, just rename it back to normal:
mv Bluetooth.bak Bluetooth.apk
After you're finished, update the list of apps Android sees:
sync
After, you're done, exit from SuperUser access:
exit
and then exit from Terminal Emulator
exit

FYI apps I disabled on my T-Mobile MyTouch 3G:

  • Bluetooth.apk (I don't use it)
  • com.amazon.mp3.apk
  • Email.apk (I use Gmail instead)
  • GenieWidget.apk
  • HtcEmailPolicy.apk
  • Twitter.apk

References:
Droid Forum Post on Removing Bloatware

6 comments:

  1. Thanks! Great Guide.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! Removing the software you recommend really helped improve the performance of my MyTouch 3g. It use to lag when after I exited a app, now it dosen't lag.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great guide.....
    It really worked and improved the performance.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, worked perfectly! Got rid of Facebook annoyingly asking me to provide login details over and over again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. you didn't list a command for removing the listed apps..

    ReplyDelete