Most Android devices come with a load of extra software pre-installed, and most of it cannot be uninstalled. If you don’t want to use this ‘bloatware’ you can disable it to hide it from your app drawer and prevent it from launching in the background. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to do it.
How to disable apps
To disable an app go to Settings > Apps on your device and scroll to All apps. Now locate the app you want to disable, tap on it and then tap Disable.
You will see a warning screen—make sure you aren’t trying to uninstall an essential system tool (you should stick only to apps that have an icon in the app drawer)—tap OK to confirm.
Any updates to the app that you have installed will now be uninstalled, and the app will be disabled. You’ll no longer see it in your app drawer, and won’t be alerted to any available updates for the app. It is—effectively—uninstalled.
Re-enable a disabled app
To re-enable an app go to Settings > Apps and scroll to the Disabled tab. Here you’ll see all the apps you have disabled. Tap the one you want to restore and tap Enable. It will now be restored and you should head over to the Play Store, as you’ll need to reinstall any updates to the app (even if you had installed them before you disabled the app).
The root option: uninstall bloatware
If you’ve got a rooted device it is possible to uninstall bloatware entirely. You can use an app such as Titanium Backup to do this.
However, since the Disable feature was added to Android there is less value in doing this. The space you free up won’t be available for you to use, and it will likely interfere with your device’s ability to get over-the-air updates. For most users, disabling is the best option.