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Uninstalling Preinstalled Android Apps without root

On my Moto G6 every Update seems to re-enable the Outlook and linked-in in apps I disabled on purpose. You can not uninstall apps that have been installed by the manufacturer via the play store or app settings, only disable them.

So far I have been disabling them after each update but I have gotten quite annoyed by it and did a little bit of research to find out how to fully uninstall them.

Prerequisites

What you need is the Android Developer Bridge (ADB) on your computer and you need to enable USB debugging on the phone.

I have used Windows in this guide but there is a great guide on how to set everything up in Windows, Mac & Linux over at XDA-Developers that walks you through the process.

USB Debugging on the Phone

If you haven’t enabled the Developer Mode on your phone yet, you have to navigate to Settings, then System -> About and scroll down to the buid number. Tap this 7 times to enable Developer mode.

Then You will find the Developer Settings in the Systems Settings menu. Go there and enable USB debugging.

ADB on Windows

Setting up ADB on Windows is straight forward. Download the latest ADB version, extract the files in the zip and navigate in Powershell to the extracted folder.

Tipp: You can hold down SHIFT when right-clicking in Explorer and use “Open Powershell here”

From here you can run the adb commands. Since we did not add the folder to the PATH we will have to preface the command with .\ to make it use the adb.exe in this folder.

If you follow this guide on a different OS or have ADB in your PATH you don’t have to use the .\

Connecting the Phone

Connect the phone via USB and double check that USB debugging is enabled.

Then you check for connected devices

.\adb devices                                  

This starts up the ADB service and lists connected devices

* daemon not running; starting now at tcp:5037
* daemon started successfully
List of devices attached
ZY322XXXX      unauthorized

On your phone you should get a pop-up asking you to confirm the ADB connection to the computer. After accepting it

.\adb devices                                  

Should list your device now not as unauthorized anymore.

List of devices attached
ZY322XXXX      device

Listing the Apps

.\adb shell pm list packages

Prints out a long list of all installed apps. You can use this list to find the full name of the apps you want to uninstall.

...
package:com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.zhuyin
package:com.microsoft.office.outlook
package:com.google.zxing.client.android
package:com.qualcomm.qti.dynamicddsservice
package:com.google.android.setupwizard
package:eu.siacs.conversations.legacy
package:com.qualcomm.qcrilmsgtunnel
...
package:com.keylesspalace.tusky
package:com.motorola.msimsettings
package:com.android.bookmarkprovider
package:com.linkedin.android
package:com.android.settings
package:com.motorola.arselfie
package:com.qualcomm.qti.lpa
package:com.qualcomm.qti.uim
package:com.google.android.inputmethod.pinyin
...

While you can uninstall most apps like linkedin and outlook you should be more careful with system apps.

Uninstalling the App

.\adb shell pm uninstall --user 0 [Package Name]

Will uninstall the app. So in my case I just had to issue

.\adb shell pm uninstall --user 0 com.microsoft.office.outlook

and

.\adb shell pm uninstall --user 0 com.linkedin.android

Once ADB returns with Success you can unplug your device and are done.

Remember to disable USB Debugging again in your Developer Settings.

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2 Comments

  1. TheGame

    it worked! thank you!!!

  2. Michaela

    I have no background with this sort of thing, and kept typing unnecessary quotation marks and such from the other tutorials I read! Yours was the one that helped me successfully remove the bloatware. Thank you so much!!

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