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How to uninstall apps on Android device: step by step guide

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Updated on 02/15/2019

In this manual we're going to show you how to uninstall an app from Android device in various ways. You can do it without damaging your OS. You will also find out how to get rid of system (standard) and hidden apps. How to uninstall them from a sd card or internal memory.

The contents:

Why would you delete apps from Android phone?

  • Your phone works very slowly and it doesn't properly respond to your commands. Which makes it very inconvenient to work with the phone, moreover it takes more time to get access to important functions.
  • There is not enough memory on a mobile device. Which doesn't always happen due to the lack of RAM, sometimes the problem might be in unneeded installed apps. Because of them you might have side and unnecessary features running in the background.
  • After deleting unneeded apps you will focus only on the most useful (from the remained apps) and unneeded ones won't distract you anymore.
  • Some developers put ads into their products so a lot of popup ads is displayed on phone screen or lock screen and there is no way you can get rid of it apart from uninstalling the “root of evil”.

Info. To uninstall means to delete a mobile app (or computer program) from your operating system and storage device.

How to delete unneeded apps from your phone

Via standard App Manager app

You can find the section with the list of programs installed on your device at: Settings > Apps.

In “Apps” section you can see the amount of space an app occupies and the location where it's installed: internal memory or a sd card. In the bottom of the screen you can see how much of your phone memory is free or occupied. By tapping on the option with a title you can find out the amount of cache and data consumption in your OS.

Apps installed by a user can be stopped (i.e. unloaded from memory), deleted or transferred from a phone memory to a sd card (which is very useful if you need to free up some phone memory).

In the SD memory card tab there is the list of apps installed on your phone sd card.

In "Running" section you can read useful information on how much time a program is running and how much RAM it requires.  Therefore, if any app wastes your device resources, you can and actually you should delete it.

Note that Android device standard tools aren't suitable for mass removal of apps, although it's convenient for a single removal.

We suggest trying any other third party app manager for Android. There are a lot of cleaning programs in Google Play and soon we're going to talk about the greatest ones.

How to delete apps from Android phone via CCleaner

CCleaner is a simple but very effective utility for uninstalling apps from Android device. User-friendly interface helps to remove everything you don't need in a few taps: apps and cache (which sometimes occupies hundreds of megabytes), apk-installers, temporary files and other “garbage”. The full version of this app is free, but it has ads.

The sequence of actions for removing apps via CCleaner:

  1. Download and install the utility
  2. Open App Manager section through the main menu.
  3. Installed, system and disabled apps are divided into separate tabs. Choose the tab you need.
  4. After you tap on a line with an app you can see the following information: title, the size of the program and cache, the date of installation, version and etc.
  5. Select the items you need and tap on the Recycle Bin icon in order to remove apps from a phone.
  6. Tap "Remove from device" option again and confirm the action to delete apps.

Via CCleaner you can delete apps on your phone in batch mode and not individually compared to a standard manager.

CCleaner is suitable for regular cleaning of Android and uninstallation of user's apps from a phone. It's impossible to delete standard apps (such as Google Drive, Gmail) via CCleaner neither with root-access, nor without it.

Download CCleaner for Android

Clean Master for uninstalling standard and user apps

Clean Master is another program for a comprehensive cleaning from garbage of your phone: temporary files, duplicates and remaining data of an app which was “too lazy” to clean up. Clean Master isn't designed for uninstalling programs, but it includes a module called App Manager which helps to uninstall apps on Android device.

It has a batch mode for uninstalling apps from your phone. Moreover you can also manage apk packages and transfer apps from your memory card via it. By doing it you will reallocate the space of your device and clean your phone internal memory.

Deletion of Android system apps is unavailable in Clean Master and you can only uninstall so called user apps, i.e. the apps you've installed on your own.

In order to delete a program via Clean Master you should do the following:

  1. Download and install the app on your Android device
  2. After launching it press "Start" button
  3. Open the section "Tools – App manager"
  4. Place a checkmark next to the apps which you want to delete from your phone
  5. Tap on "Uninstall" option and then on "OK" in order to confirm uninstallation
  6. If you doubt whether you want to delete any app, tap on "Cancel" option.

Deleting system apps via System App Remover Pro

Removing Android system apps will speed up the operation of your OS. However, before doing it you must make sure that you definitely know which apps you can delete. Root rights and System App Remover are required in order to do it.

Through "System apps" section you can delete the apps that regular managers can't. However, we suggest following the uninstaller recommendations and deactivate only the apps that are marked with “can be deleted”. Otherwise you can disable Android OS or provoke system errors.

For removing Android device system components:

  1. Open "System App" section from "System App Remover" menu;
  2. In the list put a check mark next to the items you want to delete;
  3. Tap on "Uninstall" button.

By the way, this method can help with removing permanent apps which are hidden in Android standard manager and are available only in safe mode. For example, adware and spyware.

A tip. If your goal is to free up some space in your phone memory, we advise you not to delete system apps. It's better to buy a spacious memory card and then install all apps on it.

System App Remover pro-version requires payment for its full-featured work (the free edition shows ads at the bottom of the screen). Nominal fee of $ 1.88 will grant you access to the following capabilities:

  • Managing system and user apps;
  • Transferring any installed app to a sd memory card or phone internal memory;
  • Using it as the Recycle Bin for your phone;
  • Uninstalling Android system apps;
  • Batch uninstalling mode: you can put a check mark next to the apps you want to get rid of only and delete them in a few taps.
  • Flexible management of standard and user apps: sorting, filtering by title/ package name and path, searching for apps and more.

Download System App Remover

Which apps can be safely deleted from Android device

We're going to list the apps which it's better to delete in order to improve the performance of your mobile device.

  1. Delete social media clients. Especially, Facebook Messenger app consumes a lot of memory on Android device, moreover you're constantly distracted by its notifications.
  2. Don't hesitate deleting unneeded user apps, i.e. the ones that you've installed on your own from Google Play or by downloading their apk files from unverified sources.
  3. Uninstall antiviruses. It might seem as a controversial decision, but if you're confident in your mobile device security or there is no special need in constant protection, delete your antiviruses.
  4. Optimizers and cleaners can be deleted too. Apps such as CleanMaster and DU Battery Saver are useful on an irregular basis. Over time they become quite irritating and they also start to overload your Android RAM.
  5. And games aren't only the main time-killers: they also occupy a significant amount of megabytes in your mobile device memory.

Last tip: install only the most necessary apps on your phone

Leave only the apps you really need on your phone. Try alternatives and experiment but always keep track of what is installed.

If you install any app from Google Play app, make sure to test it and then decide whether to keep or uninstall it. On the one hand, this approach requires time and patience, on the other it also will save your nerves.  A phone which is overloaded with dozens of apps won't work as fast as right after its purchase.

Answers to readers' questions

I can't update the apps on my phone as it says that I lack memory. But I've deleted some of them (except of the standard ones) and still I can't download or install anything. There are very few programs on my phone so there is nothing I can do. What should I do and why can't I install any app on my phone?

The answer. The first advice is to buy a capacious sd card. It's the easiest way to solve the problem with lacking memory on your phone You won't have to uninstall apps and keep on constantly cleaning your phone memory in order to spare some space in internal storage.

My device (Sony Xperia M4 Aqua) started showing notifications that there is was shortage of memory. I decided to transfer some apps to a SD card and leave only the necessary ones in internal memory. Some time passed and then the notifications began to appear again, there was no space on the SD card and I freaked out and cleaned it, forgetting that I'd transferred apps there. Now I have the icons of those apps on the screen, but I can't open them and on top of those icons there is the icon of the SD card. And most importantly, I can't download those apps again nor can I delete the apps from my phone.

The answer. All the apps that you've transferred to your sd card (or even deleted) can be easily returned. In order to do it simply go to Google Play and search for them, then tap on "Install" button.  

I deleted some software from my phone. On the screen (in the lower left corner) Save Mode option has appeared. Some apps are no longer visible. I downloaded Undelete program for recovering and I can't open it, even though in Play Store it shows that the program is installed. What program could have caused all those problems after its deletion?

The answer. You may have deleted an Android system app or an installed program is in conflict with your phone. To leave safe mode you should restart your device. If you still enter this mode after a restart, turn off / on your Android device via the power and volume down buttons pressed at the same time.

A tip: don't delete Android system or user apps if you have no idea what is their purpose. Their deletion can lead to serious consequences: In the best case you will have to reflash your phone.