Skip to main content

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

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Updated on 02/27/2020

In this article, we're going to show you how to uninstall an app from an 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) apps and hidden apps, and also how to uninstall them from an SD card or internal memory.

Why would you delete apps from an Android phone?

There are a few reasons you might consider deleting apps from your phone:

  • Your phone works very slowly and doesn't properly respond to your commands, which makes it very inconvenient to work with the phone because it takes more time to access to important functions.
  • There is not enough memory on a mobile device. This doesn't always happen due to the lack of RAM; sometimes the problem is caused by unneeded installed apps. Such apps might have 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 causing a lot of popup ads to be displayed on the phone screen or lock screen.There is often no way to get rid of these ads 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 the App Manager

  1. You can find the list of programs installed on your device at: Settings > Apps.
  2. In the App info section you can see the amount of space an app occupies and the location where it's installed: internal memory or an SD card. 
  3. In the bottom of the screen (Storage) you can see how much of your phone memory is free or occupied. 
  4. By tapping on the title Storage, you can find the amount of cache and data consumption in your OS.
  1. Apps installed by a user can be stopped, deleted or transferred from phone memory to an SD card - (which is very useful if you need to free up some phone memory.
  2. In the SD memory card tab there is the list of apps installed on your phone SD card.
  3. In the 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 is wasting your device resources, you can choose whether or not to delete it.

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

We suggest trying a third party app manager for Android. There are a lot of cleaning programs in Google Play. The following are those we deem the best.

How to delete apps from an Android phone via CCleaner

CCleaner is a simple but very effective utility for uninstalling apps from Android devices. Its 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 (APK is Android Package Kit, which helps install apps) temporary files and other “garbage.” Via CCleaner you can delete apps on your phone in batch mode which is not available in the standard manager.The full version of this app is free, with ads.

The sequence of actions for removing apps via CCleaner:

  1. Download and install the CCleaner utility.
  2. Open App Manager 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, size of the program and cache, the date of installation, version and more.
  5. Select the items you need to uninstall and tap on the Trash icon, which will uninstall the apps.
  6. Tap the Remove from device option and confirm the action to delete apps.

CCleaner is suitable for regularly cleaning Android devices and uninstalling user apps from a phone. It's impossible to delete standard apps (such as Google Drive, Gmail) via CCleaner with or without root access.

Download CCleaner for Android

Clean Master for uninstalling standard and user apps

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

It has a batch mode for uninstalling apps from your phone. Moreover you can also manage APK packages and transfer apps to your memory card via Clean Master. By doing these things you will reallocate the space of your device and clean your phone’s 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 Clean Master app on your Android device
  2. After launching it, tap on Start button
  3. Open the section Tools > App manager.
  4. Check the apps which you want to delete from your phone.
  5. Tap the Uninstall option and then OK in order to confirm uninstallation.
  6. If you doubt whether you want to delete any app, tap the 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 delete system apps.

Through the 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 it is quite possible you will disable Android OS or provoke system errors.

For removing Android device system components:

  1. Download System App Remover;
  2. Open System Apps section from the System App Remover main menu.
  3. In the list put a checkmark next to the items you want to delete.
  4. Tap the Uninstall button.

This method can help remove permanent apps which are hidden in the 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 install all apps on it.

System App Remover pro-version requires payment for all it’s features. The free edition shows ads at the bottom of the screen and does not contain pro features. Nominal fee of $ 1.88 will grant you access to the following capabilities:

  • Managing system and user apps;
  • Transferring any installed app to an 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 checkmark 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 think this a good list of which apps to consider deleting to free up memory and improve the performance of your device. 

  1. Social media clients. In particular, the Facebook Messenger app consumes a lot of memory on Android devices. User apps. Don't hesitate to delete user apps you aren’t using regularly, i.e. the ones that you've installed on your own from Google Play or by downloading their APK files from other sources.
  2. Antivirus apps It might seem a a controversial decision, but if you're confident in your mobile device security or there is no special need for constant protection, delete your antiviruses.
  3. Optimizers and cleaners. Apps such as CleanMaster and Battery Saver are useful on an irregular basis. Over time they can become irritating and start to overload your Android RAM. Install them when you need them, and uninstall them when you are finished.
  4. Games. Games aren't only 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 use on your phone. Try alternatives with smaller storage needs and experiment..

If you install any app from Play Store, test it and decide whether to keep or uninstall it. Regularly evaluate what you have installed to see if the apps are still meeting your needs. On the one hand, this approach requires time and patience, but will save your nerves in the long run.  A phone which is overloaded with dozens of apps won't work as well as it could.

Answers to readers' questions

I can't update the apps on my phone as it says I lack memory. But I've deleted all of them (except for 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 apps on my phone?

The answer. The first advice is to buy a capacious SD card. It's the easiest way to solve the problem of 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.

However if you have an old phone that would NOT keep apps on the SD card (it would always transfer them back to internal memory), it didn't help you.


My device (Sony Xperia M4 Aqua) started showing notifications that there was a shortage of memory. I decided to transfer some apps to an 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. 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 the "Install" button.  

You may have to download one app at at time and move it to the SD card before proceeding to the next. Keep in mind that you may need to clear other files, like music or videos, from internal memory first.


I deleted some software from my phone. On the screen (in the lower left corner) the Save Mode option has appeared. Some apps are no longer visible. I downloaded the Undelete program for recovery 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 their purpose is. Their deletion can lead to serious consequences. In the best case you will have to reflash your phone.

Didn’t manage to restore files? Send us a question

Describe your issue using our feedback form. Give us details on where the files were deleted from, when and how, and we will try to give you an answer. Besides, your question will clarify and make more complete questions by other users, which is of great help for us in making our recovery guides more helpful.

Ask the question