What is bloatware?
The term “bloatware” stands for any software or application that comes preinstalled on your device and are usually of no or less importance to the end-user. Whatever device from any manufacturer you get, you are sure to find it stuffed with such useless apps which are pushed into the device with a specific purpose by the manufacturer or carrier but are mostly purposeless from user’s point of view.
Talking with reference to Android, bloat is not an inherent attribute of this popular Operating System for mobile devices but now, as things appear, bloat apps have become unwelcome sticky guests for Android users. The reasons why bloat apps become so much a thing of concern for us are many. Android has three sources that multiply the number of bloatware on your device:
- Device Manufacturer (OEMs)
With a Big Daddy like Google behind its back, Android is destined to have dozens of bloat apps, also known as Google Apps, that may or not be useful for all users. Android being and open source platform is open to all. There are hundreds of OEMs that manufacture Android devices. Now that is really a good thing, but these manufacturers add a lot of more bloat apps. If you have bought an Android device from a network provider, expect more unwanted stuff on your phone or tablet!
We have some more articles on removing Bloatware on Android devices. You can read them here.
Disadvantages of Bloat Apps:
- They overcrowd your device’s app drawer and increase inconvenience.
- They capture a lot of space on your device that can be used for more useful things.
- Many of the bloat apps keep running in the background, devour RAM and battery and thus slow down and make the device less efficient.
- Such apps can potentially telegraph information to the app developer or OEM.
- Bloat apps are usually of sticky nature and so they cannot be uninstalled without having root access.
Getting Rid of Bloatware on Android:
Having seen the negative aspects of the bloatware and their bad influence on an Android device, it is natural that you might wish to remove such apps from your phone or tablet. As I said earlier, these system apps cannot be uninstalled in a normal way and therefore rooting your Android device becomes so essential.
When you have rooted your device, you will also need a root file explorer app to able to browse system directories and files so that you can delete them manually. Here are a few such apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store:
Also install the BusyBox app.
Having installed the app, open it and install the Busybox script on your device too.
You can install any of these root file managers on your Android device and uninstall/delete the bloat apps you do not want on your device. Open root file manager app and go to system/app folder where you can find all apk files. Just tap and hold the file you wish to remove and select Delete option.
If you are going to delete bloat apps on a Samsung Galaxy device, make sure you also delete a file called PreloadInstaller.apk or most deleted apps will be automatically re-installed by your device on the next boot.
In a feat of getting rid of the bloat apps, people often delete apps that serve some essential function or assist some other important apps in running properly. Therefore, we advise you to copy each and every APK file to the external SD card (and also on your computer) before terminating it. In case you discover an issue with any function or service on your device, you can restore the corresponding APK back to system/app directory.
List of Removable Bloatware on Galaxy Devices:
Here is a huge list of bloat apps found on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Most of the bloatware are also found on other Galaxy devices. The list has been prepared to help those who do not know what files are safe to delete. To know more about the names of APK files and function served by them, take a look at this spreadsheet.
Hope this list helps you make your device’s app drawer cleaner and enjoy faster performance on your Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet. Cheers!