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Do apps delete completely, or leave remnants?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by RazzMaTazz, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    New to Android so forgive me but...

    1) When I delete an app on Android, is it completely deleted, or does it leave remnants on the device that end up bogging down the device little by little? For example, on a Windows PC, if you install and uninstall programs, the programs often leave remnants in the registry, etc, and ultimately can affect the boot-time and speed of the PC (especially over years of installing/uninstalling). Is that the case with Android, or are the apps self-contained executables that get completely deleted and leave no remnants?

    I ask this because if apps get completely deleted, then there's little risk to me trying out apps and then deleting the ones that I don't like.

    2) Similarly, could an Android app contain a virus that would remain even after the app is deleted (like on Windows)?

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. Timberline

    Timberline Member

    I've noted empty folders associated with deleted apps still on my Android when poking around in a file manager.

    so, yes - some clean up after themselves and some don't.... just like desktop computer applications
  3. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    not sure...
    but the files it creates on your sdcard... will still be there.
    Not sysm files.. but things that you asked it to get for you.

    example: music, pdf, etc....and the directory they are stored in.
    RazzMaTazz likes this.
  4. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks. I would expect files like MP3s or PDFs to remain after an app is deleted. And I don't even mind perhaps an empty folder remaining (since it wouldn't affect performance). I was really more asking about the kind of registry entries & system files that slow down PCs after you install and uninstall some applications. I just don't know much about Android. I don't know if it has a registry, dlls, etc that can get crapped up or infected.
  5. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Android Expert

    Some will, some won't.
    Get Astro and delete the miscreants!
  6. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Android Expert

    It's going to pretend on how the app is written to be honest.
  7. Medion

    Medion Android Expert

    When uninstalling apps, here's the best way to reduce/remove the remnants.

    1. From the home screen hit the menu button
    2. Choose "settings"
    3. Go to "Applications"
    4. Select "Manage Applications"
    5. Find the application you want to remove, and select it
    6. Hit Force Stop if available, then clear data and cache if there is any
    7. Hit the uninstall button

    This prevents it from leaving behind some remnants, but if it saved anything else to the SD card, you'll have to delete that folder on your own.
    Nedd, ginglish and dan330 like this.
  8. ambientdroid

    ambientdroid Well-Known Member

    Android is a modified version of Linux. I believe Linux doesn't have a registry as such so does not have the same issues with unistalled programs as windows does.
  9. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Android Expert

    Right, but the apps regularly leave folders and config files behind.
    One app I took off the phone said it uninstalled but it left 3.5mb of "stuff" behind?
  10. heahmad

    heahmad Lurker

    I have a stupid question
    I have Samsung Galaxy S 2, and really like to test apps from market, so does installing and removing apps effect the speed of the system?
  11. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    No. As noted above there's no Windows-style central "registry", nor do apps copy their own dependent files into /system. Deleting an app removes that app; some config files may remain (usually in an <appname> folder in the /sdcard along with any user data. If you have no use for these they can be easily and safely deleted.
    heahmad and dan330 like this.
  12. heahmad

    heahmad Lurker

    thank you
  13. Skizz

    Skizz Lurker

    Yeah I do think part of your apps stay on your phone. If I use gesture search, i can type in any old app I have deleted and it will pull up some odd file that gives me an error when I try to open it. I wish th there was app out there to get rid of that stuff.
  14. dtc1

    dtc1 Lurker

    I like using AndroXplorer for my file manager. Works quite well.

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