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Removing system apps

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Saxum, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Saxum

    Saxum Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hey great folks!

    I'm trying to uninstall system apps such as Gmail, Talk, Calendar and Google Search because I've never used them and simply don't want them on my phone.

    I run Android 3.2.7, Oxygen-2.3.2-Bravo.

    I've tried Root Explorer by deleting the .apk files from the 'system' folder, which usually won't work at all ("Delete failed"), and when it eventually somehow does work and the .apk files do disappear from the Explorer folder structure, the apps are still installed on my phone.
    Renaming an .apk file won't relieve me of the app in my app menu either, seemingly because this only creates a copy of it, with the different name. I draw this conclusion because I can't reverse the name change, being referred to the file name being occupied. This would explain how seemingly succeeding in removing an .apk file can allow the app to survive. Root Explorer won't actually remove the .apk files from my phone.

    I've also tried Titanium Backup, backing up everything including system data, and attempting "Un-install !"-ation. It starts "Un-installing" and reboots the phone. Apps are still there when the phone boots.

    What can I do? It can't be impossible to remove those apps. I mean, come on, I'm the Superuser, right?

    Merry Christmas!

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Are you S-On or S-Off? You need S-Off to modify the system files when running android.

    You should be able to remove them using adb (I think there's a thread on this in the Hints and Tips forum, though it may be here - am using tapatalk so hard to search). Or, as you are using a custom ROM, edit the zip file and remove unwanted apps, then reflash without a wipe.

    Or just run revolutionary to get S-Off (don't let it replace your recovery). Then you can do what you like. There's a guide linked in the All Things Root Guide sticky post.

    Most important: take a nandroid before messing with system apps!

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum :)
    Saxum likes this.
  3. Saxum

    Saxum Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Oh great, thanks! (And that's a quick reply!)

    I'm S-On, but removing the .apks from the zip and reflashing it worked wonderfully! Gee, that was easy!
    I'll be S-Off-ing later next week anyway, though. Thanks for the guide tips.

    Shouldn't be too dangerous to fool around with the system apps while I've got the backup covered with CWM through recovery?

  4. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    I think you need to be running a sense rom to use revolutionary. Not a big deal though, take a nandroid, wipe data, wipe cache, flash a rooted sense rom, run revolutionary, restore previous nandroid.

    As Hadron says say no to their recovery, yours will still be there.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The CWM backup is what we call a nandroid - as long as you take one of those first you're safe :)
  6. Saxum

    Saxum Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Oh, right!
    I believe I've got it now. Really seems easy enough.

    Thanks a lot, Hadron and nicka3200!
    Hadron and nicka3200 like this.
  7. Sabbra

    Sabbra Lurker

    Hey Hadron, Im S-OFF and rooted (using matt's guide) and still can't delete the apk through the explorer...

    any idea?

    desire 2.2
    rooted and S-OFF
  8. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    Try uninstall via titanium.
    Sabbra likes this.
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Nicka's suggestion is the simplest way if you are S-Off.

    I would guess that the reason Root Explorer isn't working is that you need to mount /system read/write first (top right corner of the screen, is read only by default). You also want to clean up the dalvik cache after doing it this way.
    Sabbra likes this.
  10. Sabbra

    Sabbra Lurker

    wow...with titanium was everything fine!

    Thank guys!!!
  11. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    With s-off you can use titanium to integrate system application updates into the Rom via a long press on the relevant app provided there is enough space on the system partition thus saving space on the data partition.

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