1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

S4 Mini, minimize the presence all those apps!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by mdawdy, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    I want to minimize the presence in my S4 Mini of all those apps that i currently do not want to use [and probably never will]. Under the App Manager menu, for each app, i see this set of options [Force stop, Uninstall updates, Disable, Show notifications] which looks perfect for my purpose [i would uncheck the last one]. However, the following message is displayed with the Disable choice ...

    If you disable a built-in app, this may cause problems with other apps.

    I hate this kind of scare message. "They" do not say what kind of problems or what apps may be affected. I am paranoid enough to believe that there will really be no problems and that "they" put this in there just to frighten off noobies.

    I expect that it is the same as on my Windows based PC, that there are DLLs etc that are shared, and if one of these is deleted other programs that share it will not work. I have been ignoring the equivalent message on my PC for decades with no problems and i suspect the same will result here. And if a problem with an app does arrive it will be a simple matter to download and re-install it, perhaps with the loss of some not-life-threatening personal data.

    So what do you think? Any ideas, opinions, even actual experiences and facts! will be appreciated. Thank you,

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. Rukbat

    Rukbat Extreme Android User

    If you unload a DLL in Windows, and a program needs it, it'll be reloaded. All it'll do is waste time.

    If you disable an app in Android, and a program needs it, it's disabled so it can't run, so the program that needs it will, if nicely written, notify you that it can't run or, if not nicely written, crash.

    (All that unchecking "Show Notifications" will do is, when the app IS running, if it has a notification for you, it won't show it.)

    If you just don't want to see the app on the home screen, long-press it, then Remove it. (It's just a shortcut.) If you don't want to see an app in the app drawer, uninstall it. If you ever need it again you'll have to reinstall it. (So maybe back up all your apps before you start uninstalling things.)
  3. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    Thank you. I see an option to uninstall updates but to uninstall the app itself. So how do i do that?

    Are the apps not available somewhere to re-download if needed? If so then there should be no need for me to have my own backups, otherwise i would have to consider that.

    And a follow-up question ...
    I do not know what is the technical difference between Apps and Widgets, but i extend my question to both. Can i safely remove any of the Widgets?
  4. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    This is my plan ...

    First i have discovered that the Widgets cannot be removed without rooting the device, except for the ones that i downloaded myself. So they are staying put.

    For the Apps, I am going to go thru each of them. If i suspect that the App is "used for sign in details by other apps i.e. facebook/twitter/Google+, or ... integral to android such as google search, dialler, keyboard", i will leave it alone. Otherwise, for those that i expect to be not using i will uninstall the updates, clear the data and cache, and disable the app.

    Then i will check to see if this process has caused problems for important apps by running those apps - cellphone account, banking, e-mail, weather, software update, internet, and downloads. If there is a problem i will re-enable and update the app [and hope!].

    This should minimize their footprints in my phone memory, which is what i want to be able to do.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    You can remove a widget from your home screen without root.

    Pre-installed apps, whether they have widgets or not, cannot be uninstalled without root.

    You seem a little confused about the terminology, so let me try to explain. A widget is simply an interactive icon provided by an app. This is different from a simple icon, in that rather than just launching the app it will either display information or let you perform some function (e.g. toggling some setting). Some apps do not provide widgets, some only provide the widget and do nothing else, and many have the app but also let you place a widget on the screen if you want. In short, all widgets are apps, but not all apps have widgets.

    I take a slightly simpler approach: if I know I'll never use something (e.g. a social networking app) I disable or uninstall it. Otherwise I leave it alone - if I'm not using it it will either be dormant or be kicked out of RAM altogether if something else needs the space. There is no merit in having a lot of free RAM - that's not how Unix-style operating systems work.

    Ironically, the things you've listed as stuff you'll leave, twitter/facebook/G+ and Google Search, are the first things I zap! ;)
    mdawdy likes this.
  6. Not Rich

    Not Rich Newbie

    I used to own a Galaxy ace where internal storage was a real problem, 158mb!!!

    I rooted it and found a app uninstaller. The first thing I noticed was many apps were in red text meaning you cannot uninstall them, all in all I think I freed up 10mb of space.

    I now have the same phone as you and while I dont like seeing all those apps I will never use I wont alter anything as I have almost 4gig free which is enough for me.
  7. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    My S4 Mini came with 16Gb of which 10 is free. I certainly do not need to free any up. But i do like to be technically knowledgeable about my machines so really that is what this quest is all about - learning about the machine.

    I actually bought a 16 Gb MicroSDHC [on sale at BestBuy, cheap] just to learn about them. Now i will know first hand where they plug in, how to install, how to use it, etc. Maybe some day i'll put a 64 Gb in there just to have the biggest on the block :)

    So far i have disabled these ... ChatOn, DropBox, HangOuts, TripAdvisor. No probs so far. I'll keep this thread posted as i go along with this.

    EDIT: Disabled SamSung Link and SamSung Hub. OK.
  8. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    Minimizing the App footprints, what i have been doing so far ...

    This is not all done yet. I have more to learn. Any comments etc will be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, i have not kept track of the amount of memory recovered. But for me that is not the main point. I want to learn the tech details of my device, and this process is accomplishing that.

    [1] I have disabled and cleared data for these 13 Apps with no issues ...
    Chaton, Dropbox, Flipboard, Hangouts, Tripadvisor,
    Samsung [Link, Hub, and Books],
    Google Play [Books, Games, Newsstand, Movies, and Music]

    [2] I found an App that i think is very good for cleanup: CleanMaster and the 1-Tap Boost that it spawns, on Google Play, in the free utilities section. Anyone else use this or a similar app? What do you think?

    [3] The following i expect to not use, are not in the App Manager, AND can be neither disabled nor uninstalled. I expect to hide these. Comments? ...
    Group Play, [Google] Photos, [Google maps] Navigation,
    [Google Maps] Local, Google Play Magazines, Story Album, Watchon,
    S Memo, S Translator, S Voice, Voice Recorder, Voice Search

    [4] I expect i should keep any in the App Manager list with the word "Services" in the name, altho i doubt that i would need either of the print services. Comments? ...
    Google Play Services
    HP Print Service Plug-in
    Samsung Print Service
    Samsung Push Service

    [5] There is a list of App's that i expect to keep because i will be using them ...
    calculator, camera, contacts, Rogers App Zone,
    downloads, e-mail, gallery, 100% Games,
    Help, internet, messaging, music, my files, phone,
    [Google] Play Store, QuickPic, Samsung Apps,
    YouTube, Google Settings

    I am not at all into computer games, but i am keeping 100% Games in case there is a Saturday nite with nothing to do, bored out of my gourd, almost crazy. The Samsung Apps Free Utilities section may contain some useful apps. I am keeping Google Settings only in case some other app may need it.

    [6] These that i do not expect to use, and that can be neither disabled nor uninstalled, i will hide ...
    chrome, Google, Google+,
    Samsung [account, InApp purchase, print service, push service, and Hub Updater]

    [7] I am using some Widgets ...
    Software Update, Google Search transparent version, Active Apps, Alarm

    [8] I am uncertain about these voice apps, S Voice, Voice Recorder, Voice Search, and Google Text to Speach. Has anyone found these to be useful? Since they cannot be disabled i expect to hide them.

    [9] I tried unsuccessfully to use "S Planner". I set in an event, requested 1 day notice by e-mail, no e-mail arrived. Tried again, same result. I do need a small, simple app for event/appointment reminders. Any suggestions appreciated, on either how to use this one or an alternative.

    [10] I found a micro SDHC card on sale at BestBuy, 16 Gb, so bought it and installed it. So cheap i do not remember; about $16.00 i think [a buck a giggabyte]. I do not need it but there it is. Backed up the contact list onto it. And this phone will take 64 Gb! I'm an old computer bum from the '60s. Back then i programmed a 32K IBM 7040 and a 4K PDP-8 [that's K = 1024], the latter with a 10 CPS [Characters/bytes Per Second] paper tape reader for input, that cost tens of thousands of dollars and occupied full sized rooms - just like in the old science fiction movies from the '50s. Hard to believe this new stuff. So anyway, now i know how that works.

    Let us know what you think.
  9. richmatthews76

    richmatthews76 Well-Known Member

    You know with me I just want to get rid of what I call junk apps. Why have them there taking up space if I will never use them? It's koind of like just hving the phone organized to my personal liking and organized

    To me extra storage and ram never hurts. I mean out of the box how many chat programs, book stores, backup programs etc. do you need. I have the phone and love it, The specs to me for such a tiny device are awsome!

    But then again even with Windows this was always my first task.Clean house old habits die hard::D
  10. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    Further along with Apps disable ...

    It is not possible to disable or uninstall any Widgets except for the ones you download yourself. The builtin widgets can be affected only by rooting the device.

    Uninstalling a Widget that is an offspring of a main widget causes the parent widget and all of its child widgets to be uninstalled.

    None of the builtin Apps can be disabled or uninstalled except by rooting the device. Only the ones listed in the App Manager can be disabled.

    I hid the Apps that i cannot remove and do not want to see. Too bad this option is not available for the Widgets.

    I uninstalled these Apps with no bad consequences, in addition to one ones listed in my previous post ...
    1. HP Print Service Plugin
    2. Google+
    3. Samsung Hub Updater
    4. Samsung In-app Purchase
    The In-app Purchase got re-installed with no notification, probably when i downloaded a free app.

    FYI ...

    I downloaded these free Apps because they may be useful, or at least interesting, to me ...
    • The Weather Network
    • QuickPic
    • Wi-Fi Analyzer
    • BMO Mobile Banking
    • Clean Master
    • TapaTalk
    • QR Code Reader
    • Barcode Scanner
    The Apps list is, to me, much neater with the Alphabetical List view type. Too bad it does not allow the same format for the Widgets - they occupy 9 screens compared to 1 or 2 for the Apps.

    I have the device set up now the way i want it - the important stuff on the home screen with one additional screen to the left and right.

    I really like the Clean Master and its child the 1 Tap Boost. I like also the Active Apps App for removing the active&unused from memory.

    Well i think i am now done with this project. I really like this device a lot. It is a phone and camera, and allows useful internet access and other things.

    I especially like that there are some very good apps among the free ones [ya hafta look carefully], and that the internet access can all be done, basically for free, at home or wherever else there is available Wi-Fi :)

    light touch likes this.
  11. richmatthews76

    richmatthews76 Well-Known Member

    I must admit I agree I love the little, I am a Samsung person any way. You have worked hard to get this little guy setup? Do you not find the multiple widgets suck up a ton of ram? Though compared to many this little phone has more than most?
  12. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    Mine came with 16 Gb ram and has 11 Gb free, which is plenty. I understand that some came with just 8 Gb so they would have just 3 Gb free with the same setup, which might be a problem?
  13. mdawdy

    mdawdy Member
    Thread Starter

    Still moving along with this project of Disabling as many Apps as i can. So far i have Disabled about 51 of them. Here is a link to an album on my Picasaweb. It contains 39 images, of the All Apps list from my Samsung Galaxy S4 mini SGH-I257M, obtained with [Settings | More | Application manager | All].

    I have had the device for 3 months so this is not the stock list, but it is not rooted. The last 8 pages show the 51 Apps that i have already Disabled with [Settings | More | Application manager | All | tap name of app | Disable]. I will be going thru the list in these images and disabling as many more apps as i can ...


    This Disable option is semi-permanent. They stay disabled thru power off/on including battery remove/re-install. Each can be re-enabled by [Settings | More | Application manager | All | tap name of app | Enable]

    So far, in addition to those already Disabled, i am considering Disabling each of the following. If i am on the verge of a disaster with any of these please let me know. I'll post my results in this thread ...

    Basic Daydreams
    Best Face
    Face Unlock
    Mobile Print
    Mobile Print Svc_CUPS
    Mobile Print Svc_CUPS_..

    There may be more possibilities that i have missed. I will go thru the list again after i explore this list and post the results here.

    TIA for any comments,


Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini release date was July 2013. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1.5GB RAM, Snapdragon 400 processor, and 1900mAh battery.

July 2013
Release Date

Share This Page