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[HowTo] Remove preinstalled apps - no need to flash custom roms or gold card root!

OP TheLegendaryJay

11th November 2010, 11:26 PM   |  #1  
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I know there are some people like myself who actually like Sense and doing a 'full' root can be daunting, especailly if all you want to do is remove the crud that Vodafone or your Telco install on your branded Legend. But there is no reason this can't be used to remove apps that are in a custom ROM - as far as I am aware! If someone with a custom ROM could confirm this, that would be great!


Righto, as per usual here is the disclaimer - doing this is risky and you do so at your own peril! Don't come crying to me or Paul @ MoDaCo if it bricks your phone (it shouldn't but this is just a warning)

Enough of that you get the idea Now for the fun bit!

First if you are not you'll need VISIONary+ from MoDaCo, at the time of this writing r13 is the latest and is available on page 7.
Please read and check the original post as there may be an updated version. If you are rooted skip to the next step.

This is Paul's guide he done quickly on his G2, it's more of a pictorial guide (same rules apply to the Legend as G2 in this case).

Once installed use the Temproot option, this can take 15 seconds or so to complete, use a Terminal Emulator and type su then return/enter and your $ should change to a # - this means you have temproot.

Go to the market and install SuperUser, Titanium Backup, BusyBox.

Open Titanium Backup allowing it root access when prompted, go to Backup/Restore and scroll to find one of the preinstalled bloatware apps, I chose the Vodafone Music app and the Vodafone Web app.
Long hold on the app you want to remove and scroll down a bit and choose the option "Force remove app (by recovery exploit)"

This will reboot your phone TWICE, you will get the recovery screen up - LET IT RUN IT's COURSE! DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS.

Once it boots back into your normal check that the app is no longer in your App drawer

Repeat for all the Apps that came preinstalled that you don't want, just be careful you don't remove anything that may still be needed!

A huge thanks to Paul at MoDaCo for this ingenious hack and the Titanium Backup, BusyBox and SuperUser developers for their hard work in writing their apps which also allow us to easy do this

Oh and you can use the Temproot on boot to have a sortof but not fully permaroot
Last edited by TheLegendaryJay; 12th November 2010 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Changed title.
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12th November 2010, 07:51 AM   |  #2  
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Great work. I'll try on CM 6.1 RC1. One thing though...If I'm rooted I presume I need only the Titanium backup not VISIONary or other tools, right?
12th November 2010, 09:00 AM   |  #3  
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Yes you need the other apps, but you can remove them afterwards if you want. You'll need SuperUser to be able to grant Titanium Backup access, and Titanium Backup requires BusyBox to be installed - Titanium Backup gives you the option to install BusyBox if you press the 'Problems?' button under the Overview tab.


PS: you can use the free version of Titanium Backup for this exercise.
12th November 2010, 09:52 AM   |  #4  
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Yes, thank you. I knew about busybox and the option to install it from Titanium. SuperUser I have it already since I'm using CyanogenMod RC1 and it is included in the ROM (I think it is OK like this). So only Titanium (+busybox) needs to be installed.

I'll give it a try and let you know the results. I'll try to remove a rather large application (for ex Google Maps) and I'll install it afterward on the sdcard (since it is system appl, it cannot be moved directly to sdcard)

Later edit: IT WORKS! So I've tried to (and succeeded) remove 2 "system" applications: Google Maps and Calculator. Both were removed and the free space is now available (before 80 Mb free, after 91.2 Mb free).
There was only one issue with Maps, the icon still showed up in the application drawer and it was working (even after going through all above). After several checks I found the reason. The Maps were installed twice...the version included in the CM ROM (that was deleted by this procedure) AND the updated Maps (it once asked for upgrading the application from the market and I did that). After removing the "system installed" version of Google Maps, the "updates" remained. I went to Settings-Applications-Manage Applications and I found Maps there. I've uninstalled the updates then rebooted the phone. After that the icon was gone completely.

To conclude, for CM ROMS (or for all phones that are already rooted and have already the SU application), the steps to be performed for removing a system appl are:

1. Install Titanium Backup
2. Press (as instructed) "Problems" button. This will install a working version of busybox.
3. Check if the application you want to remove, has also updates (from Market or some other places) installed. If YES, go to Settings-Applications-Manage Applications and uninstall all the updates.
4. Start Titanium Backup and perform the steps indicated in the first post by TheLegendaryJay.

So it is working on custom ROM's as well and you don't need VISIONary or other application/tools.

All credits go to Paul, CM team and this whole community, the ones which made such things possible for our phones. TheLegendaryJay, thank you also for sharing this with us. Perhaps for rooted phones it is easier to remove applications with adb commands, but some are maybe not so technical to install the SDK or know how to use it (I can be counted as one of them), or they just might want to remove an application when they don't have a pc with SDK nearby.
Last edited by Rapier; 12th November 2010 at 10:38 AM.
12th November 2010, 10:51 AM   |  #5  
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yap, can confirm this. works great on cm 6.1 rc1. thanks for the hint
12th November 2010, 12:11 PM   |  #6  
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For you guys who are rooted - why not just flash the overlay filesystem patch, enable it, and then use any file explorer and go to /system/app/ and delete the apps you dont want? just a tip, it's much easier.. (and takes less time)
12th November 2010, 12:53 PM   |  #7  
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Because one of the reasons for which I wanted to rip out an application from the ROM is to gain some more space... By using overlay system, as I understood, you're practically duplicate the whole system to make it accessible for writing so I don't know if you gain some more space. Eventually you'll have less. Or, if that space is on the sdcard, that does not suit me also cause as I know, is working slower from there. Anyhow, I don't want to detail this here cause we'll be off-topic.
12th November 2010, 01:15 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapier

Because one of the reasons for which I wanted to rip out an application from the ROM is to gain some more space... By using overlay system, as I understood, you're practically duplicate the whole system to make it accessible for writing so I don't know if you gain some more space. Eventually you'll have less. Or, if that space is on the sdcard, that does not suit me also cause as I know, is working slower from there. Anyhow, I don't want to detail this here cause we'll be off-topic.

As I understand it, the system folder is only linked so the phone believes it's on the SD-card. This should mean, no extra space is taken (except for the few kB that makes this possible). i could be wrong, but I use system overlay and I see no whatsoever decrease in performance. Not in benchmarks nor in usage.

If you are rooted - and dont want system overlay, I still think there is a better wway - ADB! just mount system, cd to system/app, ls it and rm whatever apps ypu dont want.. no need for multiple reboots - quick and effective
12th November 2010, 01:40 PM   |  #9  
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adb way might be quicker but it might prove to be ineffective (at least for me it was). In order to remove an application, you must check its filename (with ls command). I've tried to remove Facebook and Twitter applications using adb remove and guess what...they're still there. I admit I might have done something wrong, what I'm saying is that through this new method described above, someone is able to remove an appl by chosing it from a list. For the ones that don't feel so confortable using adb, this is an alternative

Sent from my Legend using XDA App
12th November 2010, 01:48 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapier

adb way might be quicker but it might prove to be ineffective (at least for me it was). In order to remove an application, you must check its filename (with ls command). I've tried to remove Facebook and Twitter applications using adb remove and guess what...they're still there. I admit I might have done something wrong, what I'm saying is that through this new method described above, someone is able to remove an appl by chosing it from a list. For the ones that don't feel so confortable using adb, this is an alternative

Sent from my Legend using XDA App

When it comes to ADB, you must write the filename exactly as it is, if you want to remove Facebook.apk you must rm Facebook.apk, not facebook.apk or just rm Facebook*

What I do, I ls all files, copy the filenames I want to remove into into a txt file. ex. "rm facebook.apk Torch.apk voiceDialer.apk AndroidTerm.apk" and so on. When I flash a new rom, i just copy that file string and remove em all with that one command ofc. I ls it after and check if there is anything new I want to remove, but I get rid of most of it in a few seconds. (good tip!)

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