Choosing a new cell phone often entails searching for a phone with more available storage space than your previous phone. However, advertised storage space on a phone, especially on an Android phone, can actually be much more than what is actually available for use on the phone. This is due in part to the fact that Android phones often come preloaded with a large amount of apps and software referred to as Bloatware. Bloatware generally refers to pre-loaded proprietary apps that carriers install on their devices. These apps can quickly suck up any available storage space, but thankfully they can be removed with a few easy steps.
Identify And Remove Unnecessary Apps
The first step in the process of eliminating bloatware is actually differentiating between essential and nonessential apps on your phone. Some apps are necessary for the smooth functioning of the phone and should not be eliminated because they will disable essential functions The best test to differentiate between essential and nonessential apps is to go through your phone and identify which apps you use on a regular basis and which apps you use rarely to never. Also, in the case of apps you use only seldomly, ensure that these apps can be downloaded from the Play Store in case you delete them and then decide you would actually like to use again.
Non-Rooted Android Devices
Sadly, there is not currently an option to remove Bloatware from non-rooted Android Devices (non-rooted refers to devices sold by carriers that do not generally have a work around that allows you to completely remove apps that were preloaded by your cell phone carrier) completely, however these apps can be disabled and hidden through a fairly simple process.
First, go to Settings and the Apps on your Android device and then select the app you would like to disable. Then, on the app info page, choose “Disable.” This will bring up a window that informs you that by disabling this app, other apps on your phone may start malfunctioning. Then, you will see a window that asks if you would like to return this app to the factory version settings.
If you are using the 6.0 version of Android Marshmallow, then simply disabling the app will also allow you to simultaneously remove the app data. If you are using an older version of the Android system, you can easily remove the app data by going to App Info, then Storage, and then selecting “Clear Data.” In order to ensure that all of the app’s data is completely cleared from your phone, be sure to also select “Force Stop,” “Uninstall Updates,” and “Clear Cache.”
To check whether or not you have successfully disabled the app on your phone, make sure that the app is no longer located in your Android app drawer and that the app is using a much smaller amount of data on your phone. You can also check by going to Settings, then Apps, and then selecting the “All apps” drop-down menu and choosing “Disabled,” which should bring up a list of all of the apps that are currently disabled on your phone.
If your phone runs on a much older version of Android, you may not actually have the option to disable apps, in which case you may actually have to root your device in order to access more storage space. Also, to enable these apps again, simply select a disabled app in the app info page and reselect “enable.”
Rooted Android Devices
If you are using a rooted Android device, you can easily remove system apps and pre-installed apps by using an app designed to purge devices of Bloatware. NoBloat is a free Android app that can be downloaded from the Google Play store and allows you to quickly and easily get rid of unnecessary apps that are wasting space on your phone. Though there are many apps that can purge your rooted device of Bloatware, NoBloat is particularly great because it also allows you to make back ups of the apps so that if your device is negatively affected by deleting a particular app, you can easily restore said app.
The process of removing Bloatware using the NoBloat app is very simple. First, open the NoBloat app and go to the “System Apps.” Within the “system apps” list, choose the apps you would like to remove by tapping on their titles. When you tap on an app’s title, you will be given the options to “backup and delete,” “backup,” “delete without backup,” or simply “disable.” As mentioned above, I would advise to first “backup and delete,” to ensure that if any other apps are disturbed by the deletion of that particular app, you can then easily restore said app. If you choose to backup an app, you will need an SD card within your device. Again, NoBloat is one of the preferred apps for removing BloatWare because it makes the deletion process as easy as hitting a button.
Enjoy The Free Space!
After you have successfully removed the Bloatware from your phone (rooted devices) or at least disabled several system apps (non-rooted devices) enjoy the newfound free space on your Android device! This freed up space will not only mean that you have more room to save adorable pictures of your loved ones, but should also mean that your device will be running more quickly; enjoy!