Difficulty Level: Advanced User. Required Time: 20 Minutes.

Bloatware refers to unwanted apps that manufacturers or network service providers preinstalled on a mobile device. Bloatware takes away disk space and can slow down performance. More often than not, users rarely use all of the preinstalled apps on a device. Removing apps that are of no use to you will clean up your phone, give it more disk space, and leaves it with more memory to process the more important tasks.

Good to Know "Removing Bloatware frees a phone from unnecessary memory drain and makes room for apps you want and need"

The problem with Bloatware is that it cannot be removed from your Samsung Galaxy unless you have rooted the device. Once you’ve gained root access, the task is rather simple however. We’ll be using a powerful app called NoBloat, which is available as a free and as a paid version in this tutorial to combat Bloatware. The free version is enough to remove all unwanted apps. The paid version has an extra functionality which is shown in the last step of this guide.

Getting rid of redundant system apps does come with a risk. If you delete an app that is necessary for the phone to run, it may stop working. Perhaps you’ll get error messages when you boot the phone or it may not boot into Android altogether. That’s why we’ll take a careful approach so that you can restore your phone to a working state should something go wrong.

Before you start

Rooting: You have must rooted your Samsung Galaxy. If you are not familiar with rooting and its benefits, first read about it here.

Backup: You should have created a full system backup, called Nandroid backup, so that you’re able to restore your phone if something goes wrong. Learn how to create a Nandroid backup.

A Word of Caution GalaxyUnlocker is not responsible for any outcome on your mobile device as a result of rooting, flashing, or hacking it. You are fully responsible if your device gets bricked, which can happen if you do not implement procedures correctly. Rooting, flashing, and hacking may void your warranty.

Step 1: Install NoBloat

Download and install the NoBloat app from the Google Play store. Although the paid version is used in this guide, the free version is sufficient to follow the steps for removing Bloatware. Open the app and grant it Superuser rights.


Step 2:  Choose apps to remove

After you launched the app, tap on System apps in the main menu. These are all apps that Samsung and/or your carrier have preinstalled on the device. Some are vital for the system to run. Some others are Bloatware. What is truly Bloatware is defined by you however. Anything that you don’t want and isn’t needed for the system to run could be considered Bloatware. You have to work yourself through the list. Start with the most obvious ones that do not have the Android robot as a logo. Many of the apps with an Android bot may be needed for the system to run. You can try those last. For me personally, I never use the Yahoo! Finance and the Yahoo! News widget apps. So I’ll be starting with those first. Do not delete any apps yet. First we have to back them up in the next step!


Step 3: Backup Apps

Long-press the apps that you wish to remove and tap on Backup. You can never have enough backups so make sure you do this every time you wish to remove a system app. In case we need to restore the app, we can easily do this using the NoBloat app.


Step 4: Disable Apps

Instead of deleting an app altogether, you can disable it instead. This basically freezes the app and stops it from using memory. It does not provide more disk space however. If you disable an app, it will be moved to the Disabled apps section in the NoBloat app from where you can enable it again (tap the Back key and select Disabled apps to see all disabled apps). To disable an app, long-press it, select Disable, and confirm. Whatever app you choose, after you’ve disabled it, reboot your device to see whether things are still working correctly. It’s better to be safe than being sorry.


Step 5: Enable Disabled Apps

If you want to enable a disabled app again, go to the main menu in the NoBloat app, tap on Disabled apps, long-press an app, select Enable, and confirm. If the app does not appear again in the System apps list in NoBloat, reboot your device and it will appear again.


Step 6: Delete Apps

If you want to completely remove an app from the system, you have to delete it. Make sure to back up the app that you’re deleting first, as explained in step 3. From the main menu of NoBloat, tap on System apps, long-press the app that you wish to delete, select Backup and delete if you didn’t back up the app yet or select Delete without backup if you’ve already backed it up, and confirm. In this example, I’ll be deleting the Yahoo! Finance widget app from my smartphone. Whatever app you chose, after you’ve deleted it, reboot your device to see whether things are still working correctly.


Step 7: Restore Deleted Apps

If you need to restore a deleted app, go back to the main menu in the NoBloat app, tap on Backed up apps, long-press an app, select Restore, and confirm. You can also delete Backups from this menu if you wish. If the app does not appear again in the System apps list in NoBloat, reboot your device and it will appear again.


Step 8: Delete System apps

Warning: If you’re unsure of this step, skip it!

After you’ve removed Bloatware, you can go one step further and delete system apps (those that have the green Android robot as a logo). At this point you must create another Nandroid backup in case you need to restore your device. Things can easily go wrong here! Deleting those apps that have the Android robot logo may result in your device not working correctly or not booting up anymore. Before you delete any of these apps, search for their meaning on the web first by typing in the exact name. For example, if you want to delete INDIServiceManager, search the web for exactly this word and find out what the app is for. In case you have a Samsung Galaxy S3 or Samsung Galaxy S2, you can also refer to this list of safe to remove apps. This reduces the risk of having to restore your device from being bricked. Once you’re sure that you want to delete an app that has the Android robot logo, repeat the procedure outlined in step 6. After you’ve deleted an app, reboot your device to see whether everything is still working. If yes, repeat the procedure for other apps.

Step 9: Manage Blacklisted Apps

The paid version of NoBloat has one extra feature: Blacklisted apps. This is a list of all apps that you’ve deleted. You can export this list and import it again when needed. For example, if you need to restore or reset your device, export the Backlisted apps list and after you have your mobile back up and running again, you can import this list (through the NoBloat app) and then bulk-delete all the apps that you’ve previously deleted. This saves time if you want to remove Bloatware again. To export the list of Blacklisted apps, go to the main menu of NoBloat and tap on Blacklisted apps. Tap the Menu key and select Export settings. Likewise, if you need to import a list, select Import settings.


Conclusion

Removing Bloatware is a great way to free up processing power, to create more disk space, and to make room for apps that you truly want and need. Most Bloatware apps can be removed without much risk. Some apps, such as those system apps that have the green Android robot as a logo, should be treated with care. Before you delete systems apps, always create a fully system backup, called Nandroid backup, in case you need to restore your device from not working.

Personally, I’ve deleted every unwanted Bloatware app on my Samsung Galaxy S3. When I was unsure, I referred to an extensive list of apps that can safely be removed, which was created by username 1234568 on the XDA-Developers forum. The list was created based on a Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S2. It is not entirely complete but deleting apps that have been marked green will already give your device a mega boost. You can download the list here.