One of the main reasons why most Android devices perform slowly right out of the box is because of numerous apps or their processes running in the background. Most of these apps come pre-installed on Android devices, and will run in the background even if the user never starts the app. Worse, since these apps are system apps they cannot be uninstalled by the user to free up precious resources on his or her Android device. These system apps are popularly known as ‘bloat’ in the Android world. The only devices that don’t come with any kind of bloat are Google’s own Nexus devices. Otherwise, every OEM makes sure to fill his device with tons of useless apps that only slow down the device.
While background apps taking up resources may not be an issue on quad-core Android devices with oodles of RAM, it can be a major issue on low to mid-range Android devices where RAM and processing power are already at a premium.
What exactly are System apps and why cannot I uninstall them?
In a nutshell, System apps are located in the /system/app folder in Android. Usually all the important apps required for the phone to function properly are located here like the Android browser, Contacts app, SMS app and more. No app can be installed or uninstalled by a user to the /system/app partition because the user only has Read access to it, and not Read/Write.
An app can only be installed or uninstalled from the /system/app directory by OEMs or users with root access.
If you are tired of your Android device constantly running low on RAM or randomly freezing for a few seconds, it is highly recommended that you free up some resources by uninstalling or freezing some unneeded system apps. While, the additional resources freed by uninstalling or freezing system apps might not take your phone’s performance to the next level, it will definitely bring about a noticeable boost especially under load.
How To Freeze Or Uninstall System Apps/Bloat On Android Devices
Before proceeding with the steps below, please keep in mind that you need to have root access on your Android device. At the moment, it is not possible to uninstall or freeze system apps without root access.
Step 1: Download the free version of Titanium Backup from the Play Store. Titanium Backup not only allows users to uninstall or freeze system apps, but also backup their installed apps.
Step 2: Start Titanium Backup, and grant it Root access when the SuperSu or Superuser dialog box pops up. After that, wait for Titanium backup to scan your device and load all the data. Once done, press the ‘Backup/Restore’ tab on the top.
Step 3: Under the ‘Backup/Restore’ tab, Titanium Backup will list all the apps installed on your phone including the system apps. All the system apps are highlighted in red color, while the user apps are highlighted in white.
Step 4: Now, from the list find the system app that you want to freeze or uninstall, and tap on it. Then, select either ‘Uninstall’ or ‘Freeze’ depending on what you want to do. The ‘Freeze’ option will not uninstall a system app, but instead ‘freeze’ it so that it does not run in the background and take precious resources.
Do not go berserk and freeze or uninstall all system apps. Most of the system apps are required for normal functioning of the phone, and if you accidentally freeze/uninstall an important process, your phone might just enter into a boot loop.
Users can also find a list of apps and processes that they can freeze or uninstall on their phone without any issues via just a simple Google search.