How to Disable Stock Apps in Android ICS

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Almost all the factory sealed Android phones come with some pre-installed applications like office suite, Google Talk and other such apps. These apps come installed as system applications, and as long as you are not a root user, there’s no way you can uninstall them from the device.

If your Android is running on the latest ICS version then you can disable these stock apps easily using the device settings. The feature of disabling the apps was introduced in ICS and was not a part of the earlier versions of Android.

There could be many reasons one might want to disable the stock apps. For example, since I use Go Contacts and Go SMS as my default contact and SMS manager, I don’t require the stock applications to run in the background. Furthermore, few days back after I started using the eBuddy multi-messenger client for Android and hence I disabled the Gtalk app as well to take care of the multiple sign-in problem.

Note: Please do not disable crucial apps like Google Play Store. It will hamper the behavior of all the related apps.

Disabling Stock Android Apps in ICS

Step 1: Open your Android device settings and navigate to the Applications (Apps) section.

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Step 2: In the Apps section, open All tab. Some devices, which have a smaller screen resolution might have to swipe the screen from right to left to see the tab.

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Step 3: Search for the app you want to disable and select it to open the app’s detail page.

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Step 4: On the app’s detail page, hit the Disable button to permanently disable the app. Confirm to the warning popup message saying that other related app might misbehave to make the changes.

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Note: You will see the disable button only when you are trying to modify a stock app. If the app was installed using the Google Play Store or from any other 3rd party source, you will see the option to uninstall instead.

As soon as you disable the app, it will no longer be functional. In fact, it will be completely hidden from the app drawer of your application launcher, and you will no longer feel it ever existed on your phone.

If you wish to enable the app in future, you just need to select the Enable button in the app details page from the All App Info section.

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Note: By default, all the applications are sorted in alphabetical order, but after you disable an app it will be sent to the bottom of the list thus making it easier for you to spot the disabled app.

My Verdict

Though disabling a stock app restricts the application activity and hides it from the application drawer, it does not free any space on your internal ROM. Still, I feel it’s better to disable the apps we never use and are only hogging the system resources.

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  • Prefer Tablets

    I did but its seems there is something wrong.. I should try again

  • zotzotzot

    I don’t use the stock email program, but when I disable it, I get repeated messages that the TuxEmailService has stopped (think that’s the name, don’t have that msg up right now). Does anyone know any way around that?

  • gopzzz

    instead of disabling the stock app, we can very well uninstall it. much easier and effective to uninstall rather than to disable

    • Shaun Hill

      Also much easier to corrupt your system ROM this way. I just did this (uninstalled system bloatware using Titanium Backup) and had to re-run RUU because process.acore kept crashing.

  • john

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but disabling ‘talk’ doesn’t work-I sent myself a chat invitation from a dummy gmail account and a Google talk chat request showed up on the notifications bar

  • lios

    Note: By default, all the applications are sorted in
    alphabetical order, but after you disable an app it will be sent to the
    bottom of the list thus making it easier for you to spot the disabled
    app.

    thanks a lot man.. been battling all day to restore my disabled apps…. this info solved ma problems

  • Desra

    I have ICS, but this doesn’t work on my phone. All apps that have a disable button, also have it grayed out and it won’t do anything if I click on it. :(

  • Reidmere

    Google talk still gives alerts when you receive a message, even when disabled. This means obviously it’s still connecting and doing something I don’t want it to, even if I check to disable alerts from the program. The fact I still get alerts, means it’s still running somehow.

  • Heaven

    yeah because disabling is soo hard retard, show us how to remove them instead