If you buy an Android phone from one of the major US carriers, several additional apps are included in addition to the apps that the manufacturer preinstalled. It’s all in the name of profit, of course. Some of these apps are from companies that paid the providers to distribute their software, and some are from the providers themselves, usually intended to sell you or perhaps collect some data.
The whole thing is, frankly, pretty disgusting. Take the T-Mobile app as an example. Most phones that come preinstalled won’t even allow you to uninstall the app using conventional methods. The “Disable” button is grayed out in your system settings and there is no option to delete the app. You must use ADB, which usually includes your computer and a command prompt, to remove it.
But thanks to a new feature added in Android 9 and completed in Android 1
What you need
- Android 9 / One UI 1.0 or higher (some models may need Android 11)
- Access to any WiFi network
- $ 3 to buy a great app from an independent developer
Step 1: Enable Developer Options
First, open the Settings app from your app drawer (the “All apps” list) and scroll down to the bottom. From here, select “About phone” and if you are using a Samsung, then tap “Software information”. Then tap the “Build number” item seven times in quick succession to unlock the hidden Android Developer Options menu. If you need more help, we’ve devoted a full guide to this part:
Step 2: Enable wireless debugging
Then go back to the main Settings menu and scroll down to the bottom to select the newly unlocked “Developer options”. If you don’t see it in the main menu, select “System” then “Advanced” to find the Dev Options menu.
Once inside, scroll down a bit (maybe a page length) and turn on the toggle switch next to “Wireless Debugging”. If you don’t see this option, it’s because some phone manufacturers have hidden it in their Android 9 and 10 builds. It’s no longer hidden on Android 11 devices. But if you don’t have one, your only option is to use a traditional ADB connection, then proceed to step 5.
Also note that this is the part where you need access to any Wi-Fi network. With the wireless debugging setting, you can only enable it when you are connected to Wi-Fi. The network is not being used (instead, you create a virtual network shell on your phone), so it could be literally any Wi-Fi access point, even one without internet.
Step 3: Install LADB
This is the part that actually costs a little bit of money. Instead of using the Wireless Debugging feature from a computer over Wi-Fi, you can use an app called LADB or Local ADB to create an ADB server on your phone and connect directly to it without a PC.
If you can’t use the Play Store’s billing system or you can’t afford to miss the money, you can visit the project’s GitHub page and compile the app from source, but be warned this is a complicated process. For everyone else, just grab the app from the Play Store from the link below!
Step 4: Connect to the virtual shell
Then you just need to connect the local host of LADB to the wireless ADB function of your phone. But depending on which Android version you’re on, that can be incredibly easy or a bit clunky. We’ll start with the clunky version (newer Android versions), so if you’re running Android 10 or lower you can to skip
Android 11 and above
As of Android 11, the new wireless debugging feature has been completed. That means it even has a good security system where you have to enter credentials to send commands, which complicates things in this case.
So when you first launch LADB on Android 11, you will see a popup asking you to enter the port number and pairing code. Since the popup in Settings showing the pairing code was meant to be read on your phone while typing it into a computer, the system will automatically change the pairing code as soon as it closes.
So you need to open your Settings app in split screen view to prevent the popup from closing. While LADB asks you for the numbers, go to the multitasking view and tap the app icon at the top of the card, then select ‘Split screen’. Then select the settings card from the mini multitasking view that appears to make this the second screen. Or if you are using Samsung, select “Settings” from the list.
Go back to from there Settings -> System -> Advanced -> Developer options or Settings -> Developer optionsand then tap the text “Wireless Debugging” (instead of the switch) to open the function’s submenu. From there, scroll down and tap on ‘Pair device with pairing code’.
Now it’s just a matter of copying the numbers. below IP address and port in the Settings pop-up window, you’ll see a string of numbers, then a colon, and then another number. The number after the colon is what you put in the Port field in LADB. Then the pairing code goes into the Link code box and you can tap “Okay” in LADB.
You will see a message in the LADB terminal that says “Waiting for device to accept connection.” This can take up to two minutes, so be patient. When the connection is complete, you should get a notification from the Android system saying “Wireless debugging connected”.
Android 9 and 10
If you are on Android 9 or 10 this part is so much easier. Simply open the app, check the box next to “Always allow” and select “Allow” when prompted to “Allow USB Debugging”. You will then be presented with the command line, ready to accept a command!
Step 5: Delete the T-Mobile app
Now you are ready to delete some. Long press the text in the code box below, choose “Select All” from the context menu and click “Copy”.
pm uninstall user --0 com.tmobile.pr.mytmobile
Go back to LADB and paste the above command into the input field at the bottom of the screen and hit Enter on your keyboard. You will see a “Success!” message and you will immediately notice that the T-Mobile app has disappeared from your system.
This method is permanent with two exceptions. First, you can reinstall the app by sending the command in the code box below. Two, if you ever factory reset your phone, it will be restored. Besides that, have fun with your less bloated phone!
pm install-existing com.tmobile.pr.mytmobile
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