Bloatware means apps added by the manufacturer, in this case Samsung, or carrier which take up memory and processing power on your phone. If your phone isn’t rooted, you can ‘t really uninstall these apps. You can only disable (or turn off) them.
When it comes to disabling bloatware, there are 2 questions you need to answer :
- Do you use these apps ?
- Are these apps essential to the phone’s operation ?
I’m sure you can easily answer the first question, but not the 2nd one. This is because there isn’t any official documentation available on this subject.
Fortunately, there are always some generous people out there who are trying to help. They tested things out and shared them on the forums. Here’s one thread on xda-developers forum that talks about the apps that are safe to disable/remove on the Galaxy Note 3 which is also applicable to Galaxy S4.
On this thread, there’s a link to a Google spreadsheet that shows you a list of bloatware and the information of whether they’re safe to be removed.
But having said that, use this information at your own risk and whatever it’s, try to disable each app one at a time. Once you have disabled the app, check that your phone is still working as it should before you disable the next one.
To disable bloatware on Galaxy S4, follow these steps :
- On your phone, go to home Settings > More > Application Manager > All
- Find and tap the app you want to disable.
- On the App info screen, tap Turn off.
- A warning prompt will appear to tell you that completing this action may cause errors in other apps. Tap OK. Note: The disable apps won’t appear in the app drawer.
- To turn it back on, go to home Settings > More > Application Manager > Turned Off, select the app you want to enable, then hit Turn on.
Note: Some essential system services or apps will have the Turn off greyed out so it cannot be disable.
Note: The steps here were written for Android 4.3 on a Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500). If you’re having a different model of Galaxy S4 or other version of Android, there’s a possibility that the steps and screenshots will be different.