A very handy but underrated feature in Google’s Android 4.x operating system is the ability to disable apps. Disabling apps is a way to basically freeze and hide any unused, unwanted, or unruly system apps that came on your phone (ie: ones that you can’t uninstall). This feature might come in handy if your phone came stocked with a bunch of unwanted bloatware that you never use. If you’re sick of looking at those unused icons cluttering up your app drawer, you can simply disable them and they’ll disappear for good. Another reason you might want to disable an app is if it is causing problems for your system, whether it be battery drain or lag. A perfect example was Google’s Currents app that was causing lag for Nexus 7 users after the Android 4.2 update. Users simply disabled the app, and the lag immediately disappeared. Whatever the reason is that you might want to disable an app, it’s a pretty straightforward procedure. Read on after the break for instructions. To disable an app, you must be on Android 4.0 and up. If you are, then follow these steps:
- Open your main Settings menu
- Tap on Apps
- Swipe to “All”
- Find the app you want to disable and click on it
- In the top right you will see a disable button (if it says Uninstall instead of Disable, then it is not a system app, and you can just uninstall it like normal)
- Tap Disable
- Confirm by clicking OK on the pop-up dialogue
- Exit settings
- A reboot may be necessary, but more than likely won’t be
If you ever want to enable the app again, just follow the steps above and tap Enable at step 6.
A couple of disclaimers: 1) The steps might be slightly different depending on if your phone has a custom manufacturer skin (ie: Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, or HTC’s Sense), but should generally be close to this order. 2) Some system apps cannot be disabled. For example, an app called ConfigUpdater cannot be disabled, because it is a vital part of your phone functioning properly. 3) Some bloatware might not show the disable button. If that’s the case, tap uninstall updates. If it still doesn’t give you an option to disable, than either the app is vital or the carrier forced the manufacturer to block it. Still, this method should work for most apps.
Let us know how this guide worked for you and if you have any questions, just ask in the comments section! Good luck!