Can anyone think of a workaround for deleting a built-in app in Android?

Vishal Bhoj vishal.bhoj at
Fri Jan 27 15:08:19 UTC 2012

On 27 January 2012 19:53, Tony Mansson <tony.mansson at> wrote:

> Hi,
> Can anyone think of a workaround for deleting a built-in app in Android?
> All the apps in our builds get the status of "built-in" as opposed to
> "downloaded". This makes them impossible to uninstall.
> If we want to debug one of our apps with DS-5 CE, we must allow it to be
> uploaded and installed by DS-5. That's how this tool works.
> You can't install the same app twice and you can't delete a built-in app.
> So we need to remove the app to be debugged from the build which is
> inconvenient.
> You may have to mount /system/app writeable (which I think is OK for a
> developer edition like Linaro Android, it could be a build option?) and
> muck around in the database yourself since neither adb uninstall or the
> Settings app is keen on removing a built-in app. Can it be done?
> It can be fixed in 3 ways:

1. Fix the DS5 plugin to run upload it similar to reinstalling app: the way
adb install -r XYZ.apk .
2. Before booting the image, Mount the system partition on host machine
and  delete the APK from the system partition.
3. Boot the device and then run following commands:
#adb remount          (Mounts the system partition in rw mode)
#adb shell rm /system/app/XYZ.apk   (This would delete the apk and
uninstalls the apk)
Then upload the apk with DS5 CE. It should work.

> /Tony

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