Bloatware

gamul1

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Sometime in the past month or two the tablet must have self installed some extra bloatware. One in particular is incredibly annoying. Its called "Recommended Apps". When I wake up my device it often has taken over the whole screen with a giant ad for crappy games I would never install. It also provided notifications multiple times a day about apps it thinks I should download. It has a menu on the wake up screen where I tell it to turn off and it asks me to confirm, but it never turns off.

When I go into Settings and and find the app under the application manager it wont let me turn off notifications, uninstall or even disable it.

Short of rooting the device, is there a way to kill this obnoxious app?
 

gamul1

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Interesting - I wasnt aware of that path to that. In any case - no, that app is not shown in that list of apps. Its filtered out. Its either only showing apps I can change that setting, or Samsung is blocking it from showing up there.
 

B. Diddy

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I wonder if what you're seeing is a non-TouchWiz or non-Samsung bit of adware. Does it happen in Safe Mode as well? verizonwireless.com/support/knowledge-base-185057/
 

Dale_M

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Did you install anything recently and did it bring along the app in stealth mode and install it without your knowledge...

Dale
 

nahoku

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Sounds more like adware than something Samsung would install (although I'm just presuming this!). Perhaps the app has Admin rights. Did you check Settings > General > Security > Device Administrators to see if the app is there... if so, deactivate it and then see if you can uninstall it in App Manager. If this doesn't work, start the tablet in Safe mode as B. Diddy has mentioned and see if you can uninstall it then. (reposted direct link to Safe mode for B. Diddy)
 

B. Diddy

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Thanks for putting the direct link, nahoku! The reason why I usually post the URL without the "www" part for Verizon links is that for some odd reason, the AC desktop forums software converts those links to some long-winded URL that starts with "forums.androidcentral.com," and I get a little worried that people might be hesitant to click on it. I'll show you what I mean: https://forums.androidcentral.com/e...support/knowledge-base-185057/&token=46LwAkrm

Probably better to embed the link like you did.:)
 

gamul1

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Thanks everyone for the great tips. I'm not fully certain how best to take advantage of all of it though.

The pop up appears semi random. I get two kinds of "alerts". The standard notifications in the notification bar telling me about some great app I am missing out on. Slightly annoyed but easily dismissed. The next the wake up from sleep screen that once I swipe the screen to wake it, there is a full page Ad there telling me about some app I can get from the app store. This one I find highly annoying and frustrating. It has a menu that seems to imply I can turn off those notifications, but it just ignores me and tell me again.

Each of these may appear one to five times a day. If I start the device in safe mode, I'm not really sure if it not happening means something as it could simply be a timing thing of it just didnt happen then.

I'm not clear if I recently installed an app. I am not aware of a way to sort my app listings by install date. I apparently can sort by name, or by size. Too bad they dont have an option for install date sorting. Any 3rd party app that would tell me that? (ha ha, sort of funny to install a 3rd party app to potentially take care of a 3rd party app problem).

Under Device administrators - There are two listings:
  • Android Device Manager
  • Cisco WebEx Meetings

The 1st one is checked but this looks like some sort of official admin setting. I can disable it - but should I? It says its privileges are to: Erase all data, Change the screen-unlock password and lock the screen. The Cisco one is not checked, is that still a problem?

I'll restart the device in safe mode and see what happens. Just not sure what the results will really mean.
 

gamul1

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I could not get the safe mode dialog to pop up using the Verizon method. Nothing happened. After pressing the power button to get the power down option. Pressing and holding the power off option.

I did find this alternate method which worked for getting me into safe mode.
https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-28805

I'll let you know how the safe mode option goes.
 

B. Diddy

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When you get one of those notifications in the notification bar, swipe down the notification panel and look for it there. Long-press it, which should show you information about the app that's generating the notification.
 

gamul1

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So - I waited all day and into the evening in Safe Mode and there were no notifications from this app or wake up screen ads. I think I would have had something by then but because its semi random I dont know. I gave up and went back to normal mode as I needed to use my device.

Shortly after using it and putting it down, I went to use it again and at that time I had a notification. I did the long press on it and the offending App was a "Go Keyboard" app that I downloaded probably 1.5 to 2 years ago, but havent really used. I think I switched to it a couple months ago just to use their emoticons while goofing off in a game with friends. That may be about the time the problem started but not sure. But because I dont use this keyboard really I opted to completely delete it from my system.

No notifications since then but its still early.

I did however have a odd pop up about freeing disk space. Hadnt seen this one, or one like it. It did appear upon wake up, but wasnt a full screen ad like the others. a small pop up type. Bears watching.

Will update later with any new ads or if there are none.
 

B. Diddy

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Good catch! There are a few other keyboard apps I've heard of that also serve up ads, like TouchPal and Flash Keyboard. The disk space freeing could be related to an antivirus or "cleaner" app -- do you have any of those installed?
 

gamul1

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I have "ES File Explorer" installed, and in the past after installing a new app it has come up telling me about files size of new apps and if I want to move them to the SD card. That was just a standard notification, I knew what it was and wasn't bothered by it. This was different in that it was a pop up looking screen with an X in the corner. But only took up about 20% of the screen. The message made me think of the ES File Explorer in similarity of message but the pop up nature made me wonder about the earlier annoying full screen wake from sleep ads. Couldnt find a way to see the source though.

Will see. No messages since last update.
 

gamul1

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OK - Its been a couple days now and I am starting to feel enough time has passed to declare victory in this battle for control of my device. Since uninstalling Go Keyboard, there have been zero wake up ads taking over my screen.

Only one notification bar ad was seen early yesterday and thanks to B. Diddy's tip on the long press on the notification, I quickly learned it was the YouTube app that sent it. Feeling like there was no reason for me to be hearing from YouTube, especially for ads, I disabled notifications from that app and its been quiet since.

Just want to shout out a big thanks to all on this board, with special call out to B. Diddy and nahoku for educating me on some new stuff. Appreciate the help guys. You helped me get control of my device again and stop feeling frustrated.
 

Dale_M

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ES File Explorer is going commercial as in "pay for" app vs old style free, ES File Explorer wants you to go from free version to paid for version and the are doing it by adding obnoxious ads...

I dumped ES File Explore for AMAZE and eliminated the ES F-E ad problems...

Dale
 

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