Droid 3: Apps That Are Safe To Remove Once Rooted

Cory Streater

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Please read carefully and proceed with caution
If you are only looking for the lists, feel free to scroll down to them. That said, there is some very important info before the lists I would strongly encourage you read.

All original stock apps are available for download here.

This list has been created based on my prior experiences with a variety of devices. I am very confident that the Verizon Bloatware, Live Wallpapers, and Widgets listed below can be safely renamed/moved. That said, this is a new device with an updated version of Motoblur. If you do not want to be a test case, you should wait for others to confirm these apps are safe to remove. Do not throw stones at me if something goes wrong.

Before you begin:
  • Before you start making changes, I would strongly recommend backing up your device with a program like Titanium Backup (also in the market).
  • All of the files below are in /system/app.
  • The most popular file explorer for accessing and moving these files is called Root Explorer.
  • Do not delete files. Either:
    1. Rename them from <filename.apk> to <filename.apk.old>
    2. Read post #2 to learn how to move them. Historically, on other phones, OTA updates have failed if apps don't exist. The system folder had to be exactly the way it was when the phone shipped.
  • Before you rename or move an app in the /system/app folder, check the list below. If it is not listed, or you are unsure if it is safe to modify, please ask first. To be safe, I would only remove the apps listed below, until it is updated.
  • If an APK file also has an associated ODEX file, the ODEX can be renamed/moved also.
The following is a must read if you need to put an app back!

When you move an app (and ODEX if applicable) file, from /system/app to the SD card, the permissions change from rw-r--r-- (to) --rwxr-x. The owner/group changes from root/root to system/sdcard_rw. The app disappears from the app drawer and all is good.

Now, lets say you move them back for some reason:

  • When you move them back, the permissions remain what they were on the SD card.
  • The apps (e.g., VZ Nav) will not show up in the app drawer - even after a reboot.
  • You need to put the permissions back to rw-r--r-- and then reboot before they will show up in the app drawer again.
  • The owner/group of these files will remain system/sdcard_rw, but that doesn't seem to have any negative impact.
The best way to change the permissions - is to use Root Explorer.

  1. Move your apps from the SD card to your /system/app folder.
  2. If it isn't already, mount the folder as R/W
  3. Press down on the file you want to change the permissions on then select permissions from the popup. If you get an error that it isn't read/write, then you didn't mount the folder.
  4. Next, you should get a popup that allows you to change permissions. Change them as follows:
Required file permissions if you need to move something back:

Group|Read|Write|Execute

User|Checked|Checked|Not Checked

Group|Checked|Not Checked|Not Checked

Others|Checked|Not Checked|Not Checked


Now for the The List(s):


Do Not Remove:

Application​
|
Description​
|
Size (MB)​


|Total|
0​

Verizon Applications:

Application​
|
Icon Name​
|
Size (MB)​

VzWBAService.apk|VZ Backup Application|
NA​

VzWBAClient.apk|VZ Backup Application|
NA​

VzWBAClient.odex|VZ Backup Application|
NA​

VCASTMusic.apk|VCAST Music|
8.70 MB​

Quickoffice.apk|Document Edit/View|
5.60 MB​

NFLMobile.apk|NFL Games|
4.90 MB​

SkypeBourbon.apk|Skype|
4.70 MB​

Kindle.apk|Amazon Kindle|
3.60 MB​

vzw_vnav_DROID3_rel_PROD_signed.apk|VZ Navigator (Droid3 is not a typo)|
3.40 MB​

CitrixReceiver.apk|GoToMeeting Client|
2.70 MB​

CityID.apk|City ID City/State match incoming call|
2.67 MB​

VCASTVideo.apk|VCAST Video'sBand|
2.40 MB​

ZumoCast_1.0.17.apk|Streaming Media|
2.10 MB​

Swype.apk|Swype Keyboard|
2.00 MB​

VZWIM.apk|VZW Instant Messaging|
3.53 MB​

SlackerRadio.apk|Slacker Internet Radio|
1.30 MB​

Vvm.apk|VZW Visual Voicemail|
1.1 MB​

Blockbuster.apk|Blockbuster|
308 KB​

VCAST_TONES_4_5_7.apk|V Cast Ringtones|
912 KB​

VCast.apk|VCast Apps|
912 KB​

FileManager.apk|File management app (no root file access)|
460 KB​

gotomeeting-stub-1.0.74.apk|Goes with Citrix app above|
298 KB​

IMPresence.apk|IM Client|
145 KB​

Motoblur Widgets:

Application​
|
Icon Name​
|
Size (MB)​

WeatherWidget.apk|Weather|
3.70 MB​

BookmarksWidget.apk|Web Bookmarks|
106 KB​

ClockWidget.apk|Clock|
96 KB​

MessagesWidget.apk|Unified Messaging Widget|
284 KB​

NewsWidget.apk|News|
310 KB​

StatusWidget.apk|Status|
362 KB​

StickyNoteWidget.apk|Sticky Notes|
110 KB​

WorldClockWidget.apk|World Clocks|
574 KB​

Wallpapers:

Application​
|
Icon Name​
|
Size (MB)​

LiveWallpapers.apk|Live Wallpapers|
1.83 MB​

LiveWallpapersPicker.apk|Live Wallpapers Picker|
39 KB​

MagicSmokeWallpapers.apk|Psychedelic Magic Smoke|
229 KB​

VisualizationWallpapers.apk|VZ Navigator|
129 KB​

ForestWallpaper.apk|Forrest Wallpaper|
632 KB​

Other:

Application​
|
Icon Name​
|
Size (MB)​

VoiceSearch.apk|Voice Search|
2.2 MB​

Street.apk|Google Street View|
296 KB​

calculator.apk|Calculator|
128 KB​

GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk|Google Search|
632 KB​

HTMLViewer.apk|HTML Viewer|
12 KB​

Notes:
  • If you install another web browser (e.g., Dolphin) you can also move Browser.apk.
  • There will be others, I'm sure, but I won't be the first to try.
  • If there are additional apps that you have successfully renamed or moved, please post them in this thread.
Suggested alternatives for removed apps:
  • Instead of the built in browser use Dolphin HD.
  • Use Google Maps with Navigation instead of VZ Navigator.
  • Buy apps through the Amazon MP3 store instead of the VCast music app.
  • Convert movies using DVD Catalyst 3, then transfer to your SD card instead of using the VCast video app.
  • For file browsing try using Root Explorer.
  • Search the market for a free caller ID - instead of the subscription based CityID app.
  • Instead of the Verizon IM client search the Market for an IM client app and/or stick to the built in Gtalk application.
 

Cory Streater

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Below is a procedure for moving that pesky bloatware. It was written for the Thunderbolt but the steps are the same for the Droid 3. I use a file explorer called "Root Explorer" in this post because it's the most popular app when it comes to folder mounting and file manipulation. It's a paid app and will cost you a double tall latte.

Post #3 will walk you through the process of using a free app called Super Manager.

Steps 1 & 2: Download, install, and open Root Explorer:

Steps1thru3.png

Steps 3 - 5: Use Root Explorer to get to the bloatware:

Steps3thru5.png

Steps 6 - 8: Select the bloatware you want to move and click move (don't forget to read this first!):

Steps6thru8.png

Steps 9 - 11: Navigate to the sdcard -- where the bloatware will be moved to:

Steps9thru11.png

Steps 12 - 14: Create a new folder on your SD card -- to park those files -- and then paste/move them in there:

Steps12thru14.png

The Bloatware has been moved. Depending on which apps you moved over - you might get a few force closes:

steps15thru17.png

FinalResult.png
 
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Cory Streater

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File management using Super Manager. It's hard to argue with free, but I still love Root Explorer in the post above.

Steps 1 thru 3: Download, install, run, and setup Super Manager:

Steps1thru3.png

Steps 4 - 6: Enable and allow root:

Steps4thru6.png

Steps 7 - 9: By default, Super Manager opens the SD Card directory. You need to go up a few levels to the "Root" folder:

Steps7thru9.png

Steps 10 - 12: Now you're going to navigate to the /system/app folder and choose which apps to move (don't forget to read this first!):

Steps10thru12-1.png

Steps 13 - 15: Once you've finished selecting apps, you're going to navigate to the sdcard -- where the bloatware will be moved to:

Steps13thru15-1.png

Create a new folder on your SD card to move the files to:

Steps16thru18-2.png


Next you're going to paste/move the files:

Steps19thru21.png


congrats.png
 

vicw926a4

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Cory, you've done a great job organizing and displaying the instructions for removing the Bloat apps in the safest way possible.

I've often considered doing it on my Droid X, but every time I try to reason out why I should do it, I come up short, but maybe I'm just missing something in the underlying rationale for removing them, and maybe you can enlighten me. With what I've been able to deduce so far, it doesn't seem the potential benefit would outweigh, for me, the risks associated with the changes.

If I look at Menu/Manage Apps/All on my DX, I currently see 626MB used and 5.9GB free Internal Storage, so I appear to be swimming in unused app dedicated storage that I doubt I will ever fill. I don't think removing Bloatware would make a significant difference for Internal Storage.

When I check Menu/Manage Apps/Running, I don't see very many of those apps that I suspect could be related to the bloatware running and using my more precious RAM space, so I don't know if removing the bloatware would significantly improve the available RAM storage, and it's hard for me to see a benefit based on these data.

If I knew that some of those bloatware apps may run in the background, and are using some of my precious RAM and CPU cycles that somehow aren't reported in those displays, and that removing them would have any positive effect on my available RAM space and operating efficiency, I will do it in a heartbeat.
 

Cory Streater

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vicw926a4 - you and I are on the same page in your analysis of the lack of benefits in storage space on a device that has 5.96GB of usable storage space. But 626MB is over half a GB so definitely discount the savings, especially once you start accumulating a lot of emails with attachments.

I do it for several l reasons:

1) I fundamentally do not like them there. It's like having a bunch of junk lying around my house that I don't like or need and would rather not look at. It's my house and I should be able to do so if I want too.

2) I do not like seeing them in my app drawer. There are alternatives in the Market to use launchers to hide them, but I'm OCD and just want them off my device.

3) If you open your services list, there are several there that you should see. Skype is one, City ID another (although I think you can uninstall without rooting), I use Dolphin instead of the Browser app.

4) I see many of the programs listed as duplications that I install as alternatives to what they've pre-installed.

5) There are a few apps in that list that do not actually include the program. They are either trials or essentially links to go buy them.

Not being able to get rid of this stuff goes against what I fundamentally believe in, and there's a direct relationship to these apps and the reason why customers in Europe get their phones faster than we do. The carriers spend a bunch of time trying to integrate, test, and negotiate deals with the authors of these apps while we foam at the mouth in anticipation.

So, if none of this bothers you, then don't do it. It really is an unnecessary process in that case.

On a side note - if you do use a 3rd party launcher/homescreen replacement program, be sure and delete all the Moto widgets from your homescreen. Leaving them there WILL impact performance - assuming you do not root and get rid of them.
 

Blaksmyth

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Has this process been tested on the bionic yet? I would love to move all this vzw garbage that they installed on the phone.
 

vicw926a4

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.... But 626MB is over half a GB so definitely discount the savings, especially once you start accumulating a lot of emails with attachments.

Thanks for the clarification. Regarding Internal Memory, I can't speak for the D3, but on the DX, I haven't really seen anything like attachments or downloads go into internal memory, in fact I've been frustrated that the big open, and unused space won't fill up except for apps, it seems. After about 15 months, I managed to fill a bit over 1 GB, with mostly a boatload of my own downloaded apps, but since a hardware replacement, and reinstalling only apps I currently use, I'm back to that 626MB.
 

Masheen

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Hey Cory, I'm glad an administrator made a post for this. I have been using root explorer since my OG Droid and learned to use it pretty well. I've experimented with freezing a lot of bloatware and put a list together of apps that I have found safe to change their extension. I had a post over in another thread but I'm going to post it here because almost 2,000 people already read your thread in less than one day. The following is what I removed on my Droid X. 95% of the apps are the same on the Droid 3. I have confirmed all of the ones I froze to work by freezing them on my girlfriend's D3.

My removable app list is as follows:

Adservice.Apk - has something to do with ads, don't need this
Amazon
BackupAssistanceClient - Google has its own backup which doesn't run in background.
Blockbuster
BlurAlarm Clock - won't mess anything up. won't affect 3rd party clocks.
BlurCalandar - won't mess anything up . won't affect 3rd party calendars.
BlurSNMessagingEngine - If you don't use social messaging apps and stick to SMS.
BooksPhone - Google Books
BUAContactAdapter - Part of Backup Assistance.
CarDock
CItyID
ClockWidget
CMAS - Emergency Contact / Warning mechanism.
DLNA - If you don't use it.
Dock / DockService
DownloadProviderui - Coincides with stock browser downloads. If use 3rd party ie: Miren has its own.
FMRadioService - Radio.
FriendFeed - Social network bloat.
Genie Widget - Don't know but don't hurt.
Global Unplug - Notifies your phone via notification ring when phone is fully charged. runs in background.
GoogleQuickSearchBox - Google search box. Kind of buggy on some devices. I launch mine from browser.
HelpCenter - For noobs.
HomeSyncWizard - Don't know but don't hurt.
Kindle
LiveWallPapers/Picker - live wallpapers.
Madden
MediaSync - Pops when phone has media connection. Not necessary.
Messages.Widget - Messaging widget.
MotHSTCmd - Mobile Hotspot. I removed mine and still get free hotspot because of root...
MotoFMRadio - FM Radio.
My Verizon
NewBayVault_Market - Don't know but it has V cast symbol which I do not like.
PhotoWidget
Picotts - Removing this did nothing but removing tts.apk messes up turn by turn nav.
QuickContactWidget
QuickOffice - Useful but not needed.
QuickSMS - MAP function allowing quick text to incoming call when in another call.
Skype - Vzw preloaded one doesn't allow video chat, lame.
SocialMessaging - More social networking bloat.
StatusWidget - More social networking bloat.
StickyNoteWidget - Phone built in sticky notes.
SuggestionsRuleCheckerCore - Coincides with built in keyboard. I use SwiftkeyX. So I don't need this.
SuggestionsServiceScheduler - Same with built in keyboard.
Swype
Talk - Google talk.
Vcast
VoiceSearch
VpnClient - Don't know but don't hurt. Unnecessary Vzw apk.
VSuite - Doesn't hurt.
VVM - Visual voice mail. Unnecessary.
VZW Navigation - Verizon paid navigation. Got free Google one.
Weather - Built in weather service.
You Tube

Blur_Yahoo Messenger caused my stock SMS to force close.

Again no one has to remove all or any of these. I felt that this was the maximum amount of unnecessary Apk's that i was able to remove without compromising Android's necessary functioning.

I hope this helps a lot of you questioning certain processes and apk's.
 
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Cory Streater

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Thanks, dude. I'll get the list updated to include those that are missing from your list.

Very very much appreciate your additional list.
 

Masheen

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Thanks, dude. I'll get the list updated to include those that are missing from your list.

Very very much appreciate your additional list.

You're welcome. Great post.

Cory: ToggleWidgets soft bricks your phone.

I removed it once and it makes all of the widgets on all home screens disappear. Its not just the toggle widgets like it states. It's all of them.
 
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Cory Streater

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Delete Swype?? BLASPHEMERS!! :) Nicely done on the info - thanks!

Lol...

You're welcome. Great post.

Cory: ToggleWidgets soft bricks your phone.

I removed it once and it makes all of the widgets on all home screens disappear. Its not just the toggle widgets like it states. It's all of them.

Thanks. Updated that piece. Will add your other one's tomorrow.
 

hoffboy

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FYI Drippler is reporting that an update is in the works for the Droid III. I'll keep mine stock at least until after the update, but when it's time to clean it up, this thread will be a GREAT resource.

FWIW, my two major issues with this phone right now are:

  1. Major lag in camera between audible shutter click and actually taking the photo.
  2. Nervously flipping it open and closed eventually forces a fast reboot. VERY annoying.

~Matt
 

pcwelch00

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I moved the videosurf apk as you showed and it's gone from my /app directory but it still shows up in the file draw??? This is true of Vcast tones as well. Any thoughts???

(Thanks so much for the tutorial)
 

bgman512

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@ Cory Streater

Note on Pre cache and .dex files

I had trouble getting rid of My Verizon and ZumoCast - It seems if a few of these bloatware are Pre-cached in the /data/dalvik-cache/ they will still live even after moving/renaming their .apk/.odex counterparts. Clearing this cache removed them after reboot.

Dalvik-cache was made to fast load apps, It is okay to clear. It will respawn with apps that are found in /system/app/ and /data/app after reboot to once again fast load whats found.

Tested on Droid 3.

I'm still trying to figure out how to remove the Mobile Hotspot app =\
 

Shadowhawk109

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Cory, your link in "All original stock apps are available for download here." is broken.

I kinda was an idiot and deleted using Titanium Backup instead of freezing, and I'm trying to get back to page 1, so I could really use that link ;)
 

grandam3400

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@ Cory Streater

Note on Pre cache and .dex files

I had trouble getting rid of My Verizon and ZumoCast - It seems if a few of these bloatware are Pre-cached in the /data/dalvik-cache/ they will still live even after moving/renaming their .apk/.odex counterparts. Clearing this cache removed them after reboot.

Dalvik-cache was made to fast load apps, It is okay to clear. It will respawn with apps that are found in /system/app/ and /data/app after reboot to once again fast load whats found.

Tested on Droid 3.

I'm still trying to figure out how to remove the Mobile Hotspot app =\

I was having the same issue, but with Skype and Citrix. I cleared the cache as instructed (I think), and rebooted. I still show both in Apps Manager, and in Apps tray.

Any other ideas?

**Update: I went under each app in the apps manager and selected "uninstall updates". Both times it said "uninstall not successful", but after a reboot, they are gone!
 
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