Droid Bionic: Apps That Are Safe To Remove Once Rooted

Cory Streater

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Updated 9/12/2011 - Added warnings not to remove certain apk's to avoid bricks. Added Google Books, Arc Video Editor and FM Radio to the safe list.

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 Bionic system app files can be downloaded from here. See notes below if you need to reinstall something from this zip.

This list is based on the Droid 3 procedure and is 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. Please post in this thread if you have removed other apps and have a high level of confidence that they do not break things (e.g., force close loops or a significant number of crashes). I know there are other sites reporting success with other apps, but I will not add them until I am totally convinced they are okay. In particular several of the Motoblur apps.

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.
  • Do not remove any file starting with VzWBA (related to Verizon Backup Manager). Your Bionic may possibly croak. It has happened in the past, so until I get further verification that removal does not cause issues, I am not placing it in the safe to remove category.
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

[WARN]No matter what do not remove the following:
  • ToggleWidgets.apk
  • vzwapnpermission.apk
  • vzwcontroller.apk
  • vzwdevicesetup.apk
  • vzwentitlementservice.apk
  • vzwphoneservice.apk
  • YahooContacts.apk
[/WARN]

Now for the The List(s):

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 KB​

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

IMPresence.apk|IM Client|
145 KB​

FMRadioService.apk | FM Radio |
145 KB​

ArcVideoEditorLite.apk | Video Editing App |
706 KB​

BooksPhone.apk | Google Books |
2.2 MB 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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Re: Droid 3: Apps That Are Safe To Remove Once Rooted

Below is a procedure for moving that pesky bloatware. It was written for the Thunderbolt but the steps are the same for the Bionic. 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
 

Cory Streater

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Re: Droid 3: Apps That Are Safe To Remove Once Rooted

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
 
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moosc

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Hey any one who's used Motorola droids knows about teamblackhat well the apologize got a toolbox that is easy for removing and restoring bloat and 10% increments in battery.
 

largeselection

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I've frozen the backup assistant and backup assistant client apps with titanium backup with no issues. When you list those on the "do not remove" list, does that include freezing? Or only moving those to the SD card as you've indicated?
 

voc627

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The night before the official release I rooted and starting deleting bloat before some of these lists were posted using Titanium Backup. One of those apps was "My Accounts 2.3.4". I had made a backup before deleting but to my displeasure it would not restore. Fortunately I had already finished all my account syncs but it would be nice to be able to fix this problem. Suggestions or am I SOL until I get an sbf?

The app package "com.motorola.blur.setup"
 

Cory Streater

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I've frozen the backup assistant and backup assistant client apps with titanium backup with no issues. When you list those on the "do not remove" list, does that include freezing? Or only moving those to the SD card as you've indicated?

I'm only nervous about Backup Assist because removing it bricked people's Droid X's. I think I've heard from enough people though that I'm going to move it to the safe to remove list. Freezing is cool too.
 

Cory Streater

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The night before the official release I rooted and starting deleting bloat before some of these lists were posted using Titanium Backup. One of those apps was "My Accounts 2.3.4". I had made a backup before deleting but to my displeasure it would not restore. Fortunately I had already finished all my account syncs but it would be nice to be able to fix this problem. Suggestions or am I SOL until I get an sbf?

The app package "com.motorola.blur.setup"

Did you try download the full zip of app files listed in post #1 and then restoring it per my procedure?
 

titot4u

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Hey any one who's used Motorola droids knows about teamblackhat well the apologize got a toolbox that is easy for removing and restoring bloat and 10% increments in battery.

Indeed... I installed the tranquility app tool from tbh and it removed 99% of the bloatware. This is still an awesome writeup by Cory and I definitely urge newbs to study the procedure as a good learning experience.

Nice job Cory and keep up the good work :D
 

Grape Drank

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I have only had bad experiences with removing applications from moto roms. I started freezing apps because when removing apps it would make OTA updates not work and I would need the sbf to actually get the update. Granted, this has been all on AT&T moto devices with real motoblur. I do not know if the droid bionic would be effected by this or not. The nice thing about the AT&T bloatware, most of it is uninstallable.
 

lehthanis

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I've successfully gotten rid of the following:

BooksPhone.apk - google books
Music.apk - I replaced this with Google Music
Videosurf.apk - Video identifyer program?

Cory, anyone, do you know how to get rid of the VCast Media Manager?
 

lehthanis

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I found it...it was NewBayVault.apk

Can't freeze...didn't pay for Titanium. I prefer my BloatLocker method anyways. keeps the files out of /system/app, keeps me from havign to rename anything. Just copy it back and reset the permissions.
 

Cory Streater

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For those that are using freeze/lock programs, you do realize nothings occurring unless you start them up or they start on their own when powering up?

Re: Social Location... I believe it's integrated into the contacts app and aggregates your social feeds. I wouldn't be the first to remove it.

Re: TBH... Does it allow you to go down a list of apps and check the one's you don't want? That's always been the reason I like to use Root Explorer to move (not delete!) apps to the SD card. There might be a few apps that I don't consider bloat and don't want to move.
 

2defmouze

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Anybody try removing Social Location? It's using up my battery even when the phone is completely idle.

Brandon

I froze it using Titanium Backup.. along with everything else Cory and others have verified you don't need.

IMO I don't know why anyone wouldn't use TB to simply freeze all the bloat and junk they don't want. Just sounds so much safer than deleting stuff, and you don't need to memory space cuz you have plenty on bionic. So glad I took the plunge and rooted to get rid of all that junk.

To those who don't want to pay for the full TB... dude.. you just spent something like $300 on the phone plus whatever accessories. Cough up the $6 for the program its just so simple to use and great to know that if you freeze something you need by accident you can quickly unfreeze it without having to worry about moving back from your SD card or worse if you actually deleted it.
 

Ghost070

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I removed Togglewidget. (well actually I moved it from /system/app to /bloatware but somehow that folder was deleted. bionic delete it automatically?)

Tried putting back on from the original provided in the post and restarting the phone, but it doesn't show up in the launcher to add the widget to home screen. I've set the permissions correctly per the post and I've tried 'installing' it but it fails.

Any ideas?

P.S. the date on all the apps in the /system/apps folder is Aug 15 with the exception of the Toggle widget which is Aug 12. Does that matter? Different version?

Using Root Explorer
 

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