Do you think you know how to uninstall Android apps? You are wrong! In this step-by-step guide is the correct way to uninstall Android apps, leaving you with a clean phone or tablet afterwards. If you don’t do it the correct way you will sooner or later run into problems.

So what is the problem with uninstalling Android apps? It is similar to the problem you have on Windows PCs and Apple Macs, and it is the files that are left behind after the software is removed. Junk files from apps you have removed builds up and this leads to loss of storage space and file system clutter.

When you remove an app you should also clean up all the files it leaves behind too.

Related: Uninstall updates to fix problems on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5

1 Clear running apps

When you run an app and switch to a different one or return to the home screen, it is suspended in memory. This is so that it is quicker to switch back and the app can be restarted from memory without having to reload it. There is a button to show all the apps suspended in the background. On a Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5 for example, you hold down the home button for a few seconds. On other phones or tablets with on-screen buttons, it is the square one on the right.

Swipe away the app you want to uninstall if it is among the listed apps. I am going to uninstall Waze. Notice that 360 Security is running in the background too. This is important later on.

Uninstall apps

2 Go to Settings

Find the Settings app among the all-apps screen or pull down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon. Go to Apps or Application Manager (the name varies from device to device). On the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 you need to select the More tab at the top and then select Application manager.

Uninstall Android apps

3 Find the app

Swipe through the list if apps that is displayed until you locate the one you want to remove. Waze is down at the bottom as the list is in alphabetical order.

Uninstall Android apps

4 Clear caches and data

The App info screen has some very important controls that must be used in the correct order. First press the Force stop button to stop the app or any services it might be running. The tap the Clear cache button. This is temporary storage that apps use when they are running. Here it is only 36.00KB, which isn’t much, but some apps, such as Facebook for example, can use several megabytes.

Apps store extra information elsewhere, such as settings, usernames, login details and so on. This is listed as Data on the screen and here it is 628KB. Some apps use more and some use less. You don’t want it to be left when the app is deleted, so tap the Clear data button.

Uninstall Android apps

5 Uninstall the app

Finally, with the app stopped and the cache and the data cleared, the Uninstall button can be pressed. This removes the app, so go ahead and tap OK.

Uninstall Android apps

6 Clear the left-overs

Remember right at the start I had 360 Security running in the background. This app monitors the apps you uninstall and if any files are left over, it pops up with a message like this. Uninstalling Waze has left 20.12MB of junk files on the phone.

Just think how many apps you have installed and uninstalled, and how much junk may have accumulated on the phone or tablet. It builds up and eventually there could be sufficient junk files to cause storage problems. 360 Security has spotted the left-overs and tapping the OK button deletes them.

Uninstall Android apps

360 Security is not the only app that can do this and there are others, but it is one of my favourites at the moment. Get it from the Google Play Store or get another app that does the same thing and clean up those junk files.

RelatedReduce memory usage by uninstalling apps properly on Android