Problems with apps can be solved by uninstalling and reinstalling. Built in apps you can't uninstall can still be fixed. Here's how to do it

If you have a problem with your Android phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy S8, S7, S6 or earlier, how do you go about solving it? Hardware problems require a trip to a service centre, but software problems can often be solved.

(This article has been updated with an Android 7 section below)

If the problem is with an app, it might help to completely uninstall it and to download it from the app store again. That is fine for apps you have downloaded and installed yourself, but Samsung phones, and some others, come with a collection of bundled apps that you can't remove, so what do you do then?

There are things you can do to solve problems, even with apps you can't uninstall.

Even though you may have the latest version of an app installed, for some unknown reason, it may not work properly. Perhaps an update broke something or the latest version of the app is not compatible with your phone model. Pull down from the top to display the notifications panel and tap the gear icon, or go to the all-apps screen and tap Settings.

On an old Samsung phone running an old version of Android, press the More tile at the top and then Application manager. On a Samsung phone running Android 7, press Apps.

Android apps
Android 7 colour scheme is different, but the app listing is the same

Above is a list of apps and I have scrolled down to the Samsung apps section. Tap one of the apps, such as Samsung Music, and the App info screen is displayed. With most apps, there is an Uninstall button, but Samsung won't let you uninstall bundled software.

However, You can uninstall updates and if you are having problems with your phone, this can sometimes solve them.

RelatedStop auto-starting Android apps stealing memory and draining the battery

In fact, if you want to go a step further you can uninstall updates and then disable the app. This is useful for apps that are a duplicate of other apps. For example, you might use another music player, such as Google Play Music and you might not miss the Samsung Music app.

Uninstall Android app updates
This is different in Android 7 - see below

An example of this happened with Dropbox. This is a great app that I use all the time and it came pre-installed on my Samsung Galaxy S4. One day it stopped working and I couldn't get it to do anything.

The obvious thing to do is to uninstall it and download it again, but as it is a bundled app, there isn't an option to remove it. However, uninstalling all the updates put it back the way it was originally and it magically started working again.

Remove Dropbox updates
This is different in Android 7 - see below

If you uninstall all updates, the question is, should you then re-install all the updates and bring it up to the current version? It might be worth trying this and seeing what happens. After all, you can uninstall all the updates again if there is a problem.

 

Reset Samsung apps to factory version to uninstall updates

With Android 7 on your Samsung Galaxy phone, things look a bit different, but really they are quite similar. It is just a different interface. Go to Settings, Apps and select the Peel Remote for example. It it one of the built in Samsung-bundled apps.

If you have a problem with it (or if you simply don't want it), tap Force Stop and then tap Disable. You are asked if you want to replace the current app with the factory version. This uninstalls all updates, which might be what is needed to fix a problem.

Replace phone app with factory version

 

If you want to stick with an old version of an app, you need to turn off automatic updates or the system will simply add all the updates when the phone is idle. Go to the Samsung Apps app or Galaxy Apps as it is now called and press the menu button. Select Settings and tap Auto update apps. Disable it.

You can always run the app and check for updates manually by going to the menu and selecting Purchased. This enables you to choose the apps you want to update and to ignore the ones you don't

Samsung Apps settings
This works just the same in Android 7

The Google Play Store app has a similar auto-updates option and you can choose to enable or disable automatic updates. Pull the menu panel in from the left hand side and tap Settings, Auto update apps.

Select Do not auto-update apps. When you want to update apps, go to the left panel and select My Apps. A list of updates is displayed and you can choose to install the ones you want and ignore those you don't.

 

Comments   

-1 # Leatha 2015-01-12 15:52
My husbands phone will not stop trying to update Flipboard ""which he never uses" and since it is a pre-loaded app on the phone it can't be deleted..its been continually downloading ""arrow at top left" for abput 2 days now..
We have cleared Cache AND data..and force stop n turnex off..now its not showing tbis Flip board App in App manager..
We have also took battery out ""all night" because this constant downloading mess makes his battery super hot..
We are waiting to see if forcing stop n clearing Cache n Data yet again will stop the arrow on the top left of the phone..
For some reason before the App completely disappeared it didnt give us the options to uninstall updates and since its gone it still doesnt..
But waiting to see if last actions has stopped it or not..
With it constantly acting like its updating he cant get hardly anything to load..
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0 # Roland Waddilove 2015-01-12 17:14
I would have thought that Flipboard could be uninstalled because it is not part of Android and is an independent app (unlike the Samsung apps you get on Samsung phones). Go to Settings, Application Manager - if it is there you should be able to remove it. If it isn't, try a clean-up utility like Ccleaner, 360 Security, or Clean Master.
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+9 # anna 2015-02-20 23:58
Since updating to the new update on samsung galaxy s5 my phone is ridiculous, loses battery power so quick, can't send txts, and always having pop ups that something isn't working like the contacts! Ridiculous! How do uninstall an update? I want to go back to the old one.
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0 # Roland Waddilove 2015-02-21 07:24
Sorry anna, I am not aware of any way to revert an Android system upgrade back to its previous version. I think this is a one-way upgrade and is permanent. The only thing I can suggest is to keep checking for updates in case there is a minor bug fix update you can install, and update all your apps because old apps might not be compatible with the new version.

It is too late for you now but for anyone else, Android updates are not always for the better and I would decline any system update. Firstly, the new update might not be 100% compatible, and secondly, it might require more memory and processing power than is available. After an update the phone/tablet can be slow or buggy. Stick with the original Android.
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0 # Roland Waddilove 2015-02-25 09:18
I would try resetting the phone. Take a look at this article: http://www.rawinfopages.com/apps/index.php/android/110-reset-android-lollipop-to-fix-upgrade-problems
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+6 # kremi 2015-03-28 18:39
Hi,
I installed the latest actualization of the software and it's ugly as hell. Is there a way to return to the previous version?
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0 # Roland Waddilove 2015-03-28 18:43
If you uninstall all updates an app will go right back to the original version. If you update an app it will go to the latest version. There is no way to select a particular version, such as the previous one. It's the first or the last and that's it.
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-1 # seb 2015-04-06 13:40
seen ive updated up phone on samsung s4 i cant see or text anyone on message. is there a way to uninstall the new update? so i can re-install?
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0 # Roland Waddilove 2015-04-08 08:44
seb, do you mean you have updated Android? There is no way to uninstall an Android update. You should reset the phone to solve any problems. http://www.rawinfopages.com/apps/index.php/android/110-reset-android-lollipop-to-fix-upgrade-problems
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0 # Sue 2015-04-13 12:24
On my Samsung 5 don't have Samsung Apps only in app purchase.
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0 # grand 2015-04-15 18:19
I had installed app from browser but I after
Am.unable to use my mob .. I tried to
uninstall it but am.unable to do it.. even.had tried by
Opening app manager .. wen I select the app
To be uninstall ed am unable to do itt ... pl pl pll help me
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0 # Roland Waddilove 2015-04-15 19:19
If you cannot use your phone or uninstall the app, you will probably need to reset it. Try powering off and then turn it back on again. If that does not help, go to Settings, Accounts, Backup and Reset. Do a factory reset and everything is wiped clean. Sign back in to your Google account when the phone restarts and most things are put back as they were.
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0 # Alice 2015-04-27 06:52
My S5 keeps throwing me out of every application I after I installed the new update. I hate the new version, are we sure we can't uninstall it?
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+1 # Roland Waddilove 2015-04-27 09:12
Alice, I don't know of any way to uninstall an Android update. I have found that a factory reset is the best way to fix problems. Go to Settings, Backup and Reset in the Accounts section, make sure Back up my date, and Automatic restore, are turned on and tap Factory data reset. When the phone restarts almost everything is restored when you sign in to your Google account. The phone will run better after this reset.
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+3 # Jessica 2015-04-27 21:27
I have a Samsung Galaxy s4. And I need help. Device management pop up on my phone, and restart my phone or done something. And now it made my phone look different. The colors are different. Same with texting, contacts, internet, gallery, everything. I want to get it back to the way it was before.
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+3 # FrankieSue 2015-04-27 21:44
I did an update-and now mine has the problems you are describing-chan ge in color and format.
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-1 # Roland Waddilove 2015-04-29 13:39
Android 5 has a completely different colour scheme to previous versions. Unfortunately, there is no going back and you cannot change the colours. Launchers (search the Play Store for them) can make Android look very different and they can use new icons, new wallpapers and new colours.
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+5 # Kalie 2015-05-03 14:40
I have a Samsung Galaxy S5, I did the update an I hate it. Its ugly and bright as hell with the white behind your text. How do you uninstall an update step by step?
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-1 # elena 2015-05-13 07:39
I have an S4, and i cant. Connect to wifi , when i select wifi it turns a dull green but never actually turns on or pick up the connections.
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0 # fix apps problem 2017-07-07 12:12
hello sir /mam
yesterday i uptade my phone after update complete my phone some apps is highlight like camera ,galerry ,massage facebook icons and setting is totally change .plz tell me how can get same previous apps .how can come back previous softwear update .i am using A7 samsung glaxy phone .plz plz tell me .i really appriciate you if you fix my problem .
thanks
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