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Some of the apps that come with your phone can be safely removed without causing stability issues. They take up space and use resources that could be used for other things. Removing unwanted apps will theoretically make your phone run faster and smoother, plus, you can configure your phone just the way you want it.

Below is a chart that shows what apps might come pre-installed in CyanogenMod. You can delete any app that shows 'yes' under 'Remove'; However, if you delete an app, you will no longer be able to use its functionality until you reinstall it. So, for example, if you never listen to music on the device, it is perfectly safe to remove Music.apk. However, you will need to reinstall Music.apk if you ever do want to listen to music on your phone.

Backup apks

You should back up any apks that you plan to remove. That way, you can easily re-install them if you change your mind. You have two main options:

  • Nandroid backup from the recovery console, or
  • Manual backup with
$ adb pull /system/app/ ~/Desktop/app/

How to find applications

To find what apps are installed on the device, you will need to run the following, either in adb shell, or the device's term:

$ ls /system/app

or

$ ls /data/app

You can also list installed packages using the package manager, either in Terminal Emulator or via adb shell:

$ pm list packages

To see a list of installed packages along with their associated files:

$ pm list packages -f

At a lower level, you can pull the packages.xml and the packages.list files using adb and examine them directly to determine what is installed and what the related .apk file is called and where it is stored. packages.xml will show you the package name and the .apk file installation path and name. In packages.list you can look up the package name and locate the data path. Both of these files will tell you a great deal more, these are the things that pertain to the present article.

$ adb pull /data/system/packages.xml
$ adb pull /data/system/packages.list

Generally, any apps you install from the market or otherwise manually install will be in /data/app, while any apps that come pre-installed will be in /system/app.

How to remove applications

Remember to watch the case of all files, directories, apk names, and package names!

Case matters. Example.apk and example.apk are two different things.

To remove applications you can use aps on the market Titanium Backup, ROM Toolbox Pro, ES File Explorer or do it through ADB First of all you restart adbd as root

$ adb root

ADB

/system apps /data apps
$ adb remount
$ adb shell rm -f /system/app/<apk name>.apk
$ adb uninstall <package name>


Term (on device)

/system apps /data apps
$ su
$ mount -o rw,remount /system
$ rm -f /system/app/<apk name>.apk

$ su
$ mount -o rw,remount /data
$ rm -f /data/app/<apk name>.apk
$ pm uninstall <package name>

How to reinstall applications

Change your mind? No problem! You have two options, depending on how you backed up your files:

  • Restore your Nandroid backup from the recovery console, or
  • Manually restore your app with
$ adb install ~/Desktop/app/<apk name>.apk

List of Default Apps for each version of Cyanogenmod

CM7 App list

<apk name> <package name> Remove Description
AccountAndSyncSettings.apk com.android.providers.subscribedfeeds no? Syncs settings to Google servers. Needed for Gmail app notifications.
ADWLauncher.apk com.android.launcher yes ADW System Launcher. Only remove if you have a second replacement home.
ApplicationsProvider.apk com.android.providers.applications yes? Fetches the list of applications installed on the phone to provide search suggestions.
Bluetooth.apk com.android.bluetooth yes Bluetooth app
BooksPhone.apk com.google.android.apps.books yes[1] Google Books application
Browser.apk com.android.browser yes Internet Browser

PLEASE NOTE: This is apparently a hard-coded requirement for Google Voice Search (along with Talk and Voice); without it, Voice Search will FC after recognizing speech. Having Dolphin, etc., installed will not work.

Calculator.apk com.android.calculator2 yes Calculator app
Calendar.apk com.android.calendar yes Calendar app / widget
CalendarProvider.apk com.android.providers.calendar yes Calendar sync
Camera.apk com.android.camera yes Camera app
CarHomeGoogle.apk com.google.android.carhome yes[1] Car Dock Search?
CarHomeLauncher.apk com.android.cardock yes[1] Car Dock Launcher?
CertInstaller.apk com.android.certinstaller no? (Web?) Certificate Installer. When removed, the WIFI will not be turned on (Automatically turned off).
ChromeToPhone.apk com.google.android.apps.chrometophone yes[1] Send links from Chrome to phone
CMParts.apk com.cyanogenmod.cmparts yes CyanogenMod Settings. Will FC if you try and access settings and this is not installed.
CMPartsHelper.apk com.cyanogenmod.cmpartshelper yes CMParts Helper?
CMStats.apk com.cyanogenmod.stats yes CyanogenMod anonymous statistics reporting service. Safe to remove, but will FC CMParts (CyanogenMod Settings) if you try and select the configuration options if it's not installed. (CMParts can be decompiled and edited to remove the menu options, but it's merely a cosmetic issue).
CMUpdateNotify.apk com.cyanogenmod.updatenotify yes CyanogenMod Update Notifications. Safe to remove, but will FC CMParts (CyanogenMod Settings) if you try and select the configuration options if it's not installed. (CMParts can be decompiled and edited to remove the menu options, but it's merely a cosmetic issue).
CMWallpapers.apk com.cyanogenmod.CMWallpapers yes Default CyanogenMod wallpapers.
com.amazon.mp3.apk com.amazon.mp3 yes[1] App that links to Amazon .mp3 store.
Contacts.apk com.android.contacts no Contacts app; the Call log, Contacts and Favorites screens
ContactsProvider.apk com.android.providers.contacts no Contacts sync
DefaultContainerService.apk com.android.defcontainer no Needed to install apps.
DeskClock.apk com.android.deskclock yes Clock and Alarm app
Development.apk com.android.development yes Development app
DownloadProvider.apk com.android.providers.downloads no Handles downloading files (Market, Browser, etc)
DrmProvider.apk com.android.providers.drm no Provides DRM functions, needed to access media files (including ringtones)
DSPManager.apk com.bel.android.dspmanager yes Digital Sound Processing
Email.apk com.android.email yes POP/IMAP email client
Facebook.apk com.facebook.katana yes[1] Facebook app
FileManager.apk org.openintents.filemanager yes IOFilemanager app
FOTAKILL.apk com.cyanogenmod.android.fotakill no? OTA Killer
Gallery3D.apk com.cooliris.media yes 3D Photo Gallery
GenieWidget.apk com.google.android.apps.genie.geniewidget yes[1] News and Weather Widget
Gmail.apk com.google.android.gm yes[1] Gmail app
GoogleBackupTransport.apk com.google.android.backup yes[1] Backup Mechanism for apps and settings?
GoogleCalendarSyncAdapter.apk com.google.android.syncadapters.calendar yes[1] Calendar sync
GoogleContactsSyncAdapter.apk com.google.android.syncadapters.contacts yes[1] Contacts sync
GoogleFeedback.apk com.google.android.feedback yes[1] ForceClose reporting
GoogleGoggles.apk com.google.android.apps.unveil yes[1] Google Goggles app
GooglePartnerSetup.apk com.google.android.partnersetup yes[1]  ???
GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox yes[1] Google search box
GoogleServicesFramework.apk com.google.android.gsf yes[1] Provides account / login information to Google Apps
googlevoice.apk com.google.android.apps.googlevoice yes[1] Google Voice
HtcCopyright.apk com.htc.copyright yes Puts "HTC Copyright" info in the Legal Information of the About Phone dialog. Useless and safe to delete.
HtcEmailPolicy.apk com.android.email.policy yes Email.apk uses this for a connection to a Microsoft Exchange email server. Without it a connection to Exchange 2007/2010 will not work as the exchange device policy is not accepted. An Exchange administrator can configure the policy to allow/disallow features and functions on the device. In case of loss or theft the device can be reset to factory default remotely to prevent unauthorized acces.
HtcSettings.apk com.android.htcsettings yes HTC Radio settings, probably better to leave alone but otherwise safe to delete
HTMLViewer.apk com.android.htmlviewer yes Used by browser.apk to filter HTML. ??? Doesn't seem to be needed.
kickback.apk com.google.android.marvin.kickback yes[1] Gives haptic feedback for some apps (accessibility menu option)
LatinIME.apk com.android.inputmethod.latin yes On-screen keyboard
LatinImeTutorial.apk com.google.android.latinimetutorial yes[1] Tutorial for on-screen keyboard
LiveWallpapersPicker.apk com.android.wallpaper.livepicker yes Live Wallpaper Selector
Maps.apk com.google.android.apps.maps no[1] Google Maps. Froyo depends on this apk, along with its associated dependencies (com.google.android.maps.xml, com.google.android.maps.jar), in order to access copy protected apps in the Android market.
MarketUpdater.apk com.android.vending.updater yes[1] Updates app list / download list in market? Needed by Vending.apk
MediaProvider.apk com.android.providers.media no Needed to access media files (including ringtones)
MediaUploader.apk com.google.android.apps.uploader yes[1] Share media from the Gallery with MMS, Bluetooth, Email, Picasa
Mms.apk com.android.mms yes Provides sms and mms (text) services
Music.apk com.android.music yes Music Player (and "Video" Player)
NetworkLocation.apk com.google.android.location yes[1] Provides network (cell) location (as opposed to GPS location)
OneTimeInitializer.apk com.google.android.onetimeinitializer yes[1] Runs on first boot. Conflicts with google app "Provision.apk".
PackageInstaller.apk com.android.packageinstaller no Used to manually install apks (i.e. non-market apks)
PassionQuickOffice.apk com.qo.android.htcgep yes[1] Allows Email/Gmail apps to open attachments
Phone.apk com.android.phone no Phone app; Dialer screen
PicoTts.apk com.svox.pico yes Text to speech. From SD data?
Protips.apk com.android.protips yes 'protips' widget
Provision.apk com.android.provision yes* Runs on first boot. Conflicts with google app "SetupWizard.apk". Okay to delete if loading the gapps zip.
QuickSearchBox.apk yes Search box? Need for search in Phone app.
RomManager.apk com.koushikdutta.rommanager yes Rom Manager App
Settings.apk com.android.settings no devices settings menu
SettingsProvider.apk com.android.providers.settings no Settings sync?
SetupWizard.apk com.android.setupwizard yes[1] Setup Wizard when you first use your phone.
soundback.apk com.google.android.marvin.soundback yes[1] sound feedback (accessibility option)
SoundRecorder.apk com.android.soundrecorder yes Sound Recorder app
SpareParts.apk com.android.spare_parts yes Extra 'settings' menu
SpeechRecorder.apk com.android.speechrecorder yes Records audio samples to test speech recognition
Stk.apk com.android.stk yes Sim Tool Kit; Required if you use SIM applications (like authenticatino, banking, PKI etc)
Street.apk com.google.android.street yes[1] Streetview for Google maps
Superuser.apk com.noshufou.android.su yes Remembers 'su' settings
SystemUI.apk com.android.systemui no Part of the system UI.
Talk.apk com.google.android.talk yes[1] Google Talk
talkback.apk com.google.android.marvin.talkback yes[1] voice feedback (accessibility option)
TelephonyProvider.apk com.android.providers.telephony no Phone sync?
Term.apk com.android.term yes Gives access to terminal
ThemeChooser.apk com.tmobile.themechooser yes Part of the T-Mobile theming app
ThemeManager.apk com.tmobile.thememanager yes Part of the T-Mobile theming app
Torch.apk net.cactii.flash2 yes LED Flashlight
TtsService.apk android.tts yes[1] Text to Speech. Needed by Google Navigator from Google Maps v5+. Otherwise, safe to remove.
Twitter.apk com.twitter.android yes[1] Native Twitter client
UserDictionaryProvider.apk com.android.providers.userdictionary yes Dictionary for LatinIME(keyboard) / Needed for LatinIME.apk to function
Vending.apk com.android.vending yes[1] Market app
VoiceDialer.apk com.android.voicedialer yes Voice dialer app
VoiceSearch.apk com.google.android.voicesearch yes[1] Voice Search for Google Search, Google Maps, etc
VpnServices.apk com.android.server.vpn yes Virtual Private Network app
YouTube.apk com.google.android.youtube yes[1] YouTube player

[1] NOTE: These are Google apps & are safe to remove as far as phone stability is concerned. Might break other Google apps if removed.


CM-10.1 App list (WIP)

<apk name> <package name> Remove Description Version
Apollo.apk com.andrew.apollo yes Apollo music player. Remove it when switching to another player. 1.1
ApplicationsProvider.apk ? no[2] ? ?
BackupRestoreConfirmation.apk com.android.backupconfirm no Restores sync'd Google settings. 4.2.2
Basicdreams.apk com.android.dreams.basic yes Customizable screensaver 4.2.2
Bluetooth.apk com.android.bluetooth yes Bluetooth app. After removal Bluetooth wont turn on. 4.2.2
Browser.apk com.android.browser yes Internet Browser

PLEASE NOTE: This is apparently a hard-coded requirement for Google Voice Search (along with Talk and Voice); without it, Voice Search will FC after recognizing speech. Having Dolphin, etc., installed will not work.

4.2.2
CMAccount.apk ? no[2] ? ?
CMFileManager.apk ? no[2] ? ?
CMUpdater.apk com.cyanogenmod.updater yes On the run CyanogenMod updater. Lets you skip all .zip installing update to new CM. Delete if you can upgrade through Recovery. 2.1
CMWallpapers.apk com.cyanogenmod.CMWallpapers yes Cyanogen Mod Wallpapers 4.2.2
Calculator.apk com.android.calculator2 yes Calculator app. Remove if you dont use or switching. v3.1.2
Calendar.apk com.android.calendar yes Calendar app. Surely remove if switching or no use. 4.2.2
CalendarProvider.apk com.android.providers.calendar yes Provides sync for Calendar app. CAUTION: If you are syncing other calendar app with your google calendars, dont do this! :CAUTION 4.2.2
CellBroadcastReceiver.apk com.android.cellbroadcastreceiver yes Cell Broadcast app. "Can be usefull when skiing or mountain hiking, receives cell broadcast allerts" 4.2.2
CertInstaller.apk com.android.certinstaller no (Web?) Certificate Installer. When removed, the WIFI will not be turned on (Automatically turned off). MORE 4.2.2
Contacts.apk com.android.contacts yes Contacts app; the Call log, Contacts and Favorites screens. Can be removed when switching(Contacts+ etc.) 4.2.2
ContactsProvider.apk ? no[2] ? ?
DSPManager.apk com.bel.android.dspmanager yes Digital Sound Processing. Built in Equalizer (PERSONAL OPINION: It's very good!) 2.0
DefaultContainerService.apk ? no[2] ? ?
DeskClock.apk com.android.deskclock no Clock app + Clock widget. 2.0.3
Development.apk com.android.development yes Developer apps unlockable. 1.0
DeviceParts.apk ? no[2] ? ?
DownloadProvider.apk com.android.providers.downloads no Android download manager. "When downloading you can see a notification." After removal you cant download (Except through Opera built in downloader, or some other apps) 4.2.2
DownloadProviderUi.apk ? no[2] ? ?
DrmProvider.apk om.android.providers.drm yes Provides DRM functions, needed to access DRM protected media files. 4.2.2
Email2.apk com.android.email yes POP/IMAP email client. Not GMail. Many apps for switch. 4.1
Exchange2.apk com.android.exchange yes Provides sync for Mail app. (Not GMail) 5.0
FM2.apk ? no[2] ? ?
FusedLocation.apk com.android.location.fused no Helps to balance battery consumption when simultaneously using GPS/Network location recognition. In some situations gives system crashes. 4.2.2
Galaxy4.apk com.android.galaxy4 yes Live wallpaper 1.0
Gallery2.apk com.android.gallery3d yes 3D Photo Gallery. 1.1.400
HTMLViewer.apk com.android.htmlviewer yes Lets you view HTML files on your device.
HoloSpiralWallpaper.apk com.android.wallpaper.holospiral yes Live Wallpaper. 4.2.2
InputDevices.apk inputdevices yes[2] Looks like safe to remove. ?May cause some problems with keyboard settings?
KeyChain.apk keychain no[2] Password keeper.
LatinIME.apk com.android.inputmethod.latin yes Stock android keyboard. Safe to remove if replaced with something else for eg. Swype,Swift 4.2.2
LiveWallpapers.apk com.android.wallpaper yes Android Live Wallpapers
LiveWallpapersPicker.apk com.android.wallpaper yes Android Live Wallpapers Picker. Safe to Remove if you don't use live wallpapers 4.2.2
LockClock.apk com.cyanogenmod.lockclock yes cLock widget. Clock with weather. 2.2.5
MagicSmokeWallpapers.apk com.android.magicsmoke yes Wallpaper
MediaProvider.apk com.android.providers.media no Needed to access media files (including ringtones)
Mms.apk ? no[2] ? ?
NoiseField.apk com.android.noisefield yes Bubbles live wallpaper
PackageInstaller.apk com.android.packageinstaller no Used to manually install apks (i.e. non-market apks)
PhaseBeam.apk com.android.phasebeam yes dev live wallpaper - Remove if you removed dev-tools
Phone.apk com.android.phone yes[2] Phone app. Can be removed when switching(Contacts+ etc.). Still able to call and receive calls. CAUTION: Before removal hybernate it with some app and reboot. May cause Phone.apk stopped working. In such situation quickly between each prompt try to turn it back on! :CAUTION
PhotoTable.apk PhotoTable yes Screensavers with your own pictures. (I didn't see any person using this and none of my friends use Screensaver on Android)
PicoTts.apk com.svox.pico yes Text to speech. "Looks like Google Maps needs it to run"
ChromeBookmarksSyncAdapter.apk ? no[2] ? ?
Settings.apk com.android.settings no devices settings menu
SettingsProvider.apk com.android.providers.settings no Part of the settings sync system.
SharedStorageBackup.apk com.android.sharedstoragebackup no[2] Possibly USB connection menu. 4.2.2
SoundRecorder.apk com.android.soundrecorder yes Sound Recorder app. Many switches in Play Store.
Stk.apk ? no[2] ? ?
SystemUI.apk com.android.systemui no Interface. ?Looks like notification bar mostly?
TelephonyProvider.apk com.android.providers.telephony no Phone service base. Remove = no calls.
Term.apk com.android.term yes Gives access to terminal
ThemeChooser.apk com.tmobile.themechooser yes Cyanogenmod theme system. You are left with Default theme.
ThemeManager.apk com.tmobile.thememanager yes Cyanogenmod theme system. You are left with Default theme.
Trebuchet.apk com.cyanogenmod.trebuchet yes System Launcher. Only remove if you have a second replacement home.
UserDictionaryProvider.apk com.android.providers.userdictionary yes Dictionary for LatinIME(keyboard) / Needed for LatinIME.apk to function
VideoEditor.apk com.android.videoeditor yes
VisualizationWallpapers.apk com.android.wallpaper yes Wallpaper
VoiceDialer.apk com.android.voicedialer yes Voice Search for Google Search, Google Maps, etc
VoicePlus.apk ? yes ? ?
VpnDialogs.apk VpnDialogs yes Part of the VPN system.
WAPPushManager.apk com.android.smspush yes[2] Tethering connectivity. Safe to remove if you don't use tethering/access point mode. 4.2.2
ConfigUpdater com.google.android.configupdater ? 4.2.2
GenieWidget.apk ? yes News and weather widget ?
GmsCore.apk ? no[2] ? ?
GoogleBackupTransport.apk com.google.android.backup yes Handles backup of settings. Safe when not used.
GoogleCalendarSyncAdapter.apk com.google.android.syncadapters.calendar yes Calendar sync. CAUTION: If you are syncing other calendar app with your google calendars, dont do this! :CAUTION
GoogleContactsSyncAdapter.apk com.google.android.syncadapters.contacts yes Contacts sync with google account. Only if not used.
GoogleFeedback.apk com.google.android.feedback yes ForceClose reporting
GoogleLoginService.apk manager no[1] Google login system. Disables google accounts functions.
GooglePartnerSetup.apk com.google.android.partnersetup no In App purchases.
GoogleServicesFramework.apk com.google.android.gsf yes[1] Provides account / login information to Google Apps
GoogleTTS.apk com.google.android.tts yes Text to speech. "Looks like Google Maps needs it to run"
LatinImeDictionaryPack.apk
MediaUploader.apk com.google.android.apps.uploader yes[1][2] Share media from the Gallery with MMS, Bluetooth, Email, Picasa. "Can also be Play Store actualisations notifier"
NetworkLocation.apk com.google.android.location yes[1] Provides network (cell) location (as opposed to GPS location)
OneTimeInitializer.apk com.google.android.onetimeinitializer yes Runs on first boot. Conflicts with google app "Provision.apk".
Phonesky.apk GooglePlay no Rather com.android.vending-1.apk but... "Phonesky" happens. :D
QuickSearchBox.apk com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox yes Search box widget. Need for search in Phone app.
SetupWizard.apk com.android.setupwizard yes[1] Setup Wizard when you first use your phone.
Talk.apk com.google.android.talk yes Google Talk.
Talkback.apk
VoiceSearchStub.apk com.android.googlequicksearchbox yes Voice Search for Google Search, Google Maps, etc. Not working without Browser app.
Nfc.apk NFCservice yes[2] Looks like could disable NFC service, but NFC options are still active. Safe to delete if your hardware doesn't support NFC.
Android System android no System? 4.2.2
Contacts Storage com.android.providers.contacts no Contacts sync/save place. When removed contacts disapear aswell the google sync function. 4.2.2
Dictionary Provider com.google.android.inputmethod.latin.dictionarypack yes Dictionary provider for Android Keyboard. Removable if you dont use it. Used with other keyboards. 4.2.2
Downloads com.android.providers.downloads.ui yes Shortcut to downloads folder. 4.2.2
Face Unlock com.android.facelock yes Provides capability to unlock screen with face recognition. 4.2.2
File Manager com.cyanogenmod.filemanager yes File Manager app. Many switches in Play Store. 1.0.1
GoogleEars.apk com.google.android.ears yes
HoloSpiralWallpaper.apk com.android.wallpaper.holospiral yes Wallpaper
RomManager.apk com.koushikdutta.rommanager yes Rom Manager App
SettingsProvider.apk com.android.providers.settings no Part of the settings sync system.
SpareParts.apk om.android.spare_parts yes Extra 'settings' menu. (Usefull!)
Superuser.apk com.noshufou.android.su yes Remembers 'su' settings. Remove if you dont use Root apps.
Tag.apk com.android.apps.tag

[1] NOTE: These are Google apps & are safe to remove as far as phone stability is concerned. Might break other Google apps if removed.

[2] NOTE:These apps may be removable but I didn't test them (yet). If you want you can do it yourself and fill these blanks.