Remove system apps from Xiaomi devices

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 11, 2016
Google Android

The guide describes one method that allows you to remove system apps, or any other application for that matter, from Xiaomi devices.

I bought a Xiaomi Mi4c last year to replace my trusted but underperforming Motorola Moto G first generation Android smartphone.

While I could have picked a flagship phone that would set me back six hundred or even more Euro without contract (I only buy direct and without contract), I decided to save money without sacrificing much in the process.

Having used the phone for more than six months now, I can say that it is an excellent phone both hardware, software, and security-wise.

Remove system apps

There are a couple of minor things that are not ideal though. Apart from making it really difficult to unlock the device to gain root access, those are mostly software-based if you ask me.

  1. The device ships with Chinese applications. I imported the phone, and while most apps and all settings are available in English either directly or after flashing an English ROM, some are only available in Chinese which make them useless to me.
  2. Some apps display advertisement when you open them. This is for instance the case if you are using the built-in media player. This is easy to avoid though as you can use another media player instead.
  3. You may get notifications from built-in applications, like the Virtual SIM app, from time to time with no option to disable them.

The first and third point are the main reasons why I have decided to look for ways to remove system apps from the device as I have no intention of using them.

Note: The following method requires root. It should work with the majority of Xiamoi devices and the latest version of Miui.

Warning: Backup your device before you remove any application on it as you may run into issues otherwise if you have no restoration options available. You can use Xiaomi's PC Suite for that or any other backup application.

Download the application Device Control [root] from Google Play or another store it is available in. The application is very powerful and provides you with lots of features to gain greater control over hardware or software.

One of the features is the ability to disable or uninstall applications including system apps.

xiaomi disable system apps

To remove or disable, one or multiple system apps from the device, do the following:

  1. Start Device Control after you have given it root permissions on your device.
  2. Tap on the menu icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down until you find app manager and select that option.
  4. Device Control lists all user installed apps by default. Switch to system at the top instead to display system apps.
  5. Tick the checkbox next to the apps you want to disable or uninstall.
  6. Make sure you have created a backup!
  7. Select disable or uninstall from the prompt that appears.

You should get a success or failure message right afterwards. Please note that you may not be able to remove some system apps as they are essential for the operation of the device.

Uninstall removes the application completely from the device while disable keeps its files but turns it off instead.

I have used Device Control to remove system apps from my Xiaomi Mi4c device that I don't use and are not required for the device to function properly.

Now You: Have you rooted your Android device?

Remove system apps from Xiaomi devices
Article Name
Remove system apps from Xiaomi devices
Find out how to remove system apps from Xiaomi Android devices using the free Android application Device Control [root].
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  1. calcifier said on June 26, 2018 at 9:50 am

    you see once we unlock root access, xiaomi no longer give updates to that device

  2. ahmed shehab said on December 3, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    my xiaomi note 2 doesn’t work after uninstall appstore and reboot it

  3. ahmed shehab said on December 3, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    my xiaomi note 2 doesn’t work after uninstall appstore and reboot it….please tell me what should i do

  4. Sarin said on March 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I am a Redmi 3 user and it comes with so much bloated chinese apps & stuff which is driving me crazy. It brings me so random websites and ads. Could you please guide me on how to root and get rid of thus crazy stuff. Thank you so much in advance.

  5. Rocky said on April 12, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Hi Martin,
    I have been wondering why Android devices are still popular amongst those who might have philosophical objections to Google products and services ( or for example why so many Linux advocates seem to use gmail addresses). Is this the main thinking behind rooting a device ?

    Are there any license issues to consider when rooting a device ?

    I have become disillusioned with my Sony Experia (ST26) – too little memory for any practical usage and also lack of any OS updates – although it may be too old of a model. As my contract is ended I am thinking about replacing it and had been looking at Windows phones and also iPhones ( although I am a little uncomfortable with the walled garden I have to admit Apple devices are nice to use). Perhaps I will think Android again with a possibility of rooting .

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 12, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Rocky, I have not really looked at the implications of rooting from a support or license point of view. I guess you will have to contact the manufacturer about it to be absolutely sure.

      Rooting in my opinion is pretty much like tinkering with operating system settings after setting up Windows or another OS.

      It allows you to uninstall bloat, block individual permissions that applications request (and may not need for functionality), and control the device better than without.

      Depending on the device, it may not even ship with many Google services. My Mi4c for instance shipped without Google apps.

  6. Mountainking said on April 12, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Used a rooted Xiaomi Redmi 1S since last year rooted and uninstalled garbage apps. The new MIUI7 for Redmi (flashed) allows for easier root access to apps. The link2sd (bulent apkinar) is an excellent app that can uninstall/freeze system or other apps.
    Newer xiaomi phones come with garbage apps such as yellow directory in contact lists. Else, a pretty solid phone which allows for better granular control over access with MIUI and honestly built like a tank.
    Deleting MI app store briked my phone. I had to reinstall my ROM and freeze it. How about you Martin?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 12, 2016 at 8:11 am

      I did not uninstall the Store, even though I don’t use it. I agree that the phones are well built, and as I said, the main negative thing about them is the integration of bloat apps but you can handle most of them by rooting the device and removing or disabling them.

  7. seseorang said on April 12, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Xiaomi, their device are awesome, the best smartphone your money could get, but not so for the MIUI, I hate it. Their RAM management is bad, and of course other things like what you mentions above. But fortunately it got some amazing random dev porting Cyanogenmod for it.
    Their recent policy about locked bootloader is sux, especially since it didn’t prevent a random nasty ROM installed by most seller (if you import it from china).

  8. batman said on April 11, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    got a xiaomi mi note myself, great phones!

  9. Yuliya said on April 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I wanted to install CyanogenMOD on my Nexus 4 because while on Lollipop it used to restart few times a day sometimes. But that’s no longer the case after the few last updates, currently my phone has a 720 hours up time :)

    As for pre installed applications, I disable a lot of them (screenshot bellow). Google puts like five keyboards, applications like Earth, which can’t accomplish anything different than what you can do with Maps, two messaging applications, one of which is Hangouts (I disabled both as I use Google’s ‘Messenger’ application – it’s strict purpose is for SMS), and an e-mail client which when you open it tels you the application is no longer maintained and you should consider using Gmail. That e-mail application is 10MB wasted on a splash screen. And then there’s services that I don’t use like their music, play, gaming thingy and news, and G+.. Heh, the street view works without that 600KB ‘Street View’ thing. I have no idea what it does..

    imgur com/yBYLNZO

  10. thewan said on April 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Nice tip for Xiaomi users especially regarding system apps with privacy concerns. Can you share a list of the said system apps that you disabled/removed? Would like to crosscheck with what I disabled/removed. Thanks!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 11, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Hi, mostly what is listed here:

      Plus Analytics and Virtual Sim (may have missed one or two).

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