Have you been trying to delete, uninstall, or remove an application from your Android device and your phone won’t let you? All you get is an “Uninstall not successful” error message. Well here is what you can do to get that pesky app off your phone.
Now before we begin, this article is a guide on how to uninstall an application that was downloaded and installed, more specifically one that was downloaded and is now no longer wanted, needed, or desired. If you are looking to uninstall applications that came pre-loaded on your Android phone then unfortunately there is no way to “uninstall” stock applications or bloatware added by the phones wireless provider. If you are looking to remove these things then look into “rooting your Android phone” instead.
Now if you are trying to remove an application and your phone is not letting you remove it then you have come to the right place, so enjoy the article.
If you have not tried already make sure to try uninstalling the application first by accessing your Settings > Applications > Manage applications > (look for a Downloaded tab at the top and select it if it is not already selected, this will help you narrow the apps down to what CAN be uninstalled). Scroll through your list of applications and select the application that you would like to remove from your phone, and press Uninstall.
Try to uninstall but getting an error message
So now for the fun part and most likely the reason that you are here. You have tried uninstalling the application and all you get is an “Uninstall not successful” error message.
There are a few things you can do to fix this pesky error.
Some applications require that only an administrator can uninstall certain applications from the phone. So let’s make sure that you have admin (administrator) privileges on your phone which will allow you to remove this stubborn application.
- Go to Settings
- Location and security (it might also just simply say Security depending on what version of the android operating system you are running on)
- Tap on Select device administrators (or Device administrators)
- You might have to Uncheck or Deactivate the application in question
- Go back into manage applications and try to uninstall the application again (using the steps mentioned earlier in the article)
If this method doesn’t work then proceed with the article for some additional methods to try.
Use a file manager
You can install a file manager if your phone does not already have one installed and then manually remove the application and its contents from your device.
Since applications are different and the steps involved depend on the make and model of your phone you might have to do some searching to find the correct file.
If you’re wondering how to download a file manager simply access the Play Store (where you download applications, previously known as the marketplace) and then do a search (click the magnifying glass, often in the upper right), and search for “File Manager”.
Once you do a search for “File Manager” you will be presented with a few options. Which file manager you choose will be up to you but I recommend “Astro File Manager” a FREE and very user friendly application.
Download the application, find the files, delete them, and then delete the application itself.
Factory data reset
A factory data reset can sometimes be the best choice for this issue, simply because if there is a software issue, such as a bug or virus, a reset will help with that as well.
Many people choose to avoid factory data resets however since it resets the phone to be like it was when it was brand new, removing anything bad that might be on the phone but in the process it removes everything else along with it.
Androids are pretty simple to backup and reset, and I recommend that every smartphone user should get into a good habit of making sure their phone is backed up periodically. Just in case anything does happen to your phone, you want to make sure you can restore your information if you need to.
If this is the option you prefer (the option I recommend if the admin settings mentioned above doesn’t work), then read this great guide on How to backup and reset and Android phone.
Once the reset is done simply re-download the applications that you want installed on your phone and enjoy.
One and done
Following any of these steps should help to remove an application if it’s showing an “uninstall not successful” error message.
Enjoy your phone, and don’t forget that if you ever download an application and your phone starts acting funny, it’s probably that application causing mischief and you should consider uninstalling it and not using it any more. If you have any questions, suggestions, or additional steps that I might have overlooked that you used to solve this issue then don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below.