How to Delete Apps on Android

Remove unwanted apps from your Android device

What to Know

This article explains how to uninstall the downloaded apps you don't use anymore for both new and old versions of Android.

Uninstall Android Apps from the App Drawer or Using Settings

There are two ways to uninstall a downloaded app on your Android phone or tablet: the Settings app or the app drawer. We detail both methods below.

Instructions apply to all versions after Android 4.1. As of 2020, most phones run Android 10 or higher.

How to Uninstall an App in the App Drawer

The first method for deleting an app uses the Android app drawer. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the app drawer by swiping up twice from the bottom of the screen.

  2. Long-press the app you want to delete.

  3. Drag the icon to the upper-right corner of the screen where the word Uninstall appears. Release your finger.

  4. Confirm that you want to uninstall the app.

    Deleting an app on an Android phone

How to Uninstall an App in Settings

It's possible to uninstall an app using the Android settings rather than the app drawer. Here's how:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Select Apps & Notifications > See all X apps (the X is the number of apps currently installed on the device).

  3. Select the app you wish to uninstall.

  4. Select Uninstall.

  5. Confirm you want to uninstall the app.

    Uninstalling an Android app from Settings

Remove Apps on Old Android Versions

If you have an older standard version of Android, the steps to delete or uninstall an app are simple. There may be some variation for some varieties of phones, such as those made by Samsung, Sony, or LG, but this method works on most Android devices.

Here's how to delete apps on devices with older versions of Android before Android 4.0:

For Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), go to Settings > Apps then use the steps for the older versions of Android.

  1. Tap Menu (either a hard or soft button).

  2. Select Settings, then choose Applications > Manage applications.

  3. Tap the app you want to delete.

  4. Tap Uninstall to remove the app from your device. If there's no uninstall button, it's a system app, and you can't delete it.

How to Delete Apps on Some Samsung Devices

If the previous instructions don't work on your Samsung device, try these alternate instructions:

  1. Tap the Recent apps button followed by Task manager.

  2. Go to the Download tab and find the app you want to uninstall.

  3. Tap the Uninstall button next to the app.

  4. Tap OK.

    If you don't see an Uninstall button, you can't delete the app using this method.

How to Delete Apps on a Kindle Fire

Amazon elected to go with an older customized version of Android for its Kindle devices, so the instructions to remove apps are different. You can manage your Kindle from your Amazon account on the web, but here's how to delete apps using the device:

  1. Go to the Home screen and tap the Apps tab.

  2. Tap the Device tab to show only the apps on the Kindle as opposed to all the apps you could potentially store on the device.

  3. Long-press the app you want to remove until you feel or see a response. 

  4. Tap Remove from Device

You're not limited to the Amazon App Store when you install apps. You retain access to Kindle apps you installed through Amazon. However, you don't necessarily have that same access to apps you installed through third-party app stores or side-loaded on the device.

Purchased Apps and the Cloud

Nearly all Android app stores let you keep your license to reinstall a purchased app. If you uninstall software that you bought from Google Play, for example, you can download it again if you change your mind later. If you want to delete your access to a purchased app forever, you must do that through your Amazon account on the web. It's a more involved process than uninstalling it from a device. This may come in handy if you deem an app offensive and never want to see it again.

Spammy Apps That Make More Apps

Occasionally, you may run into an app that makes other apps, so you may delete things you don't remember installing. You're not imagining things. You can read more about avoiding Android spam. If you can identify the offending app, you can get rid of the problem. App stores are cracking down on this sort of nuisance.

How to Delete System Apps

If you want to delete an app that shipped with your phone, it can be done, but it's not likely. Shy of going to drastic measures and rooting the phone, the system apps have to stay.

Most of these apps are tied to the inner workings of your phone, and deleting these apps could break other apps.

System apps include Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, and Google Search. Some manufacturers, such as Samsung and Sony, install their own system apps on their phones and tablets in addition to the Google apps. Some, like the Amazon Kindle, remove all Google apps and include a different set of system apps.