Though the MIUI interface (created by Xiaomi as the front end of their smartphones) sees improvement with each new version, its system apps are another matter. Many consider them “Bloatware,” meaning it’s a collection of software that does little but slow down your phone with little to no benefit. Others don’t mind the apps themselves, but they’re sick and tired of getting constant notifications about apps they barely use.
Whichever camp you fall into, these fixes help you to disable system apps (including a method for those with no root access) and get rid of some of the peskier notifications.
Disable Apps Without Root Access in MIUI 12
Most users don’t have root access to MIUI via their phones. This makes sense because root access allows you to do things that could break your phone, such as deleting crucial apps and files, or otherwise allows you to configure the phone in unintended ways.
Thankfully, MIUI 12 offers a way for you to get rid of system apps without going through the rigmarole of downloading and implementing an APK to get root access. Follow these steps to manipulate (and delete) your system apps:
- Navigate to “Setting,” and tap “Display.”
- Disable “Dark Mode” (assuming it’s active) as the mode interferes with this process for deleting system apps.
- Open “Google Play Store” and tap on your profile picture.
- Choose “Help and Feedback” from the resulting menu to bring up a “Support” screen.
- Select “Delete or Disable Apps on Android.”
- Navigate to “Delete Apps That Installed” and click the first point to bring up your “App Settings.”
Remove the App
A limited number of MIUI system apps have no protection. This lack of protection allows you to simply uninstall the apps using the following process:
- Navigate to the app icon and hold your finger on it for a couple of seconds.
- Tap the “App Info” option to go to the app’s information page.
- Select “Uninstall” and tap “OK.”
Note that this method won’t work for most of your device’s system apps, though it’s still worth trying in case you get lucky and can disable an app by uninstalling it.
Use Android Debug Bridge
If you don’t have access to the Google Play Store on your MIUI device, or can’t disable system apps via the store for some other reason, you can use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). This is a risky method, as it involves messing around with options typically reserved for developers. You’ll also need a Windows PC with the Android SDK Platform Tools installed and a USB cable.
Assuming you have everything you need, combining the powers of your device and the Android SDK Platform Tools lets you disable pesky system apps:
- Navigate to “Settings” and tap “About Phone.”
- Tap the MIUI version displayed in the “About Phone” section seven times to get to the “Developer Options” section.
- Use your PC to go to the folder where you’ve installed ADB via the Android SDK Platform Tools you downloaded earlier.
- Right-click the ADB icon and select “Open in Windows Terminal.”
At this point, you’ve essentially created a development environment on both your MIUI device and your PC. Next, you have to connect the two so you can alter your system apps.
- Use a USB cable (such as the one that came with your phone) to connect your MIUI device to your PC.
- Type “adb devices” into the command line on your PC and hit the “Enter” key.
- Type “adb devices” again and run the command to reveal your phone’s serial number, which tells you that you’ve successfully created a connection.
- Run the “adb shell” command in the command prompt.
- Enter “pm list packages | grep ‘xiaomi” to get a list of every app on your device (including system apps) with which you can tinker
From here, you can repeatedly use the “pm uninstall -k —user 0 PackageName” command to uninstall any of the apps you see on the list. Replace “PackageName” with app’s name (you’ll see this in the list you just opened) to get rid of the system app.
If you find that the package (i.e., the system app) you just deleted was essential to your device, you can reinstall a package to your device using the following commands:
- Use a USB cable to plug your device back into to your PC and open an ADB command window.
- Type “adb shell” and hit “Enter.”
- Use the “pm install-existing PackageName” command (With “PackageName” being the full name of the package) to reinstate a previously deleted system app.
Use the MIUI Hidden Settings App
Every phone that runs the MIUI user interface has hidden settings that developers use to tinker with how the phones work. With the Hidden Settings for MIUI app, available via the Google Play Store, you can access those hidden settings to disable system apps:
- Download and install the Hidden Settings for MIUI app.
- Launch the app and select your version of Android when prompted.
- Tap “Manage Applications.”
- Choose a system app and select either “Disable” or “Uninstall.”
Note that disabling an app is a better idea if you don’t know what the app does and want to test how your device works when the app isn’t running. Only choose to uninstall if you know that getting rid of the system app won’t adversely affect your phone.
Block System App Update Notifications
Constant notifications from an MIUI device’s system apps can feel like gnats buzzing around your head that you have to keep swatting away. A few of these apps – including GetApps and the Systems Apps Updater – can send multiple notifications per day. If you want to keep those apps installed but wish to get rid of their notifications, you can do so using the device itself.
Disable GetApps Notifications
- Navigate to “Settings” and tap “Apps.”
- Select “Manage Apps” and scroll until you see “GetApps.”
- Tap “GetApps” and choose “Notifications.”
- Turn off the “Show Notifications” toggle.
Stop MIUI System Apps in Their Tracks
There’s no denying that many of the apps classed as system apps in MIUI devices are really just bloatware that does little more than take up space or send unwanted notifications. Getting rid of those apps can be simple, especially if you can access and uninstall them. But you may have to use more complicated means to give you developer-level access for more stubborn apps.
Given that each of these methods offers a different level of app disabling or silencing, which one do you think will work best for you? What’s the first system app you’ll disable now that you know how? Let us know in the comments section below.