Removing all unnecessary bloatware from Xiaomi MIUI 11 (Android 9) without root

TLDR: If you just want the list of bloatware app package names on Xiaomi MIUI - it is in the end of the artice.

UPDATE 2020-05-09: Added SIM Toolkit description.
UPDATE 2020-07-04 Added some apps, thanks to @thecrazyblack.

Xiaomi phones have impressive parameters for given price, but they come with a lot of unnecessary software. It eats battery and memory, sometimes shows annoying advertisement, and may have security issues. You can not uninstall this pre-installed apps like usual ones, and you can not even disable them from settings like in earlier Android versions.

Here is how to remove or disable unnecessary software without rooting phone. Works for MIUI 11 (based on Android 9), should work for other phones for recent Android versions. Thanks to this very useful but severely under-voted stackoverflow answer.

NOTE: I do not guarantee that this instructions won’t break your phone, blow it to flaming pieces or cause a sentient machines rebellion against humanity. You were warned.

To manage phone from command-line via USB you need adb - Android Debug Bridge, part of Android platform-tools. You can download the recent one for your OS here. If you are on Windows, you also need USB drivers for your device.

  • ⚙️ Settings - About phone. Tap “MIUI version” multiple times. Now Developer Options are unlocked.
  • ⚙️ Settings - Additional settings - Developer Options. Turn on [x] USB debugging.
  • Connect the phone to your computer via USB. Choose “File Transfer” mode instead of default “No data transfer”.
  • Open console in a directory where you unpacked platform tools.
  • ./adb devices
  • Phone will prompt to add your computer’s key to allowed, agree to it.
  • ./adb shell you have a shell on your device.

Now you need app package names, like com.miui.yellowpage for Mi Yellow Pages.

  • ⚙️ Settings - Apps - Manage Apps. Tap on application, then tap info(ℹ️) button in the right corner. There you can see “APK name”, that’s what we need.

There are 2 options: disable app and uninstall app. I prefer disabling them, it’s easier to enable them back if you’ve broken something.

# Disable app
pm disable-user app.package.name
# Re-enable it
pm enable app.package.name

# Uninstall app
# Sometimes uninstall command may not work without -k option on un-rooted devices
pm uninstall --user 0 app.package.name
# Install uninstalled system app
pm install --user 0 $(pm dump app.package.name | awk '/path/{ print $2 }')
# Another way to install uninstalled system app
pm install-existing app.package.name

To be able to install apps back, you need to enable

  • ⚙️ Settings - Additional settings - Developer Options - [x] Install via USB

On Xiaomi phone to enable this setting you need to sign in into Mi Account. You may just use your Google account to sign into it and then sign-out when you don’t need it anymore:

  • ⚙️ Settings - Mi Account - sign-out.

Here is a list of Xiaomi and Google apps that I find unnecessary:

WARNING: you should not uninstall or disable “Xiaomi Find Device” com.xiaomi.finddevice. On next reboot your phone will enter endless loop, and after some time it will ask to erase device and start over. Guess how I learned that?

Xiaomi:

  • GetApps - app store like Google Play from Xiaomi. The most annoying one, periodically shows advertisement.
    com.xiaomi.mipicks
  • MIUI Ad Services - also responsible for showing ads.
    com.miui.msa.global
  • Cloud
    com.miui.cloudservice
  • Cloud Backup
    com.miui.cloudbackup
  • Games
    com.xiaomi.glgm
  • Mi Credit
    com.xiaomi.payment
  • Mi DocViewer(Powered by WPS Office)
    cn.wps.xiaomi.abroad.lite
  • Mi ShareMe
    com.xiaomi.midrop
  • Mi YellowPages
    com.miui.yellowpage
  • MIUI Gallery - if you use another gallery app WARNING: @nihalanand697 reports disabling it isn’t safe.
    com.miui.gallery
  • Wallpaper Carousel
    com.miui.android.fashiongallery
  • Default Browser - not necessary if you use Firefox or Chrome
    com.android.browser
  • Mi Bug Report - if you not using this features com.miui.bugreport com.miui.miservice

Google:

  • Google Movies
    com.google.android.videos
  • Google Music
    com.google.android.music
  • Google Photos
    com.google.android.apps.photos
  • Youtube - I prefer to use a browser
    com.google.android.youtube
  • Google Duo
    com.google.android.apps.tachyon
  • Google Lens
    com.google.ar.lens
  • Google search box - I prever to use a browser or widget com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox
  • Digital wellbeing com.google.android.apps.wellbeing

Facebook:

What the @#$%? I just got a fresh phone, didn’t install any Facebook apps and I still have a bunch of Facebook services eating my battery and memory.

  • Facebook Services
    com.facebook.services
  • Facebook App Installer
    com.facebook.system
  • Facebook app manager
    com.facebook.appmanager

Default Android Apps

  • Wallpaper live picker com.android.wallpaper.livepicker
  • Photo table `com.android.dreams.phototable

And some additional steps to disable Xiaomi ads and collecting data:

  • ⚙️ Settings - Passwords & Security - Authorization & revocation. Revoke authorization from msa(MIUI System Ads) application. Not necessary if you already disabled com.miui.msa.global.
  • ⚙️ Settings - Passwords & Security - Privacy. Disable “User Experience Program” and “Send diagnostic data automatically”.
  • ⚙️ Settings - Passwords & Security - Privacy - Ad services. Disable “Personalized ad recommendations”.

SIM Toolkit

Some Russian mobile operators use SIM card built-in application to promote paid services. They show pop-up windows with OK/Cancel buttons. Hit the wrong button - and you are suddenly subscribed to some freaking SMS horoscope with daily fee.

You can get rid of it by disabling the ‘SIM Toolkit’ application: com.android.stk.
Sometimes for the second SIM card in the phone it is com.android.stk2.

Note, that some mobile operators may use SIM toolkit for useful things, and you will lose that functions. In my experience I have never seen anything useful there.



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