In the NO GAPPS Telegram group there have been questions of how one can remove the Google Apps that are already installed on their device. The short answer is that you can’t. At least not easily and not with a guarantee of everything working for you. The safest route is to install a new custom ROM and not install Google Apps on top of it (they are separate installs since these roms cannot ship with Google’s apps built in). There are simply too many files littered about the phone’s system to make it easy to find them all, and they are tied into the system deeply enough that removing them can break other apps.
That said, it is possible. The steps look something like this:
- Sign out of all Google accounts on the device
- Uninstall any updates on the apps you are removing (the “disable” button does this)
- Remove the apps from /system/app or /system/priv-app
- You can do this by deleting the apps’ files using a file explorer with root access, TWRP’s file explorer, or another app that uninstalls system apps.
- If you decide to use microG with the Play Store, you should leave it where it is.
- Reboot the device
- Expect some paid apps to not work if you removed the Play Store and potentially some “app has stopped working” messages.
- Optional: patch the system to spoof signatures and install microG.
The safest option is still to wipe the system and install a ROM that does not come with GApps in the first place. You will still want to read through this guide. I am not to blame if you break something by trying to use stock. That said, it has been reported to work by others. Use at your own risk.
Before you go any further, if you have not already, please read the FAQ.