Why am I unable to uninstall some application from my android phone?

There are few applications available on Google Play store (aka Android marketplace) which gives error message like below when you try to uninstall them.

Uninstall problem on various Android version

 

The error message above is totally unintuitive and leaves user with little or no idea as to what went wrong and what can possibly be done to successfully uninstall the app from the device. I hope Google puts in better error reporting in future for such situations.

Why it happens:
Some applications, especially the ones under business administration category, require device administration privileges. Usually during install or during execution, these apps prompt the user to grant “Administrator” privilege. Once granted, these applications become capable of performing privileged tasks like locking the device, erasing data on device, reset the password on device, etc.

In addition, Android doesn’t allow direct uninstall of such application. Any attempt to uninstall such apps would result in screen similar to above. I guess this is to make sure that user doesn’t remove such vital privileged apps accidently (a better error message wouldn’t have harmed 🙂 ).

Solution:
In order to uninstall such apps, we first need to deactivate it as a device administrator.

The Device Administrator settings is located under Location and Security settings mostly. However it might vary depending on the OS you are using.

  • For devices running Android GingerBread, HoneyComb and IceCream Sandwich, Go to to Settings ->Location and Security->Device Administrator screen.
    Managing "Device Administrators" on Android 2.3 GingerBread

    Managing “Device Administrators” on Android 2.3 GingerBread

  • For devices running Android JellyBean, Go to to Settings ->Security->Select device administrator screen
    Managing "Device Administrators" on Android 4.2 JellyBean

    Managing “Device Administrators” on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Once done, now you can go back to “Manage Applications” and uninstall the application.

 

80 Comments

  1. Bala Selvam on Tuesday November 3rd, 2015 at 04:35 PM

    Thank you it worked on lollipop

  2. ashok on Monday October 19th, 2015 at 08:57 AM

    Hii.. i went to device administrators but i could not uncheck android settings..
    !! PLEASE HELP ME OUT !!

  3. Jermaine on Sunday October 11th, 2015 at 01:26 AM

    This app had pop ups coming on my phone at random and it wouldn’t let me uninstall. I used the advice that you gave and now It’s gone. No more pop ups. Thanks a bundle.

  4. Naresh S on Wednesday October 7th, 2015 at 07:32 AM

    Hello Bro,
    Thank you for BIG HELP of Uninstall the Appzlock app from my Micromax Bolt A69 mobile, its very very bad app..
    thank you verymuch bro..

    Naresh S

  5. Priya on Sunday October 4th, 2015 at 06:53 AM

    No its not working. When i click Android settings and uncheck it throws me back. What can i do to uninstall this appzlock

    • Sabre on Tuesday October 13th, 2015 at 09:41 PM

      Same. This stupid appzlock wont uninstall and starts making pop up ads as well as downloading new files. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me…

    • Charwhite on Sunday October 18th, 2015 at 04:15 PM

      When im going to applications, appzlock isn’t even there, but when im trying to delete, it still says it is a application. Every second when im surfing on the Internet or watching a video, span is comming out of nowhere! Im so sick of it!

      PLZ HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  6. Anupam on Sunday October 4th, 2015 at 01:56 AM

    thank you sir

  7. Anupam on Sunday October 4th, 2015 at 01:56 AM

    Yes Really working , thanks man ..

  8. kanika on Saturday October 3rd, 2015 at 04:06 AM

    Hello sir iam unable to off appzlock on my samsung phone when I am trying it is bringing me back to accessibility .Secondly in device administration I am no able to find any appz locker icon to uncheck please help me with this

    • jatin on Tuesday October 6th, 2015 at 09:43 AM

      1. Go to setting
      2. Security
      3. Device administrators
      4. Uncheck it

  9. Rahul on Friday October 2nd, 2015 at 12:56 AM

    thanks man, for this tips i was very upset after instalking appzlock it is just a dam aap. Now i am relex ..

  10. Anish Bhatia on Thursday October 1st, 2015 at 07:24 PM

    Install greenify app then put aappzlock in hibernation mode it will remove accessibility of appzlock then install 360 security and scan it will than be able to delete appzlock

    • DeathSystem on Saturday October 3rd, 2015 at 01:05 PM

      The app I cannot uninstall is AppzLock. Please help

    • Sachi on Monday October 5th, 2015 at 12:46 PM

      I removed Appzlock successfully, thanks for your helping…

    • Norman on Sunday October 11th, 2015 at 04:03 AM

      Thank you so much for telling how to unninstall appzlock I thought I was skrewed

    • FranMS on Sunday October 18th, 2015 at 01:57 PM

      THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. This actually worked to completely get rid of appzlock unlike all the other comments. Finally.

    • Charwhite on Sunday October 18th, 2015 at 04:35 PM

      Omg, thank you so much!

  11. panshul on Thursday October 1st, 2015 at 01:27 AM

    Nope not working
    When i enter appz lock it throws me back to previous screen
    Please help..

  12. Azu Wani on Tuesday September 29th, 2015 at 06:50 PM

    I tried a lot to stop the device administration of some aaps which I am not able to uninstall but I couldn’t plz n plz tell me what to do

  13. Azu on Tuesday September 29th, 2015 at 06:48 PM

    I am unable to uninstall some aap on my phone I tried a lot to stop device administration of those aaps but I couldn’t now plz n plz tell me what to do

  14. Mohit Rohatgi on Saturday September 19th, 2015 at 03:41 PM

    In device administration under settings, appzlock app is not showing still it is there.
    not able to uninstall it and asking for deactivating but from where i will deactivate it.
    Plz provide solution.

    • imran on Tuesday September 22nd, 2015 at 02:39 PM

      In device administration under settings, appzlock app is not showing still it is there.
      not able to uninstall it and asking for deactivating but from where i will deactivate it.
      Plz provide solution

    • Rahul Gupta on Wednesday September 23rd, 2015 at 02:22 AM

      first go to settings-apps-running apps-appzlock
      tap on appzlock stop service
      now go to accessibility turn off appzlock
      then go to security device administrator uncheck android setting then deactivate
      now u can uninstall appzlock

      • ajay on Wednesday September 30th, 2015 at 08:36 PM

        i stopped the service but when i come to turn off the accessibility for appzlock the window open and get closed within fraction of seconds.i can’t able to uninstall it.plzzz help me

      • Ankit on Thursday October 1st, 2015 at 06:11 AM

        in accessibility turning off appz lock is misbehaving, it is not opting out. what is the solution

    • Vikas on Thursday October 1st, 2015 at 11:48 AM

      If you are running lollipop, then this will definitely work for you, Long press power button, you will get “Power off” option, long press the power off option, a promt will come for Restarting the phone in safe mode. Press OK! Now when you are in safe mode, go to settings >Security>Device Administrators>uncheck the app you want to remove! After that go to settings and uninstall and then restart your phone to go back in normal mod. Enjoy 🙂

      • gerard on Friday October 2nd, 2015 at 09:42 AM

        I dont have lollipop…and i cant uninstall it as when i come to turn off the accessibility for appzlock the window opens and get closed within fraction of a second.what do i do?..pls help

  15. Nilotpal on Friday July 18th, 2014 at 05:11 PM

    Thanks for the info, now it will give me relief

    • lilone on Wednesday October 14th, 2015 at 10:58 PM

      For all the people who keep getting thrown back from accessibility download greenify app! Put appzlock in hibernate and it will let you do what you want and uninstall

  16. Adrian on Friday March 21st, 2014 at 01:00 PM

    Worked like a charm, thank you!

  17. Shivam Mishra on Thursday January 9th, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Thank you very much.Its working

  18. Donty Nagaraj on Sunday January 5th, 2014 at 06:26 PM

    It’s a great advice..been trying to figure out on this..finally got the solution

  19. mary on Thursday January 2nd, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    tnxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx it wooooooooooooorks <3 <3

  20. Ajay on Tuesday December 31st, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Thanks a lot !!! I was trying to uninstall “Applock” app which i had downloaded from third party from 3 months, but i was getting error. Finally uninstalled it 😀

  21. CHAURIEN JM on Thursday December 26th, 2013 at 04:51 AM

    mille fois merci, grace à vous j’ai réussi l’impossible : suis parvenu à désinstaller device locator devenu trop dangereux … toute ma gratitude à ces génèreux et altruistes savants que vous êtes !

  22. Mushtaque Asghar on Saturday December 14th, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Thanks Man, No More Words 🙂

  23. Satya on Wednesday December 4th, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Wow!!! this is excellent ..i installed Lotus traveler..but it didn’t asked me any admin privileges as mentioned (did i overlooked ??)…now I checked the security page as advised and yes, its lying under administrative privilages part…i removed the check box and now I have uninstalled. Thanks.

  24. me and you on Thursday October 31st, 2013 at 06:20 PM

    It worked thanks man, was able to uninstall an app which had taken me days and I had almost given up.

  25. Anon on Friday October 25th, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    thanks buddy problem solved

  26. metaleli on Thursday October 24th, 2013 at 07:53 PM

    thankye so much…
    yihaiiii

  27. Ahmad on Sunday October 13th, 2013 at 02:20 PM

    Thank u verrrry much doe

  28. Donal on Wednesday October 9th, 2013 at 05:11 AM

    Thanks a lot. Was trying to uninstall an app that hosed my phone.

  29. Sharma on Monday September 9th, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    thank. u so much…

  30. anshika on Sunday September 8th, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Grt!
    Able to unlock useless apps whch earlier i cudnt…
    Thanku so much :-*

  31. dy on Sunday September 1st, 2013 at 06:44 AM

    thanks man u really the booooomm

  32. Tan on Wednesday August 21st, 2013 at 07:24 AM

    Thanks it worked for me

  33. Sam Majgaonkar on Sunday August 18th, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Thank you very much for the correct direction of Uninstallation. I am grateful.

  34. deepak on Tuesday August 6th, 2013 at 06:05 AM

    Was able to uninstall the app.thanks for the detailed steps

  35. gurpreet singh on Saturday August 3rd, 2013 at 09:04 AM

    Im unable to uninstall a app maned m construction …..its a game …….and when i tried to uninstall , simply got a message ……..unfortunately installer pCkage stoped working……….what to do……plz hlp….and d app do not hv any entry in administrative apps……lz help..

  36. niknik on Friday July 26th, 2013 at 01:12 PM

    Like Choppergirl, the list of device administrators is empty. Any idea?

  37. petmalu on Tuesday July 16th, 2013 at 07:56 PM

    This is so helpful thank you so much!!!!!! 😀

  38. manish on Tuesday July 16th, 2013 at 02:09 PM

    thanks its 100% useful

    Ttthhhhhaaaaaaaaannnnnkkkkkkssssssssss

  39. Amardeep Juneja on Friday July 12th, 2013 at 07:21 PM

    thanks so much! This is how i was able to remove the BES10 Client from my phone

  40. steve on Tuesday July 9th, 2013 at 06:06 PM

    Thanks

  41. Vishu on Tuesday July 2nd, 2013 at 06:34 PM

    Thanks a lot!

  42. James on Tuesday July 2nd, 2013 at 06:08 AM

    Thanks, worked like a charm.

  43. Joksim on Saturday June 1st, 2013 at 04:01 PM

    Imam HTC Desirer HD andriod 2.3.5 HTC Sense inačica 3.0. Dali ima kaki program da se moze deinstalirati programi koji su na mobitelu stavljeni. posto mi neda da ih deinstaliram. Hvala

  44. sivaji on Saturday May 4th, 2013 at 07:17 AM

    Thanks it is very helpful

  45. vikas on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 at 01:55 PM

    thanks…

  46. shantanu on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 04:36 PM

    thank you.

  47. tina on Saturday April 13th, 2013 at 06:14 PM

    Thanks it worked!

  48. sdara on Monday April 8th, 2013 at 01:59 PM

    great job !!! thanx alot !! it was so helpful !actually before visiting ur web i was so exhausted !!thanx again !!

  49. biTu gogoi, India on Sunday April 7th, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    thnks

  50. Bob Maxwell on Monday March 25th, 2013 at 09:21 PM

    Great thanks, that works. at last

  51. CHOPPERGIRL on Friday March 15th, 2013 at 07:32 AM

    This does not work – there are no Device Administrations listed under this section at all on my device, its completely blank, and still I have apps with greyed out UNINSTALL buttons.

  52. yash on Saturday February 9th, 2013 at 09:35 AM

    !!!thnxx!! a !ot ….

  53. bri on Sunday February 3rd, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Thank u so much…. it worked!

  54. Gibson Daniel on Monday January 21st, 2013 at 01:38 PM

    Thx a lotttttttttttt..was trying a to uninstall “hidden eye app” from past many days. Finally got this one. Grt.

  55. JEN24PHAT on Sunday January 13th, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    MOBILEMINDER… I WENT TO SETTINGS, THEN LOCATION & SECURTITY, THEN I PRESSED THE APP “MOBILEMINDER” THEN PRESSED THE DEACTIVATE BUTTON TO UNINSTALL THE APP.. AND IT JUST DIRECTS ME TO THE APP REQUESTING TO PUT IN A PASSWORD I NEVER SET… UGHHH…PLEASE HELP SOMEONE…IT HAS COMPLETELY TAKING OVER MY ANDROID.. IF ANYONE HAS ANY INFO THAT CAN HELP ME EMAIL ME: JEN24PHAT@GMAIL.COM

  56. siddhartha pandit on Saturday December 29th, 2012 at 06:49 PM

    Super… Greatly appreciated…. Thanks a ton man.

  57. bhumi on Tuesday December 18th, 2012 at 07:52 PM

    thnk a lot :-):-)for d article … it was of grt hrlp to me… grt job !!

  58. vishnu on Friday December 14th, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Thanks a lot for the info. very helpful

  59. Binoy Narendra Momaya on Wednesday September 12th, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    thnx a ton for the help

  60. Onkar on Saturday June 9th, 2012 at 02:55 PM

    @Christian What is the name of the application you want to uninstall? Are you sure that this is not a ROM app. Normally ROM apps can not be uninstalled without rooting.

  61. Christian on Friday May 11th, 2012 at 07:33 PM

    I did that and there’s nothing in administrator to check. So how can I delete an app?

  62. Manoj on Thursday February 23rd, 2012 at 07:38 AM

    Thanks a ton for this article…have been trying to uninstall the nasty “MDM Tangoe” and finally I successfully uninstalled it 🙂

  63. Crispy on Sunday January 22nd, 2012 at 09:32 PM

    Thanks a lot for this. Been trying to remove an app from my Galaxy S2 for ages and had given up!

  64. Onkar on Sunday December 18th, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Hi param,

    Look for “Location and Security” option in Settings list.

    – Onkar

  65. param on Saturday December 17th, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    i do not have a “security” option in the setting list…wat should i do????where do i find the device administrator on my samsung galaxy S

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