[Android] Uninstall or disable system apps (bloatware) and move any app to SD card with Link2SD

l2sd1If you’re an Android user and you don’t have Link2SD installed, you’re missing out on an essential part of having root on your phone. Link2SD allows you to move any (non-system) app to your SD card. This includes apps that you normally cannot move to SD card. This app is essential in keeping your phone’s internal memory usage down and making it so you can better take advantage of your microSD card.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Link2SD is a utility that can move any non-system app from internal storage to SD card. In addition, it has the ability to uninstall or disable apps (including system apps), meaning you can use it to remove or disable bloatware.

Pros

  • Can force apps to be moved — apps that don’t normally support being moved to SD card (requires Android 2.2+)
  • Notifies you if apps natively support moving to SD card and allows you to move them (requires Android 2.2+)
  • Can be used to change the default location where apps are installed: internal storage or SD card (requires Android 2.2+)
  • Can uninstall system applications, convert system applications into user apps, convert user apps into system apps, uninstall user applications, and freeze (aka disable) any app
  • Batch actions are supported (link/unlink/uninstall/move to SD card/move to phone)
  • Can integrate previously updated apps (e.g flashed Gapps) and update your ROM
  • Can clear all data and cache of any application, including all apps at once
  • Shows detailed app information, and can sort and filter apps based on certain criteria (user app, system app, frozen app, etc)
  • Disk and partition stats of SD card
  • Blazing fast user interface that is easy to understand

Cons

  • You must have a rooted device to use Link2SD
  • When low space is detected on internal memory, Link2SD refuses to move apps; it just gives error
  • When all apps are moved to SD card (except system), phone can essentially become useless if SD card is removed or breaks (which can sometimes result in the loss of data that sometimes occurs). This isn’t a con of this app per se but something you should keep in mind.
  • Partitioning SD card decreases the lifespan of the card, which isn’t a con of this app per se but something you should know

Discussion

l2sd2If you have a rooted phone, and you don’t use Link2SD, you might be living under a rock. This is the single greatest reason to have root access on your phone. Some people have low memory capacity on their devices and get blasted with notifications that their memory is running low and that they need to do something about it. Even owners of high end devices have run into this kind of thing. It gets very irritating eventually, so it’s always refreshing to see a utility like this.

Link2SD is probably the most useful app that I have installed onto my devices. I have a custom kernel on my phone as well as swap setup, a custom partition for Link2SD and a 32 gig microSD card. My internal memory capacity on my device isn’t very big. It’s a couple gigs, but it’s not enough. Not to worry, that’s where this app comes in. You can easily set up custom partitions that can be used to push the dex and lib files directly to it, so that it can be symlinked back to the system. Essentially creating a shortcut.

There are a few drawbacks to this. On one hand you get the blessing of increased space, but on  the downside you can decrease the lifespan of your card, if you put complete dependence on your SDcard and you then lose that card, you could lose a ton of data and library files for apps that you might not be able to uninstall.

Any root app that does anything extremely useful always has its drawbacks, so that isn’t really a reason to not use this. You get some amazing features along with it, some of which that are very helpful. I can’t count the number of times after flashing a new rom that I have used link2SD to freeze the rom updater software (in my case Goo.im), uninstall system apps (like the browser) that I don’t like to then replace them with system apps of my own.

Another really awesome thing is that this can all be automated. You can select the ‘external’ option, and then whenever you install an app it will just do all the work for you. You don’t need to open it up manually and do everything yourself. I love this app so much. It’s among the most useful that I’ve ever discovered. Link2SD gets high praise from me.

Conclusion and download link

If you have a rooted device, Link2SD is a must. This will help you better take advantage of that massive microSD card in your device plus allow you to get rid of bloatware by freezing or even uninstalling annoying default system apps, and so much more. Link2SD is a really good app. Install this now!

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 2.3

Requires: 1.6 and up

Download size: 882 KB

Link2SD on Play Store

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9 comments

  1. HipByProxy

    I must have been living under that rock! Thanks for pointing this out. This has helped me to easily free up some space on my phone’s internal memory. I just had to readjust the partition on my SD card to add the 2nd partition, and was able to move programs with ease. App2SD would only let me move programs to the card that would allow me. I’m now able to move spacehogs like the Amazon Appstore off of my phone! No more constant “out of space” warnings! And all with a *free* app.

  2. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@Bruce Fraser] I don’t think there is any difference between the majority of app2SD programs. App2SD is, after all, app2sd. I do believe, however, Link2SD is one of the better ones before it does more than just app2SD, as you can see from the review above.

  3. Bruce Fraser

    I have a HTC Desire with limited memory. So I’ve been looking at this.
    Frankly, I’m bewildered by the competing products: ESD, Data2SD, S2E, Apps2SD (may have been the originator of this genre), and this one, Link2SD.

    Browsing various Android forums shows a variety of users who are rabid about their favourite product, saying the others are “useless,” “trash,” and so on. I haven’t been able to find a site which has done a side by side comparison of the products.

    If you know of such a comparative review, that would be excellent! (This is just the kind of thing Raymond.cc is superb at.)