Android app capability for Chromebooks and other Chrome OS gadgets is great but how, exactly, do you uninstall apps you no longer need or want? Many users may find the process to be a bit less than intuitive since the process can be quite different than on other operating systems. But, for those who have used Android before it’s actually fairly easy. Whether you’re looking to remove an Android app or any other app.
And, more to the point, that’s exactly what this guide is here to discuss.
You might want to uninstall an app for a whole plethora of reasons
Now, there is a number of reasons to uninstall an Android app on your Chromebook. Or any other app for that matter. The most common of which is likely to be that you just don’t use the app anymore. As is the case with our example apps. But, of course, that’s not the only reason.
For instance, sometimes, apps that are built for Android simply stop working on Chromebooks. Microsoft’s recent decision to push users over to its web apps instead of Android apps on the platform is a prime example. And so is Google’s decision to push Chromebook users to the web version of its Keep Notes app.
Conversely, perhaps you’ve installed an app of some kind, Android or otherwise, only to discover it doesn’t work on your Chromebook properly so you need to uninstall it.
Although, that shouldn’t be the case with nearly as many apps as used to be. Especially since Google started locking apps into tablet or phone mode. With some user control over how that works. Many apps always appear consistently as they should, complete with consistent interactions, regardless of whether a phone, tablet, or Chromebook is used. But not all.
Or, of course, your apps may have become a point of contention for security or privacy reasons.
Whatever the reason, uninstalling an app on Android couldn’t be any easier. It’s not at all dissimilar to how it works on Android.
Here’s how to uninstall Android apps on your Chromebook in a few simple steps
As noted above, the easiest way to uninstall Android apps — or others — that you have installed on your Chromebook is simple. It requires only basic knowledge about navigating the UI and an intuitive step or two that’s similar to how most Android phones work. And this process should work for apps that are installed that aren’t Android apps as well. For instance, for web or Linux apps.
- Start by opening up the Chrome OS app launcher. The launcher is tucked behind the concentric circle icon, placed by default on the lower-left-hand side of the Chrome OS shelf. Although that may also be on the top-right or top-left depending on where you’ve placed your shelf. Our example uses the default bottom position
- Click or tap on the up-arrow icon to open the full launcher drawer and reveal all installed apps
- Navigate to the apps you’d like to remove, wherever they are in the launcher. Our example will remove two apps that are no longer used. For this segment, that’s the web app version of YouTube. In the next segment, we’ll remove a banking app we no longer need
- Right-click on the app that needs to be removed. On a Chromebook, that can be accomplished as of this writing by either clicking with two fingers or by holding down the ‘alt’ key while clicking. Or, on touchscreens, by long-pressing on the icon for the app that you’d like to remove
- In the resulting context menu, tap or click on the “uninstall” option. Please note that you can’t remove some integral or system-level apps, such as Chrome. Those apps are typically required by the system
- Tap or click “uninstall” to confirm. You may also check the “Report abuse” box for apps that have one if you have found an app violating Google’s abuse policies
You can also uninstall from the app management screen too, for more options
Of course, some apps don’t necessarily present in the app launcher. Or, if you’re worried about storage space and apps leaving residual data, a simple uninstall might not work. At the very least, a simple uninstall won’t always get rid of all data it’s possible to get rid of for every app.
In those instances and several others, it may be best to first clear cache and data on an app and then uninstall it. Fortunately, there’s a way to do that too, directly from the same launcher screen. Although this method doesn’t necessarily work for non-Android apps or software installed via Linux.
- Navigate to the app launcher, following the first two steps above if needed
- Navigate to the app you’d like to manage and uninstall
- Right-click on the app via a long-press (for touchscreens), two-finger click, or by pressing the ‘alt’ button while clicking
- Select the “App info” option from the resulting context menu
- To uninstall the Android app in question outright, simply tap on the uninstall button located at the top of the page near the app icon and title label
- To clear data and cache, tap or click on the “More settings and permissions” option
- Tap or click on the “Storage & cache” option — for web apps, the option to clear data will already be at the top of the resulting menu, displayed in Chrome
- First, tap or click on the “CLEAR CACHE” button, then on the “CLEAR DATA” button, once the first process is finished
- Tap or click on the back arrow, located near the top of the UI
- To finish uninstalling, tap or click on the “Uninstall” button to remove the Android app from your Chromebook