Android Power User Tip – Converting User Apps to System Apps – The Proper Way

Your Android device has two types of apps; System and User apps. System apps are those apps that usually come with your device when you first purchased it and are impossible to remove if you don’t have root access. Most of your system apps are required for your phone to even operate and some are what you would call “bloat.” Like most people, would want those removed – which I’ll show you on another Android Power User Tips article. So let’s focus on how and why you would want to convert user apps to system apps.

The system partition is designated for your ROM’s system files and those system apps. Any extra space is exactly that – extra space; so why not use it? If you know how to move a file within the Android file system and also know how to set permissions, then you will have no difficulty doing this. Essentially you’re just moving the APK file from the data partition to the system partition and setting the proper permissions. The majority of the apps only require you to move the file, set permissions to the file and reboot your phone but there are some that require certain lib files (like Chrome or Google+) as well – that are found inside the APK file. 

Things you will need:

1. A rooted device



2. File manager w/ root functions (eg. Root Explorer)

3. Ability to read and follow instructions


Instructions:

1. Open your file manager and navigate to /data/app

2. Copy the APK file to your clipboard

3. Navigate to /system/app and paste that copied file

4. While still in the system partition – find the original system app (take note of the file name) and 

delete it

5. Rename the file you pasted in step 3 and rename it to what the original name was of the system 

app you found in step 4

6. Set permissions to RW-/R–/—

7. Reboot

Some apps like Google+ or Chrome will require you to extract the lib files from the APK. Place the lib files under /system/lib and set permissions to RW-/R–/R–(fig 1 & 2)

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If you would like to see more Android Power User Tips on iTechTriad please leave a comment down below and let us know!

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