Android - How can I disable a stock app that has its Disable button greyed out?

On some Android versions you can use adb to disable apps that you would otherwise not be able to deactivate via the UI. The Debloater app linked to above automates and simplifies this process. This answer will explain how to perform the same process manually.

WARNING: Disabling the wrong app or using the wrong commands can leave your device soft-bricked. Please make sure you know what you are doing before proceeding.

  1. Make sure you've got Android debugging set up correctly, then drop into an adb shell:

    adb shell
  2. Get a list of all installed packages by using pm

    pm list packages -f
  3. Identify the packages you want to disable and make a note of them.

  4. Disable each package individually by running one of the following commands:

    • if you are on Kitkat: pm block <package_name>, e.g. pm block com.motorola.motocare
    • if you are on Lollipop: pm hide <package_name>, e.g. pm hide com.motorola.motocare
  5. The app should now be disabled and disappear from your launcher. In case of a background service it will permanently stop running in the background.

To reverse this procedure you can use one of the following commands:

  • if you are on Kitkat: pm unblock <package_name>, e.g. pm unblock com.motorola.motocare
  • if you are on Lollipop: pm unhide <package_name>, e.g. pm unhide com.motorola.motocare

Sorry, but you have to root in order to do this. There is no other way.

  1. Root

  2. (optional) Install Titanium Backup and backup your phone. If you mess something up you can restore your phone using this

  3. Now use an app called System App Remover to select the app you want to delete. You will have to grant superuser permission for it to work

Yes, there is another way :)

You are lucky because you have Android Kitkat version. Just use tool Debloater by Gatesjunior from XDA:

Requirements: The program requires that your manufacturer USB drivers are installed for your specific device as well as the following: • Windows Operating System • USB Debugging turned on for your device • Root or KitKat running on your device