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Android

Uninstalling Vodafone Start

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2: Seeker

Morning all I have a work issued mobile phone that comes with Android 7 (not sure what name that relates to).

 

It has come with some pre-installed applications that I do not want, are intrusive or present a security risk. One such application is the Vodafone Start application. From what i can tell it's sole purpose is to deliver adverts to my handset at the cost of using resources and download limitts. I know there is the standard Vodafone answer of "No, you can’t uninstall Vodafone Start. It’s a hub for all the apps and services provided by Vodafone. You can hide it, but you can’t delete it."

However I do not want any apps or services (or adverts) from Vodafone. I've disabled it and there is no loss of functionality so it's optional. Surely this is my device and I should have the right to install, uninstall whatever I choose?

 

So, how do I get rid of this application once and for all?

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20 REPLIES 20
17: Community Champion

All network-branded devices come with some network software installed.  Some of it is useful and some isn't, but which will depend on what you want.   You can take any of these apps off the homescreens, but not uninstall them.  It would be worth having a look in their individual settings menus to see if you can disable notifications from them, though these are anyway generally few and far between and I wouldn't use the word "intrusive" myself.  No network app will present a security problem.  There have been some questionable pre-installed apps on cheap devices from the Far East, but not from the larger manufacturers.  If you don't want network-installed apps, you'll need to buy an unbranded device from an independent retailer, but even those will come with some software that has been put on by the manufacturer.

Android is the phone's operating system and 7 is the current version (though 8 has just appeared on devices supplied by Google themselves).

Ediited to add: Vodafone Start is a small app that contains links to other Vodafone software you may be interested in.   It doesn't serve up ads, but may occasionally make suggestions or alert you to new apps.  As this sounds like a work phone, you probably won't be managing the account, so a lot of it won't apply to you anyway.   Just ignore any notifications (swipe them away on the notification panel and forget about them).

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17: Community Champion

Hi @JohnFol2012

 

Android 7 is Nougat. 

 

You can force stop some apps which may help but there are also package disablers in the Play Store that can be used to remove baked in apps. 

Before using one id suggest to make sure that the app(s) your wanting to get rid of are not integrated into anything on the phone you actually want and that you take care on what you disable. 

Also as it's a works phone you may be restricted to what your allowed to do with it. 

Current Phone > Samsung Note 10+ 5G _256Gb > Model: SM-N976B.

Samsung One Ui  / Pie.

 

Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

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2: Seeker

Hi

I had exactly the same problem. Also my Samsung had loads of unwanted junk on it including facebook (tracking spyware) and many apps by Samsung that I dont want.

I finally got rid of all of it by rooting the phone and using "Total Commander" available on the play store to kill all the rubbish including Vodaphone start.

No doubt someone from Vodaphone will helpfully reply that rooting the phone is dangerous and bla bla bla....

Well in that case make the junk uninstallable then we will not be forced to move out of the Vodaphone sandbox to get the required functionality on our own devices.

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17: Community Champion

For apps that aren't uninstallable, you can simply disable them.   That doesn't involve rooting which, yes, can be dangerous and will invalidate your warranty.

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2: Seeker

... but that is not an option for "START"

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17: Community Champion

Not even in the main Settings menu under Apps?

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3: Seeker

There are several ways to get rid of unwanted software:

1.  Uninstall the app if possible (not an option with Vodafone Start)

2. Disable the app if possible (not an option with Vodafone Start)

3. Switch off notifications for the app (this will prevent Vodafone Start from bugging you)

4. Connect the phone to your PC through a USB cable and use adb to remove software (requires USB drivers, adb and carries a risk of removing the wrong software / causing other problems if you don't know what you're doing)

5. Root the phone and uninstall the app (this will definitely remove Vodafone Start but invalidates your warranty and opens up the phone to other security risks - you could root, uninstall and then unroot)

6. Use an app from the Play Store to freeze the unwanted software without root (this may or may not work)

7. Remove / hide the icon from the launcher (this won't do anything other than get rid of the icon but at least it keeps the app tray tidy)

 

In all of the above cases, a factory reset will restore Vodafone Start. Personally, what I did on one old phone is root to get rid of it but on my current phone, I have just moved the Vodafone Start icon to a folder along with a bunch of other apps that cant be uninstalled and are uneeded. Then I just place that folder on the last screen and ignore it. I also made sure notifications were disabled and the cache cleared so it doesn't try any funny business. If your phone has a permissions manager, you can also use that to deny Vodafone Start any rights which effectively renders it immobile.

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9: Established

I have a sim only and Vodafone are trying to install it on my phone having to keep refusing it every couple of days. 

 

Very annoying! 

 

If anyone knows of a way to stop it  that would be appreciated. 

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Having changed network provider on one of my phones, the "Start" app was still annoying me with notifications, etc.

I managed to remove "Start" without having to root the device by using Android Debug Bridge (adb), which requires a USB cable and some commands in Terminal. 

1. I followed the instructions here on how to install adb and enable USB debugging on my phone.

2. The package you need to uninstall is "com.vodafone.vodafone360updates".

3. I found the normal Terminal adb command for uninstalling did NOT work (i.e. adb uninstall com.vodafone.vodafone360updates).

4. It turns out you need to run the command in an adb shell, as follows:

adb shell

pm uninstall --user 0 com.vodafone.vodafone360updates

5. This returned a "success' message.

6. The "Start" icon immediately disappeared but was still visible under Settings>Apps (though it seemed inactive).

7. After re-booting the phone, it no longer appeared in Settings>Apps.

 

(I have no idea if a factory reset will bring it back but am not inclined to find out at this stage!)

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14: Advanced member

Go into settings and the apps section. 

Find start and roll back and updates. 

Then disable. It'll ask if you want to uninstall at that point usually. 

 

If it doesn't use the disable option to stop it running. 

Paul - Blogger at imwellconfused.me.uk @hooker1uk 

Current devices: Nokia e7-00, Smart ultra 7 - archos xenon 96 

Disclosure! I review devices, products and services in partnership with Vodafone UK on imwellconfused uk. Anything I post here is not affiliated or endorsed by Vodafone UK. 

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14: Advanced member

Also anyone on SIM only should not be forced to load it the only time this happens is when it's on the device already. Yes we did have issues with my 191 in the past but that was on all vf branded devices. 

 

Also be weary removing it with root tools I've seen removal cause boot loop on vf firmwares as the CRC value changes due to modification. And in doing so risk warranty

 

Paul - Blogger at imwellconfused.me.uk @hooker1uk 

Current devices: Nokia e7-00, Smart ultra 7 - archos xenon 96 

Disclosure! I review devices, products and services in partnership with Vodafone UK on imwellconfused uk. Anything I post here is not affiliated or endorsed by Vodafone UK. 

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2: Seeker

I can Force Stop but the option to disable is greyed out hence why I want it uninstalled.

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2: Seeker

The issue still remains. Start is used for intrusive direct marketing and I'm sure there is a legal requirement to opt out. 

For example, this is the latest...

20190907_182945.png

 

This is an unsolicited advert. Vodafone, where is the opt out / unsubscribe?

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Moderator

Hey @JohnFol2012 👋 You can find more information how to remove any of our apps on our support pages.

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2: Seeker

Thanks for the response however the link has the following statement

 

"However, if you’ve got an Android phone, you can only hide the Vodafone Start app. You can’t uninstall and remove it because you need it to access all of your Vodafone apps and services"

 

My point is I do NOT want the vodafone apps and services. It's also clear from the screen shot Vodafone are using it for direct advertising, again something I do not want. Just look at the ICO rules and you'll see phrases such as

"You must use an ‘affirmative’ method of getting consent." and "You must make it easy for people to withdraw consent, and tell them how."

So Vodafone, having never given consent, HOW to I withdraw it....?

 

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9: Established

The text is not even true. 

 

Start is not required to be installed 

 

I do not have it on one of our Android phones and the lack of it causes no problems. 

 

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2: Seeker

Exactly, and I repeatedly disable it with no ill effect. 

It's an advertising tool and that's it.

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16: Advanced member

I think you'll find that by taking out a contract that includes a Vodafone branded (and subsidised) handset you have given your consent for this app to provide markesting info; check the contract.

 

In the original post you mentioned that you were on Android 7 - however that was almost 2 years ago - has your software updated to Android 8 or even 9?

 

I have Start on my Huawei P20 which has Android 8 and now 9 and I simply turned off all notifcations for this app via Settings >>> Apps and it's like not having it at all.

 

Having the app there is not a security issue nor a resource issue, it's very small, but that should solve your notifications issue.

 

As has been pointed out in other posts the only way to avoid having these apps i the first place is but an unbranded, and unsubsidised, handset from the manufacturer.

Huawei P20 EML-L09,

Android Version - 9.0.0 EMUI Version 9.1.0

Last Update 10.9.19

Build- 9.1.0.328(C432E7R1P11)

Baseband- 21C20B369S009C000
Nova Launcher. Chrome browser.

My phone history (back to 1997!):

Huawei P20, VF Smart V8, Note 4, S4, S2, Tocco Ultra, F490, P300, E250, RAZR v3, Timeport 250, A300, Star-Tac 

 

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2: Seeker

Let's assume the contract does say something about preinstalled apps. The law says something about being able to opt out.....

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