Not everyone with a new Evo 4G is just enjoying the beast.  Some of us are hard at work applying everything we know about hacking Android to our new toy.  My eyes are getting blurry, and it's time for a break from the terminal so let's have a look at how you can cull some of the bloat on your Evo.

Revisiting the SDK

For now, there is no way work with the Evo unless you have the Android SDK installed.  That's not a bad thing at all, it just requires a little time and set up. Here's a quick walkthrough for Windows

  • Download the Sun Java JRE package HERE.  Be sure to choose the correct version for your platform.
  • Install it as you would any Windows application.
  • On the SD card that came with your Evo is a folder named HTC sync.  Copy it to your computer and install the app, again just like any other Windows program.
  • Download the Android SDK HERE.
  • Open the zip file, and drag the folder to your C: drive, or any place that's convienent for you.

Now reboot your computer, and while it's booting up turn on USB debugging on your Evo:
Menu>Settings>Applications>Development>check the USB debugging box

When everything is booted back up, plug your phone into a high speed USB port on your computer.  When Windows is finished locating the USB drivers for your phone (they were installed with HTC sync) open a command prompt inside the Android-SDK>tools folder, and type:

adb devices

you should see the serial number of your Evo listed.  That means you're done installing the SDK!

Rooting and using recovery

Phil has done all the legwork on this one.  Check it out (if you already haven't) HERE.  It seems harder that it really is, so don't worry.  You'll have to use the method Phil explains because we need to be in recovery to delete files from the system.

Using adb to delete system files

Warning! -- deleting the wrong files is a sure way to have an Evo that won't boot.  Pay close attention, and let someone else experiement.  Thankfully, KSmithInNY has already been hard at it in the forums.  This is a must read thread.

Before you even think about going forward, use the nandroid backup option in recovery.  this gives you something that works to go back to, and is the most important step in this entire tutorial!

After you've successfully ebtered custom recovery, in that command window you'll want to enter the following:

adb shell
mount /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
cd /system/app

This will give you a list of all the system applications installed on your Evo.  To remove one, you use this syntax:

rm -f amazonmp3.apk

This would delete the Amazon MP3 store from your system.  Carefully delete the applications you no longer want installed.  Be very careful deleting applications that sync through the Accounts and Sync settings.  Some of these are required by the system, and removing them will lock your sync settings and very quickly kill your battery.  As mentioned, don't randomly delete something just because you won't use it :)

Cleaning up the cache

When you're finished deleting the applications, you want to make sure the aren't still indexed by the system.  Use the option in your custom recovery to wipe the dalvik-cache, then reboot your phone.  The first reboot will take a very long time, as it's rebuilding the database of installed programs. 

This whole operation looks and sounds much harder than it really is.  As long as you closely follow directions, you should have no issues.  If it all sounds like it's outside your comfort zone, wait for a custom ROM that does all this for you :)

There are 23 comments

MWH811 says:

Keep getting the message "A required privilege is not held by the client." when trying to open Android-SDK>tools.

Would appreciate any help...

svargas05 says:

What's an Incredible?


atrpm says:

Make sure that you are sign in as an administrador on you PC!

MWH811 says:

Done. Using Ctrl+Shift+. Still getting the same message.

gbhil#AC says:

open the Android SDK folder in Windows Explorer. Shift+right click on the tools folder, choose to open a command prompt here.

At the prompt:
adb devices

what message is returned?

twhite25 says:

Seriously? Can we get any love for the Incredible? Still no accessories for the freaking thing, still no root... Come the eff on.

S4Rs says:

As much as I hate the fact that things like MP3 store, and Sprint nav, load on their own, as long as they dont drain my battery, i think i can deal with it. I can tolerate a lot more than custom roms that have a lot of bugs right now.

I turned of Auto-brightness, Always on Data Connection, and found the Wifi Sleep Timer (in wifi setting, hit the menu button, its the only place in all the settings where the menu button does something)and set that to 15 minutes. Today I am already getting 50 percent better battery life, and wifi and bluetooth have been on with neither connected. All my sync times are set at every 2 hours as well for FB/twatter.

Saepak says:

Just so you know the RvU 1.3.1 custom rom in the forums is pretty clean of bugs. It is running great. Thanks to TheKeithNewman and Gbhil and many others on that one.

moosedallas says:

Does this work on HTC Hero with 2.1, I was just at the Sprint Store and they were not able to assist me..I want Sprint Nav removed.

gbhil#AC says:

Same idea, but different method. You need to root your phone, make a backup and then you can delete any files you like. See the Hero hacking forums for complete instructions.

moosedallas says:

Does this work on HTC Hero with 2.1, I was just at the Sprint Store and they were not able to assist me..I want Sprint Nav removed.

kevlars9 says:

you guys are doing some great coverage on the Evo.! Keep it comeing, this is my new favorite site.

Arty Marty says:

would love to know if there is a way to do this on the HTC Desire...

pb#AC says:


huoter says:

This is on a rooted EVO 4G

When I type command listed below
# mount /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system

I get this prompt:
Usage: Mount [-r] [-w] [-o options] blah blah blah

huoter says:

Do I need to boot into recovery mode to RW files?

ChaosShadow says:

Affirmative. If you don't boot into recovery, you won't be able to delete apps via adb.

pb#AC says:

mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system

12MaNy says:

I get this when trying to enter adb devices at the prompt...

"'adb' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file" WTF?!

alecwyn says:

Does anyone know if this will work after receiving the OTA update on 6/4 which changed the build to 1.32.651.6. I heard this update kills the ability to root the EVO.

lvav06#AC says:

ok i'm not seeing where to type n "abd divices" in what sdk tools folder >

New here, and from what little I know, these instructions appear faulty, not sure how everyone is following them.

# Download the Sun Java JRE package HERE. Be sure to choose the correct version for your platform. DONE!
# Install it as you would any Windows application. DONE!
# On the SD card that came with your Evo is a folder named HTC sync. Copy it to your computer DONE! and install the app Install WHAT app?, again just like any other Windows program Yeah, just like it.....

When I copy the HTC Sync folder over it is empty. What does it mean 'install the app' as I'm all outta apps at this point. Just installed the JRE and expecting to install the SDK, so, would seem whatever this app is that is supposed to be installed in-between those procedures should be identified. I'm just sayin'.


aznraisin83 says:

why would i get this message? "'adb' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file"