As most of you know there two different types of Android apps – system apps and third Party apps. Let us try to understand them bit by bit and then move on learn how to install third-party apps as system apps on Android.
What are system apps?
System apps are apps that are responsible for the core functionality of an Android System. Some apps such as Dialer, Messages, Settings, Camera, and Google Play Store are system apps and without them, your phone would be useless. You can call them as the essential apps on your phone. These apps come pre-installed with the phone when you buy it from the store or online. Also, you must have noticed that you do not get an option to remove these apps. That is because as doing so might impact the core functioning of the Android system.
What is third Party app?
The next are the third-party apps. These apps are the ones that can be download from the Google Play Store or installed via an APK file. Examples of such apps include Amazon, Splitwise, MX Player, and all other apps that you install for fun and entertainment. These apps can be uninstalled anytime you want without any constraints. One thing to keep in mind is that system apps tend to have more permissions which make them have more control over your phone than the normal third-party apps.
Why convert Third-Party apps into System apps?
If you wish to install third-party apps as system apps then you must clearly understand why you need to convert third party apps into system apps. There might arise instances when you might need to format (factory reset) your device to get rid of errors that pop-up every now then and are adamant to never leave your device. Sometimes, your device might not be working the way it’s supposed to. These problems can be removed with a factory reset. But it deletes all the user data and Third party apps. All the favorite apps that you installed from Play Store are gone in a jiffy. But what would have happened if you had installed these third-party apps as System apps? Well, you guessed it right! The system apps never get deleted and hence all your apps and their data would be secure. No more backups!
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What are the Prerequisites?
- A rooted android phone/device.
- A file manager that you desire that allows you to access/modify the root files.
How to install Third-Party Apps as System Apps on Android?
Now let’s get to the main point on how to install third party apps as system apps on your device.
- We are going to use ‘ES File Explorer’ for the activity. The app is free and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. You can use this link here for downloading the app.
[button type=”3d” color=”Green” target=”” link=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=ES+Global”]Download ES File Explorer[/button]
- You can also use ‘Root Explorer’ app. But remember that it is a paid app, hence we are using the free app ‘ES File Explorer.’ If you are willing to shell out a few bucks, then go ahead and use the ‘Root Explorer’ app. Use this link here to download the same.
[button type=”3d” color=”Green” target=”” link=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.speedsoftware.rootexplorer”]Download Root Explorer’[/button]
- Once you have installed the ‘ES File Explorer’, you need to open the app. Swipe from the left side and tap on the ‘Root Explorer’ option to enable the same. You will then be prompted to grant superuser (root) permissions and access for the app. Just tap the ‘Allow’ button.
- Now, go back to the app’s home page and tap on the ‘Internal Storage’ option. Next, tap on the ‘/’ on the top left corner. This will take you to the root directory where the system files are located.
- Once you reach inside the “/“ folder, the root folder of your device, open the ‘data‘ folder and then the “app” folder to access all the data of the installed apps. Every app’s data is located in its own separate folder. Now, you will need to long press on the folder of the app, that you wish to convert as a system app, and then select the “cut” option. We will give an example of the Facebook Lite app. For example, the data of the app will be stored in the folder named ‘com.facebook.lite-1’. Got it?
- Now, go back to the root (‘/’) folder again and navigate to the ‘system’ folder and then to the ‘app’ folder. This is the location where the data of all the system apps are stored or located. Paste the folder that contains the data of the third party app you desire to convert into a system app.
- The next step is to set proper and accurate permissions for the folder that you have just copied. This is important to make sure that it has all the permissions of a system app. For that:
- Long press on the app folder and open its ‘Properties‘.
- Tap on the ‘Change’ button next to the ‘Permissions‘ option.
- Now you have to allow ‘Read’, ‘Write’ and ‘Execute’ permissions.
The permissions that you have allowed should look exactly like the image given below:
- Inside the folder you just copied, there is an APK file which is the actual app. You will now need to configure permission for this APK file too, in order to make sure that it has all the permissions that define a system app. To do this, open the folder you just copied, locate the APK file, and open its ‘Properties.’ Set the permissions that as described in the image below:
- Once you have completed all the steps mentioned above, you simply need to reboot your device for the changes to take effect. Never miss this step. This is the most important step of all otherwise all the above would fail. Upon reboot, you will notice the app you chose has changed to become a system app. To confirm, go to Setting > Apps > (the App that you changed). For example, if you consider the Facebook Lite app, the screen should look like below:
The Uninstall button has disappeared. Congratulations, you have just changed a third party app into a system app.