How to Unset Persistent System Properties on Android Devices

How to Unset Persistent System Properties on Android Devices

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When working with Android development or device management, you may encounter situations where you need to remove or unset a persistent system property. Persistent system properties are those that retain their value even after a device reboot. This can be particularly challenging as there isn’t a direct unsetprop command available. In this article, we will guide you through the process of unsetting these properties.

Understanding Persistent Properties

Persistent properties in Android are used to store settings and configurations that should survive device reboots. These properties are usually prefixed with “persist.” and can be set using the setprop command via adb (Android Debug Bridge).

Unsetting Properties on Android 9 Pie and Newer

Starting with Android 9 Pie, persistent properties are stored in a consolidated file. To unset a property, simply clear its value:

adb shell setprop "" && adb shell reboot

This will clear the property value and the subsequent reboot will ensure the property is unset.

Unsetting Properties on Pre-Android 9 Devices

For devices running versions prior to Android 9 Pie, each persistent property is stored as an individual file. To remove a property, you would delete its corresponding file and then reboot the device:

adb shell rm /data/property/ && adb shell reboot

Note that this method is not applicable to newer versions of Android due to changes in the way properties are stored.

Using Third-Party Tools

There are third-party tools available that provide commands to delete persistent properties. One such command is resetprop -p --delete, which can be particularly useful if the standard method is not working for you. Here’s how to use it:

adb shell resetprop --delete

It’s important to note that using third-party tools may require root access and should be used with caution.

Why Unsetting Properties Matters

Unsetting persistent system properties can be crucial for several reasons. It may be necessary during development to reset the device’s state, or to ensure that changes in configuration do not persist across reboots during testing phases. Proper management of these properties ensures that the device operates as intended and that tests are conducted in a controlled environment.

Automating Testing with Repeato

Speaking of testing, automating this process can save time and reduce errors. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that simplifies the creation, execution, and maintenance of automated tests for your applications. With its computer vision and AI capabilities, Repeato offers fast test editing and execution.

Moreover, Repeato includes ADB integration, allowing you to execute ADB commands seamlessly within your automated test sequences. This feature can be particularly handy when you need to manipulate system properties as part of your test setup or teardown process.

If you are interested in accelerating your app testing with the power of automation and ADB commands, consider exploring Repeato and its features to enhance your testing workflow.

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