Troubleshooting ADB Uninstall Failures

Troubleshooting ADB Uninstall Failures

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When developing Android applications, it’s common to install and uninstall apps frequently as part of the testing process. However, developers sometimes encounter a perplexing issue: the adb uninstall command returns a “Failure” message without any clear reason, as reported by developers using devices like the Samsung S2.

This guide aims to provide solutions to this problem, ensuring that your development workflow remains uninterrupted.

Understanding the Issue

Typically, when an app doesn’t show an uninstall button in the device’s application management settings, or when the adb uninstall command fails, it indicates a problem with the app’s installation or its registration in the Android system.

Steps to Resolve ADB Uninstall Issues

Before proceeding, ensure that your device is in developer mode with USB debugging enabled and you have ADB installed on your development machine. Here’s what you can do to uninstall an application:

Using ADB Uninstall

The straightforward approach is to use the adb uninstall command followed by the package name of the application you wish to remove:

adb uninstall com.example.yourapp

Replace com.example.yourapp with the actual package name of the app you’re trying to uninstall.

Using Android’s Package Manager

If the above method doesn’t work, you can try using the package manager directly within the ADB shell:

adb shell
pm uninstall --user 0 com.example.yourapp

Here, --user 0 specifies the main user profile on the Android system. Again, replace com.example.yourapp with the actual package name.

Identifying the Package Name

If you’re not sure about the package name, you can list all installed packages and search for your app’s name:

adb shell pm list packages | grep "partial_app_name"

Additional Considerations

  • Ensure the app is not set as a device administrator. If it is, deactivate it before uninstalling.
  • Check if “Instant Run” is enabled in your IDE settings and consider disabling it.
  • If your app is an internal system app, you might need root access to uninstall it.
  • Ensure no emulator or other devices are connected that might interfere with the ADB commands.

Repeato: Streamlining Your Testing Process

While resolving ADB issues is crucial, it’s equally important to have a robust testing strategy. Repeato, our no-code test automation tool, can significantly enhance your testing workflow for iOS and Android apps. With its computer vision and AI capabilities, you can easily create, run, and maintain automated tests across different app frameworks like React Native, Flutter, and Unity.

Repeato’s integration with ADB allows you to execute ADB commands via script steps, providing a seamless testing experience. Learn more about how Repeato can help streamline your development and testing process in our article on Repeato vs. Appium.


Uninstalling apps through ADB should be a straightforward process. By following the steps outlined above, you can troubleshoot and resolve uninstallation issues effectively. Remember to consider the package name, user profiles, and any system-level restrictions that might be causing the problem.

For more insights and guides on Android development, explore our extensive range of articles on ADB and mobile app testing tools.

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