How to remove Facebook bloatware from the OnePlus 8 series and OnePlus Nord
Android and bloatware are two spheres that have co-existed since the very beginning of the OS’s existence. The story started off with carriers bundling a variety of useless or functionally-duplicate-yet-inferior apps onto smartphones sold under their network. From there, the story expanded to OEMs themselves bundling duplicate apps, and even to apps from Facebook and Microsoft being bundled onto smartphones. We see bloatware everywhere, so much so that its existence is no longer a surprise, but its non-existence definitely is a pleasant surprise. OnePlus is partaking in the bloatware mess by bundling in Facebook-owned apps on the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, and the OnePlus Nord. But thankfully, there is a way to remove Facebook bloatware from these devices.
The definition of bloatware is fluid and changes for each user — what one considers as bloat might actually be useful to someone else. With that in mind, it isn’t exactly news that OnePlus smartphones are now packing in apps that may or may not add utility to all users. OnePlus has been bundling its Community app since the OnePlus 3, and you can also spot the Kindle app and some more such apps for quite a few generations now. But most of it could be easily uninstalled, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
However, as Android Police confirmed, OxygenOS on the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, and the OnePlus Nord (at least) now pack in the Facebook App Installer, Facebook App Manager, and Facebook Services as system apps, alongside the main Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Netflix. In response to a feature suggestion under its Ideas campaign, OnePlus reasoned that the pre-installation of these apps ensures better battery efficiency on Facebook and enhances HDR playback on Netflix, though we aren’t sold. It is common knowledge that app preloading is a monetization opportunity, and OEMs regularly partner with apps to preload them onto their smartphones, and we reckon that is what is happening here as well. You can uninstall the user-facing apps like Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, but the background services cannot be uninstalled and can only be disabled.
Well, you can still uninstall them, but you need ADB for it. We have long-standing guides on how to remove carrier and OEM bloatware without root access, and those learnings continue to hold true. You can follow the guide to clean your phone (any Android phone), but if you are looking for specific commands to remove the Facebook apps from the OnePlus 8 series and OnePlus Nord, XDA Senior Member Saiger notes that these are the commands that you need to run through ADB:
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.facebook.appmanager pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.facebook.services pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.facebook.system
These commands should rid your new $900 smartphone from the pre-loaded and “uninstallable” Facebook bloatware. You may need to repeat the steps again with every OTA, but it’s better than having no solution at all.