This tutorial shows you how to remove system applications that come installed on your phone, or ROM of your choice that you don’t actually want.


  1. If the ROM you are using has the Read/Write via Overlay Filesystem on then there’s no need to boot into recovery
  2. If you’ve used the S-OFF hack to enable full read/write access to your system partition then there’s no need to boot into recovery
  3. If you’re using the latest Amon RA Recovery, then you can just use the “Mounts” option to mount the system partition


  1. A rooted phone
  2. The adb driver setup on your computer – how to

Video Tutorial

This video shows you how easy it is to do everything below!

Making the System Partition Writable

This change isn’t permanent, meaning that when you leave recovery mode your system partition will revert back to read-only.  It’s only temporarily writable so that you can get rid of those unwanted apps.

  1. Connect your Desire via USB cable
  2. Open the Command Prompt/Terminal on your computer (Start Menu > Run > Cmd)
  3. In the command prompt window type: adb reboot recovery
    Your phone should restart in recovery mode
  4. Type: adb shell
    The first character in the command prompt will change to a #
  5. Type: mount -o rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
    This mounts the system partition and gives you read and write access to it

Backing Up Applications

Before you start deleting apps, I’d strongly recommend backing them up onto your computer first.  Here’s how:

  1. Type: exit
    This leaves shell mode
  2. Type: adb shell ls system/data
    You should now see a list of all the apps (.apk files) in your system folder
  3. For whichever apps you want to backup type:
    adb pull system/app/<full_name_of_app.apk> <full_name_of_app.apk>
    where <full_name_of_app.apk> is the name that was listed in step 2
  4. If you look on your computer in the directory that Command Prompt is pointing to e.g. C:/Users/Ash then you’ll see a copy of that .apk file that you just backed up

Deleting Apps

Note: PLEASE make sure you’ve backed up any applications before deleting them.
Also, be sure that you’re not deleting any important system apps like Rosie (the HTC Sense framework!).  Deleting things like Quick Office, Peep, Teeter, Facebook etc is fine.

  1. Enter shell mode again by typing: adb shell
  2. Type: cd system/app
    This takes you into the system/app folder
  3. Type: ls
    This will show you a listing of the apps (.apk files) in the folder
  4. Type: rm <full_name_of_app.apk>
    where <full_name_of_app.apk> is the name that was listed in step 2
    This deletes the application permanently from your phone
  5. If in step #3 there was a <full_name_of_app>.odex file as well as .apk then delete that too using: rm <full_name_of_app.odex>


Once you’re done deleting your applications you can restart your phone and if everything went well then it will start normally and you’ll find that the deleted applications no longer show up in your app drawer.

Restoring Applications

If for whatever reason you decide that you want to reinstall those system applications you backed up, you can do the following:

  1. Make your system partition writable using the steps in Making the System Partition Writable
  2. Locate the apks you backed up before deleting
  3. Type adb push <full_name_of_app.apk> system/app/<full_name_of_app.apk>
ypmount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system

This guide shows you how to convert the 3GP videos that your phone records into videos that you can play on your computer and on other gadgets and devices, like the Sony PlayStation 3.


  1. MPEG Streamclip Video Convertor (free) – download here


  1. Unzip MPEG Streamclip into a location of your choice
  2. That’s it – there’s no installer for it or anything


  1. Connect your Desire to computer in Disk Drive mode
  2. (optional but recommended) – Copy the video you want to convert onto your computer somewhere
  3. Open the folder you extracted MPEG Streamclip to and run MPEG_Streamclip(.exe)
  4. Go on File > Open Files and select the file you want to convert
  5. Select File > Export to MPEG-4
  6. Use the following setings (most of them should be set by default anyway):
    • Compression: leave as default
    • Quality: 100%
    • Sound: MPEG-4 AAC
    • Frame Size: the one which says unscaled next to it
    • Frame Rate: leave blank
  7. Press Make MP4
  8. Select the location and filename of your converted video
  9. Wait while it converts (should be pretty quick)
  10. Test your video on your favourite video player


  1. For the frame rate setting, you could enter the frame rate of your source video
    I noticed after conversion that the framerate of my convereted video was one less than the source’s
  2. If your videos are already MP4 files there’s no need to convert.  They should already be compatible with most players


Instead of converting to an MP4, you can also convert to an avi (in case you get issues playing the MP4)

  1. Press File > Export to AVI
  2. Use MPEG-Layer 3 or MPEG-4 AAC as the audio codec
  3. Make sure Frame Size is unscaled
  4. Enter a frame rate if you want
  5. Click Make AVI

Here’s another dose of FAQs based on recent emails to MyHTCDesire:

  1. [When] will the Desire be getting Gingerbread?
    There’s been no confirmation yet so we really don’t know.  Gingerbread should be released very soon (rumour says 11 November) and some time around that release date HTC will let us know whether we’re getting that update or not.  Gingerbread itself can’t be far from release as Google added a Gingerbread man to their lawn on 22 October (signifying the upcoming release):
  2. I’ve been having issues with my phone and have been advised to perform a factory reset, is there any way around this?
    Depending on the type of issue you’re having, a factory reset might avoidable.  In any case, it’s always good to make a full backup of everything (how to) to make sure you suffer minimal data loss in case you do end up performing a factory reset.  If you’re told the solution is a factory reset then that’s probably the best solution, but if it just seems like a software related issue you could go through and uninstall recently installed apps to see if they’re causing the issues.
  3. How do I sync my Hotmail account with the Mail app?
    Instructions on how to setup Hotmail with the Desire can be found here.  Hotmail uses the POP3 protocol to make your mail accessible on 3rd party clients (such as the Mail app).  It basically downloads a copy of your emails to your phone, and then anything you do to that email only affects the copy you have on your phone.  If you delete that email on your phone then it won’t delete the original in your Hotmail inbox.
    There’s one option in the Mail app which I don’t use, but it may be of use to others:  Account Settings > Receive Settings > Delete mail on Server. It means that as soon as you receive the email (not when you delete) to your Desire it will be deleted from your actual Hotmail account.  If you then login to Hotmail on your computer, or check your Hotmail on another client then you won’t see that email.  Your Desire has the only copy, so when you delete it from there it’s gone
  4. How do I turn off predictive typing?
    Settings > Language & keyboard > Touch Input > Text input > Prediction.  You can toggle it on/off there
  5. How can I download photos to my PC?
    Connect your phone via the USB cable.  When prompted select Disk Drive mode.  Your phone will appear as a removable storage device on your computer.  Go to dcim/100MEDIA and you’ll find all your photos in there.  Alternatively, you can use DoubleTwist as a fully featured management application for your phone
  6. When will the Desire be getting features?
    Again, there’s no official word on whether the Desire will be getting these features (which are on the Desire Z and HD).  According to some people, HTC claim that will be for all phones in the Desire family, including the original Desire.  If you’re impatient, then you can already get this new functionality by installing one of the HD ROMs from XDA-Developers.
    If we were to get Gingerbread and then HTC would need to update 3 things: for Desire, Gingerbread for Desire and for Gingerbread – it would actually make more Sense (slight pun intended) if there was just one update containing on Gingerbread, especially considering how slow all the network providers are in providing just one update.
  7. What does “For security, your phone is set to block installation of applications not sourced in Android Market” mean and how do I get rid of it?
    This message means that your phone is currently set to only install applications you download via the Market.  To install other applications just go on: Settings > Applications >Unknow sources
  8. What’s the best book reader for the Desire?
    I’ve grown a pretty strong liking to Kindle, but there are alternatives such as Laputa (which has a massive collection of free books) and Aldiko
  9. Where can I get the adb driver from?
    You can download the drivers from here or if those don’t work then use this guide to get the latest drivers from the Android SDK
  10. I’m on Froyo, and still running out of space – what can I do?
    There’s 2 main things you can do:
    1) Force Froyo to install all apps to SD card – instructions
    2) Root your Desire and use app2ext instead (which installs the full app to SD card instead of part to phone and part to SD)