How to disable the TouchPal Keyboard without root

MKOPMKOP usPosts: 18 ✭✭✭✭✭

I documented in another thread more applications that I found preinstalled on the ZTE Overture that could not be removed or disabled through the android phone interface that were establishing outbound network sessions and transferring information to outside hosts.

One of those is the TouchPal Keyboard. Since I fail to see why a keyboard application needs to continually communicate to external hosts and that the application can not be disabled natively, this raises a big red flag for me.

Here's how I disabled it without root access

You need adb.exe and the drivers for the phone.
You can get these by downloading the 'platform-tools-latest-windows'
https://developer.android.com/studio/releases/platform-tools.html

Drivers depend on your model phone, here's a good starting point:
https://freeandroidroot.com/download-zte-usb-drivers/

Put the phone into USB debugging mode.
https://www.iseepassword.com/blog/enable-usb-debugging-on-android-phone/

Plug in the phone and set it to debugging.

Now extract the platform tools, and run

adb devices

You should see 1 device listed. If you do, keep going. If you don't, you probably need different drivers or the usb debug mode isnt active.

Connect to the device:

adb shell

Now list the users on the phone. Usually there is only 1 but there could be more.

jeff:/ $ pm list users
Users:
UserInfo{0:Mike:13} running

The user ID is 0. There could be more, so the next steps are run for each user.

Next, remove the 3 touchpal packages that come preinstalled for the users.
These are the commands I used
jeff:/ $ pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.emoji.keyboard.touchpal
Success
jeff:/ $ pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.cootek.smartinputv5.language.spanishus
Success
jeff:/ $ pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.cootek.smartinputv5.language.englishgb
Success
jeff:/ $

That's it, the app is no longer installed. Go look at the apps list, unhide the system apps and you'll see the keyboard app is 'no longer installed for this user'.
Reboot the phone and it won't be listed at all.

This 'fix' should work until the next OTA upgrade happens at which point the default apps will probably be reinstalled. Just run these commands again.

Comments

  • jimlloyd40jimlloyd40 Phoenix, AZ Posts: 15,850 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @MKOP said:
    I documented in another thread more applications that I found preinstalled on the ZTE Overture that could not be removed or disabled through the android phone interface that were establishing outbound network sessions and transferring information to outside hosts.

    One of those is the TouchPal Keyboard. Since I fail to see why a keyboard application needs to continually communicate to external hosts and that the application can not be disabled natively, this raises a big red flag for me.

    Here's how I disabled it without root access

    You need adb.exe and the drivers for the phone.
    You can get these by downloading the 'platform-tools-latest-windows'
    https://developer.android.com/studio/releases/platform-tools.html

    Drivers depend on your model phone, here's a good starting point:
    https://freeandroidroot.com/download-zte-usb-drivers/

    Put the phone into USB debugging mode.
    https://www.iseepassword.com/blog/enable-usb-debugging-on-android-phone/

    Plug in the phone and set it to debugging.

    Now extract the platform tools, and run

    adb devices

    You should see 1 device listed. If you do, keep going. If you don't, you probably need different drivers or the usb debug mode isnt active.

    Connect to the device:

    adb shell

    Now list the users on the phone. Usually there is only 1 but there could be more.

    jeff:/ $ pm list users
    Users:
    UserInfo{0:Mike:13} running

    The user ID is 0. There could be more, so the next steps are run for each user.

    Next, remove the 3 touchpal packages that come preinstalled for the users.
    These are the commands I used
    jeff:/ $ pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.emoji.keyboard.touchpal
    Success
    jeff:/ $ pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.cootek.smartinputv5.language.spanishus
    Success
    jeff:/ $ pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.cootek.smartinputv5.language.englishgb
    Success
    jeff:/ $

    That's it, the app is no longer installed. Go look at the apps list, unhide the system apps and you'll see the keyboard app is 'no longer installed for this user'.
    Reboot the phone and it won't be listed at all.

    This 'fix' should work until the next OTA upgrade happens at which point the default apps will probably be reinstalled. Just run these commands again.

    You do excellent work @MKOP. That was so well done it almost makes we wish that I had the TouchPal keyboard just so I could feel the satisfaction of getting rid of it.

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