Finalising the setup wizard without consenting to Google's TOS

Yeah, you can skip creating credentials, but signing up is still compulsory.

My intent isn’t to use that OS though: I purchased from Fairphone because I really like their hardware philosophy. I was under the impression that the hardware was more open and I didn’t have to commit to their software (which I don’t like in the least).

Maybe I’m too use to dealing with laptop manufacturers and not phone manufacturers?

This isn’t a laptop (and those are getting increasingly locked down too).

And this…

…is already a reality as well. There are countless TV manufactures that require you to accept some kind of TOS before using the device.

I understand your frustration, I really do, but this has been the state of Android for a lot of years now. Normal users want to easily install their random proprietary app from the Play Store and if that doesn’t work they won’t buy the device. For that to happen, Fairphone has to get the phone certified by Google and that includes (among other things) shipping with Google Play Services.
Fairphone is still a business after all.

If you don’t agree with that tradeoff, there is the option to buy the exact same device Google free with /e/ preinstalled.

Edit: One last note

I personally have set up 2 FP4 without a Google account, that screen wants your consent to the TOS, you aren’t creating an account.


I’ve heard good things from Fairphone, but honestly know little of /e/; I’ve mostly heard negative things from them, especially on the privacy front.

The advertise themselves as a de-googled Android, but seem to mostly be a closed-source LineageOS fork (though they somehow don’t present themselves as this?).

They’re not very transparent, it’s unclear why they made their fork, nor why they decided to make it closed source, nor in what specific ways they diverge from LineageOS.

Honestly, they sound pretty shady. And they also don’t have all the same colour choices.

I honestly want to buy the hardware and just that. use the hardware I’ve bought.

Sorry if my wording was not perfectly accurate; the setup wants me to “enter into a contractual relationship”, as it’s described in those ToS. I’m not a lawyer and “Signing up” sounded close enough.

You can buy a FP4 with another OS preinstalled

From Iode (probably not yet as still in beta) Murena (e/OS)

And if this is all not privacy friendly enough for you, you might want to check if Volla Phone is available in your country, or the Libre Phone or…


I have two FP3 no problem. I don’t have a google account. If I want to use the default Android, which is licensed by Google I have to say yes, but that’s it. I don’t require an account, Google get no private identifying info from me.

This is all done before the phone connects to the internet or network, no info can be sent to Google.

Phone stays bootlocked, unrooted. I use adb to get rid all the google apps, keeping carrier and keyboard for example then download apps I want.

I have one on Android 10 and one on Android 11, could the A11 on the FP4 be so different ?


Unfortunately, FP4 comes with Google apps preinstalled.

As @anon9989719 said, you could setup your FP OS without internet connection and then debloat it from most of the Google packages.

Or you could install one of the alternative operating systems which doesn’t contain Google apps preinstalled.



“The /e/ ROM is a fork of Android and in particular the LineageOS flavor of Android.”

“/e/ is forked from LineageOS.”

What is the “it” you are referring to?

“Is /e/ open source? Yes - all source code is available on our /e/ Gitlab. You can compile or fork it. Some prebuilt applications are used in the system. They are built separately from source code available here or synced from open source repositories such as F-Droid. We ship one proprietary application though (read the statement).”


You’d better not let me choose a side :wink: .


This was my plan, but it seems that entering into agreement with Google is a per-requisite to using a non-Google OS. It seems nobody actually tested this scenario.

My only course of action seems to be to send it back and wait for this to be fixed, but not getting any reply from support.

This will not get fixed in my eyes, you cannot use Google without consenting to it, and by setting up the phone you automatically use Google. So the only way in my eyes would be to buy one from e/OS or wait that Iode will sell pre-installed phones


The problem is, one MUST set up Google before opting out. It’s also not possible to set up something else without entering into this agreement either.

My assumption is that this has been a silly oversight, and not that Fairphone has opted to do this deliberately. If I’m wrong I’ll bring this up with the Dutch Data Protection Authority. I did pay €630 for this, so expect to be able to use without any agreeing to any shady stuff.

I would disagree. When you want to use a phone with GApps installed you cannot do this without agreeing to their TOS. Its not about cookies, so there will be no opt out. If you dont want to agree to Google TOS you have to buy a device without Google. I dont see that this is against GDPR. Not sure what the price has to do with this?


What’s your background with smartphones if I may ask?
Because what you assume to be a “silly mistake” by Fairphone to my knowledge is exactly done like this by any Android™ smartphone manufacturer (I deliberately put the “™” after Android because I guess the Google-free phones by Huawei and tablets by Amazon won’t have it of course; but they aren’t Android™).


I understand that one must agree to Google’s terms if one wants to use Google’s services.

I do not want to use a phone with the software that’s pre-installed. I want to delete the software that’s per-installed, but in order to do so I need to sign up with Google.

Fairphone thought of the possibility of users NOT wanting to use Google’s stuff, and even allow removing it, but only after signing up with Google. That is the problem. The “you must opt-in first before you can opt-out” approach.

Mostly pointing out that this is a device I paid for and expect to be able to use it. Expectations for a paid product are not the same as some free service.

Every normal Android phone you buy (with the exceptions @Ingo mentioned) will come with Google Play Services preinstalled. You cannot access that system without agreeing to Google’s TOS, because Play Services are directly integrated into the OS. There is no “Start the phone without Google mode”.
That isn’t an oversight, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

If you don’t like that, there are the mentioned alternatives sold by /e/ and iode.

Or you can boot the phone up without a SIM or wifi → accept the TOS → purge all the Google apps from your device → connect to wifi → unlock the bootloader → flash any OS you want to your device…
No data transferred to Google and you can still do what you want.

Just because you paid for something doesn’t mean it follows your rules.
If I pay for a Nintendo Switch I can’t run PC games on that either (at least not by default).

I get your problem, I’d rather not have Google on my phone too, but that’s the reality now and you’ll have to adapt (or choose one of the alternatives).


This is mentioned above.

‘Most’ people want an Android or Apple OS

Fairphone use Android and Google have terms and conditions, that Fairphone to adhere to. Over 500,000 tests to confirm too.

This OS is provided ‘free’ and a person who buys the phone doesn’t have to use Fairphone’s OS, but then can expect the warranty to cover any issue that may be down to the user’s choice of OS. So the user will have to install the default up to date version of Android to convince fairphone to look at any problem under warranty.

You do not have to communicate with Google, but you may want to with Fairphone if there is an issue. They make that easy by providing an OS which if used will enable the warranty.

Fairphone can hardly be expected to support multiple OSes and it is a business and most people are happy with Android (Google gaggled)

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Nintendo’s website doesn’t claim that I can install alternative software. Fairphone has a whole landing page dedicated to this.

Actually, that same page says:

We believe that offering an alternative Operating System like Fairphone Open supports the growing demand of consumers who are concerned about their personal data and surveillance capitalism.

How does making me sign up with an advertising company well-known for spying on people align with this statement?

Then why does Fairphone’s website say:

Fairphone’s ambition is to bring more fairness to software. We want to build trust with our community, support the software long after the phone is launched and put the users in control of their phone. One of the best tools for us to reach these goals is to embrace open source software. Alternative software routes are the answer to keep your Fairphone running securely for longer.

I’m not saying you’re wrong; I’m saying that if you’re right, then Fairphone’s website is full of lies.

There are huge forces at play here, but we hope to influence them by increasing awareness and availability of open-source software (like /e/OS, LineageOS).

That’s on that same landing page

Could they do more, sure. Am I annoyed by how many of the development Fairphone does isn’t really open (the camera app for example), yes. Would I want flashable full system images and a working firehose file, of course.
There will always be tradeoffs, I chose my FP4 for the repairability and fair(er) materials. From a software perspective even my Nexus 4 has been more open and yes, that was built by Google…

But as we all keep repeating here, there are /e/ and iode to choose from, why not buy one of those and be happy? :thinking:


I’m really puzzled by your persistent use of this term “sign up”. Even if it has been discussed above, I’d like to point out (again) that this is not so much “signing up” as it is “if you use this device with the software provided, you’ll have to agree to the following TOS”. It is not tied to any individual user account - which is a separate sign-up(!) process.
I’m far from wanting to protect Google, there is not much I can say I like about that company.

But what you seem to want to do here is argue about the fundamental principle instead of going with the pragmatic solutions that will do you no harm that I can see. You are of course free to bring up your suggestion with Fairphone, but a community forum cannot help you with that. :person_shrugging:


There is only on button during setup: “I agree to Google’s terms”. It is not posssible to replace the OS without this.

I’ve already purchased one from Fairphone. Maybe it was just naive in my part to believe their marketing material. The fact is that it’s kinda late to go back.

I’m also not a fan of going through these third parties – I’ve answered this above. There’s also no guarantee that they won’t pull of the same trick and I’ll be on the same situation, but having bought from a third party.

I’ve answered this before: I said “sign up” but meant “enter into a contractual agreement”. It’s just shorter to type. Sorry if using the wrong wording bothers you so much.

The pragmatic solution being to accept Google’s terms, their spyware, send them my IMEI and other highly identifiable information and accept whatever other conditions might be included there?

If we were all pragmatic to an extreme and discarded any principles we might also get rid of things like GDPR and other ““hard to implement”” rules too, right?

I’ve tried, but I’m getting no reply. Hopefully this’ll at least serve as a warning to other out there who are gullible like me and thought that Fairphone would deliver what its website promises.

No, this is the pragmatic solution right here: