FP5 degoogled on stock rom: how far can we get

As my FP3 died after about 2.5 years (in a similar way as described by several threads, eg. here), I gained hope that the newer generations must be better, as Fairphone is able to offer them with 5 years warranty. So I ordered a FP5.
It arrived, it looks good, I am looking forward to put it to use. But, I am not gonna use it with a google account.

Having used LineageOS and IodéOS on previous devices, I did some research which custom rom would be a good choice for the new FP5. Especially some threads in this forum (e.g. here, here and here) and kukets’ blog are great resources for this.
So far there is only /e/os available, while calyx, iodé, lineage or divestos are work in progress, while grapheneos is unlikely to support FP5. Hence it would be interesting, what privacy enhancements could possibly be implemented on FP5 stock android by medium experienced users that can follow guidelines and use the command line, but cannot develop the tools themselves.

The research helped me to understand that even the privacy focused custom roms are not completely free of connecting to and relying on the google universe. In the end it comes down to how much convenience you are willing to give up for how much security and / or privacy improvement and at which effort.
Since 80% is usually better than striving for perfection, I was wondering how far we can get on stock rom de-googling and if there are any good resources to follow.

Some aspects that come to my mind (for which it would be great to know if they are possible and in the best case create a list of guidelines that could help achieving them):

  • removing unwanted (google) apps via adb (eg. app store / google play services)
  • disabling or setting custom servers / settings for DNS, SUPL, NTP, connectivity check (captive portal), etc…
  • enabling tracking protection / control app web access
  • if wanted: installing microG, magisk
  • … (what else should be added here?)

If a satisfactory degree of privacy can be achieved on stock rom, it would have the benefit that some features, that are much better supported there than in the various custom roms, will remain available (mostly thinking of full camera functionality support, see also here)

There were links to some resources given here recently … 🇩🇪 Wieviel google bleibt noch ohne google Account? - #3 by yvmuell … but mind the dates of the info, things would most probably need to be adjusted for the Fairphone 5 as well as for current App situations, so it’s just a starting point.


Here is what I did with my Fairphone 5 - build FP5.TT3Y.A.127 (2023/12/11). My goal was to leave Google Play Services / Google Framework but change as many apps as possible.

To be disabled via “adb shell pm uninstall --user 0 [packet name]”.
Can be undone via “adb shell cmd package install-existing [packet name]”.

com.google.android.apps.maps # instead in F-Droid you will find GMaps WV (WebView Wrapper)
com.google.android.apps.messaging # I use Smart Messages instead
com.google.android.apps.photos # instead in F-Droid you will find Simple Gallery Pro
com.google.android.calculator # instead in F-Droid you will find OpenCalc
com.google.android.contacts # instead in F-Droid you will find Simple Contacts Pro
com.google.android.deskclock # instead in F-Droid you will find Simple Alarm Clock
com.google.android.gm # instead in F-Droid you will find K9-Mail (I’m sure you know that)
com.google.android.gms.supervision # Google System parental controls
com.google.android.marvin.talkback # Talkback accessibility tool
com.google.android.tts # Google Text-to-speech
com.google.android.apps.nbu.files # Google Files, I use the filemanager from Alhainventor

If you want, but be careful with licensed apps:
com.android.vending # Google Play Store, I use Aurora for installing/updating free apps

This should not be uninstalled, it brings Google Storage Access Framework with it:
com.google.android.documentsui # Android file handle, keep that!

At last I activated the messenger Signal after deactivating Google Play Services, Google Play Store and Google Services Framework. While recovering Signal it mentions the missing GSF and therefore activates its own websocket push service. My alternative for YouTube is YouTube ReVanced. You find a manual at XDA developers. As a tracking blocker I use Blokada.

1 Like

Thanks for the list
Regarding Google Play Store / Google Framework: I do not want to keep any of this (will use only F-Droid, maybe Aurora, and I have no paid app licenses), so is uninstalling com.android.vending enough to remove all components of it or are there others?

And: when there come a new Android OTA update from Fairphone, will it bring back apps that were uninstalled in this way?

Sometimes there are free apps that check Play Store connection. (For example LED Blinker that I use as an AoD alternative, as long as the AoD has battery drain.) So these won’t work anymore. Play Store is com.android.vending as you mentioned. If you even want to get rid of Google Play Services and Google Services Framework, you have to remove com.google.android.gms and com.google.android.gsf. But that makes banking apps and mostly all apps that use push notification unusable.

Maybe you first start with deactivating these. And check Aurora of course.

If you uninstall these apps with “uninstall --user 0”, then an OTA update shouldn’t do things like reactivation.

it seems like uninstalling the full list of apps mentioned above (plus disabling com.android.vending) removes the possibility of receiving / installing OTA system upgrades:

in SettingsSystem
there is no System update

Do you know which package would need to be reactivated / reinstalled for FP updates to work?