How to Uninstall Carbonite on Android

Carbonite is an extremely popular automatic cloud backup service. Two reasons it’s so popular is because it’s dirt cheap (only $5.00 per month), but doesn’t sacrifice crucial features. In addition to relatively fast transfer speeds, it’s loaded with a lot of valuable and secure features that remove the hassle and burden of manually backing up data.

But, it isn’t perfect. Sometimes people will want to uninstall Carbonite, which can cause massive headaches. Perhaps a user simply wants to change cloud storage services, perhaps a user wishes to sell their computing device, or any number of other reasons. Unfortunately, Carbonite has one irksome flaw: it’s quite challenging to uninstall properly.

carbonite3And as much as we’d all like to take our cloud storage providers’ word and knowledgebase for granted, the problem is that there are some massive flaws in their guide. You see, Carbonite installs itself within the Android operating system as a “device administrator.” For regular users, the “Uninstall” button isn’t available. This small oversight within the design of Carbonite has caused a lot of headaches from people that want to remove the service from their Android device.

To compound this problem further, many users try to disable Carbonite from the Google Play store. But they are only met with the following annoying error: “This app is a device administrator and must be deactivated before uninstalling.” Error messages (whether you’re using a Linux, Apple, or Windows system) were created by software developers who had an intent to earmark problems for the debugging process. But to everyday users like you and me, these error messages seem extremely cryptic, and don’t often point us in the right direction.

The Uninstall Procedure

If you’ve been left pounding your head against the wall and crying out to the heavens for a solution, use the following steps to wipe that sucker off your Android device.

  1. Start by navigating to the Settings screen on your Android device.

  2. Select the “Security” section.

  3. Scroll to the bottom and press the “Device administrators” option.

  4. Deselect Carbonite from the list.

  5. Browse to “Settings” and then “Apps”

  6. Select the Carbonite app icon

  7. Select “Uninstall

By limiting Carbonite’s privileges and barring it from being an administrator, you’ll be able to uninstall it successfully. I’m not sure why they designed the application to be such a pain to uninstall, but hey, no code is ever 100% perfect. If, for some strange reason, you cannot change its administrative settings and you still can’t completely remove it, there is one final option.

The Ugly Alternative

carbonite2If you still can’t uninstall Carbonite, there is one more option…and it should really be your last option. Most devices have a way to perform a factory reset, though this is unattractive for several reasons. First of all, you’d need to download and reinstall all the other software and updates that you had before you performed the reset. In addition, you’d want to make sure that you’ve backed up any local data before resetting your device.

Final Thoughts

The crux of the problem is restraining Carbonite from administrative settings. After you have disabled Carbonite as an administrator, it will be possible to uninstall it for once and for all. I’d highly recommend deactivating the software as an administrator first, but understand that the aforementioned steps are only the general process.

The fact remains that Android is one of the most implemented operating systems in the history of the world, and it spans hundreds (if not thousands) of different devices. As such, you never know what kind of cryptic error might pop up during the uninstall procedure, whether there is a hardware issue with your model of phone or a software issue specific to your device.

In the event of these types of errors where there seems to be no feasible workaround, the last option is to do a factory reset. But I hope, for your sake, that it doesn’t come to that!

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