SIM Toolkit application is a common source of confusion because it’s present when you first insert the SIM card. Moreover, it cannot be uninstalled like regular applications, since it is system-protected. As if that isn’t enough, because it isn’t tied to a carrier, it can transfer data in the background even when deactivated. Luckily, the app is harmless and except for potential surveillance by the service provider, even beneficial. Unfortunately, it can still annoy users via USSD pop-ups, screen flashes, notifications, or attempts to sell more services. For that reason, here’s how to delete SIM Toolkit.
1. Remove SIM Toolkit via ADB
ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is a command-line tool that allows communication with a smart device. And while it’s almost exclusively used by developers, you can also use ADB for removing SIM Toolkit. So, start by installing and setting up ADB on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Then, follow these steps:
1. Become a developer and enable USB debugging
Becoming a developer in Android 11 works like this:
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll down and tap on System.
- Go to About phone.
- Find Build number, then rapidly tap on it 7-8 times in a row.
- You’ll see a “You’re now a developer!” notification.
- Go back to Settings > System.
- Tap on Developer options.
- Scroll down a little, find the Debugging section, then toggle USB debugging to on.
2. Run ADB removal/disable command
Connect your Android smart device to your computer via USB. Then, follow these instructions:
- From the notification pane, switch from Charge only to MPT (Media Transfer Protocol) Transfer.
- Go to the ADB folder (platform-tools by default).
- Launch Command Prompt from that folder. On Windows, you can hold Shift, then right-click and select Open command window here.
- Type adb devices in the Command Prompt command-line and press Enter. Tap on OK on your smartphone to allow USB debugging.
- If you did everything right, you’ll see the serial number of your smartphone under List of devices attached.
- Now, type adb shell and press Enter.
- Type pm list packages | grep ‘android.stk’ and press Enter.
Tip. Switch “android” with your carrier’s name or phone manufacturer’s name on a custom version info Android. For example, “oneplus.stk”
- Finally, to erase SIM Toolkit, use the name of the package that came up. For default Android, it looks like this:
pm uninstall -k –user 0 com.android.stk
- You’ll see a Success notification if it worked. Some Androids don’t allow deleting. Instead, you can use the following command to neutralize SIM Toolkit:
pm disable-user com.android.stk
- You’ll see Success message in Command Prompt. If that still doesn’t work, add adb shell in front, like this: “adb shell pm disable…”
2. Delete SIM Toolkit after rooting or jailbreaking
The only way to directly delete SIM Toolkit is to root or jailbreak your smart device. However, both rooting and jailbreaking risk bricking your smartphone, losing the warranty, and you might be unable to update your operating system. With that acknowledged, here’s how deleting SIM Toolkit works like based on the operating system:
What you should do depends entirely on the way you obtained administrator access. Some rooting methods come with a built-in “God Mode” app, allowing you to get rid of the SIM toolkit alongside other APKs in a few taps. If yours doesn’t, install an APK for removing bloatware and pre-installed system apps. Alternatively, you can install a dedicated APK remover app, and get rid of SIM Toolkit directly.
You can remove SIM Toolkit for Apple devices after jailbreaking your SIM card. It’s named SIM Applications and isn’t in the app drawer like on Android, Instead, you can access it via the Settings > Mobile Data menu (Cellular Data in newer iOS versions). With that said, use one of these 2 methods to remove SIM Toolkit on iOS:
- Use a file manager app such as iFile. You must also remove the accompanying .plist (information property list) file too.
- Browse your iOS storage space by connecting your smart device to your computer via USB to Lightning cable. Use computer software such as iFunbox, then visit the root/Applications folder and find SIM Applications.
3. Disable SIM Toolkit pop-ups and notifications
As mentioned, in most cases, the desire to uninstall SIM Toolkit comes from annoying notifications or pop-ups. Well, you can avoid the risks and labor of erasing the SIM Toolkit by stopping them from appearing. We’ll use Airtel SIM for demonstration, but you should look up specific steps for your carrier. Alternatively, use the 3rd method, which works for any carrier.
- Stop them directly. Open SIM Toolkit or Airtel Services app > select Airtel Now! > Tap on Start/Stop > select Stop > Tap on OK to confirm.
- Use a code. Send SMS containing “STOP ANOW” to 58234 to stop USSD/SIM Toolkit notifications.
- Install a third-party app. Open Google Play Store > search for “USSD Blocker”. Besides blocking, most apps allow redirecting the message content to the app interface, so you don’t miss out on information.