Smartphones are considered multimedia devices. They allow us to stream shows, play games, and surf the web at any time. However, many background services that may or may not be vital to your device’s experience are running. Some of these services are controlled by a Mobile Services Manager (MSM), a pre-installed application that silently manages your device without your knowledge. Even the most affordable Android phones aren’t safe from these pre-installed apps. In this guide, we explain what a mobile service manager does and why it is used in the first place.
What is the purpose of a mobile service manager?
Let’s start by explaining why a mobile service manager may come pre-installed on your Android device. An MSM application is typically deployed on devices at a wireless carrier store or website. But they can be integrated into the Android operating system, depending on the model. Still, you’ll likely see them on phones purchased directly through T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, or AT&T. As with carrier-specific devices, you get many pre-installed apps and services unique to that wireless carrier. They each have their own.
The MSM app is there to silently download, update, and install all those carrier-specific apps without you touching anything. It also allows the wireless carrier to manage the functionality of your device. In theory, this ensures that your device is running at peak performance by keeping it up to date, but it doesn’t always work that way. Having an MSM app can be intrusive since the carrier can use it to install apps you don’t want, which can be difficult to manage.
Since there are bugs, glitches, and errors, running these services in the background can cause more harm than good. In addition to being potentially intrusive, an MSM app may reduce your device’s performance, crash the system, or negatively affect your overall battery life. Ideally, you want your device experience to be bug-free, but you may not have a say in that. It’s up to your mobile carrier to properly manage the MSM app to keep everything working properly, and you may have to wait for them to resolve issues in some cases.
Can you disable the Mobile Services Manager app?
The answer varies since there are many mobile carriers, Android device manufacturers and model types. Some devices allow you to disable or completely uninstall the Mobile Services Manager app. You can go to the Settings app and locate the section where it shows your installed apps, then search for “mobile services manager”. Open the apps list and remove it using the built-in system uninstall method. However, the more likely story is that you are unable to find the app or are unable to remove it using conventional methods.
You may need to turn on the Show system apps in your settings menu, but it may still not appear for some later. There is a simple method to locate a hidden MSM application that does not involve using ADB commands or rooting your device. You can view a complete list of your system applications using the Solid Explorer File Manager application. Once installed, locate the Mobile Services Manager app and remove it from your device.
To find a hidden MSM system app on your device, follow these steps:
- Install Solid Explorer on your Android device from the Google Play Store.
- Open the app, then scroll down to the intro page or choose Jump.
- Check the box to accept the license agreement, then tap Do.
- Tap the menu icon in the upper left corner.
- Go to Applications section.
- Faucet System apps.
- Scroll down or search mobile services manager.
- Select the application entry from the list.
- Press the three point menu in the upper right corner.
- Choose System information.
- Delete or disable the app from your device.
Sometimes the mobile carrier prevents you from touching the MSM app using the built-in app uninstall method. There is no guarantee that you can disable or uninstall the MSM app from your device without leveraging the power of ADB commands or having full root access.
A mobile service manager can be helpful
Having a wireless carrier control, update, or install apps on a device in the background has benefits for the average user. In practice, managing these apps and features in the background seems like a good idea, but it doesn’t always suit everyone. Wireless carriers are sometimes known to be sneaky by installing additional apps without your knowledge. But you can delete the MSM app from your device if it becomes too difficult to handle. It’s worth trying to stop carrier-specific background services.
To further optimize your Android device experience, you can safely freeze unwanted apps or bloatware using ADB commands on the device. Devices from wireless carriers have too many apps preinstalled, and this method can eliminate clutter.