Thursday, January 06, 2011

How to Uninstall Expired LauncherPro from Android Phone

LauncherPro is an abomination of an Android application that expires itself after some time. In fairness to the developer, it pops up some nagware screens every now and then. However it then goes off the deep end into pure evil-ness:

Once expired, LP will not let you do anything except launch a browser and go to the LP web site to download the latest version. There are two bad things about this:
  • not everyone has a data connection (my phone line has no data plan); other folks went roaming and disabled their data plan. Imagine their surprise when they get off the plane in their home country and find that LauncherPro has bricked their phone.
  • in my case, Wi-Fi was turned off. LP is so incredibly bone-headed, it won't let you access phone settings to enable Wi-Fi!
Some folks suggest using ADB from the Android SDK to force-uninstall LP. However this didn't work for me, as the phone needs to be in Debug mode for ADB to work.

Guess what.. with LP hogging the home button, you can't go to Settings to turn on Debug mode.

I finally found a workable solution: download the latest LauncherPro APK (or hopefully any other APK). Connect your phone to your PC and mount the SD card. Copy the new APK to the top-level of the SD card and rename it to something short (like lp.apk).

Unmount the phone, then in the phone browser (which is the only thing LP lets you run), type the following in the URL bar:

file:///sdcard/lp.apk

(notice the three slashes)

This will force-launch the Installer application on the phone. Now on my phone, it was set to disallow non-Android Market apps from installing; since the APK is not off the Android Market, the phone popped up an error and offered to let me change the application setting. Which launches the Settings application.

The Settings application also allows you to uninstall applications.

Which finally allowed me to get rid of that misbegotten abomination LauncherPro.

On the other hand, if your phone was already configured to allow non-Android Market apps to install, you may not get the Settings up. In which case, allow the newer LP to install and hopefully the expiration bricking would go away.

Me, I've sworn off LauncherPro forever. Get ADW Launcher instead.

13 comments:

Izad said...

Thanks for the tip! Definitely no LauncherPro for me after uninstalling it!!!

Rex Ronny said...

I have the same problem, but i can't seem to find the latest launcherpro. Their website is even down. I found a few on megaupload, but it doesn't seem to install. What to do now?

Rex Ronny said...

Have the same problem, but i can't find an apk that will install. Even Launcherpro's website seems to be down... What to do now? :(

orly_andico said...

http://www.launcherpro.com/apk/LauncherPro-0.8.2.apk

lott said...

I have the same problem. I used the link http://www.launcherpro.com/apk/LauncherPro-0.8.2.apk but i wasn't able to open it. I first downloaded some programme Mega Zipper but then I got a whole list of different parts from launcher pro that you can download. What to do know? Can somebody help me please?

orly_andico said...

You don't need to open or unzip it on your PC.

Just save it to disk, then copy it to your phone (which you connect via USB cable to your PC; alternatively remove the SD card from the phone and plug it into your PC's SD card reader -- you'll need a micro-SD to standard SD converter).

Once you've copied the APK to the SD card, put the card back in your phone, open the browser, then in the browser URL bar, input the URL above (file:///sdcard/name_of_your_file.apk).

The browser will automatically determine that the APK is an Android installer and launch the Settings program (which hopefully will let you un-install LauncherPro).

Brian said...

The developer has, in the 0.82 version available Dec 7th 2010 (a month ago), changed the expiration part.

Keep your apps up to date and this wouldn't have happened...

I have been a happy LauncherPro user for a long time, and when it started telling me to download an update I did and poof! No problems.

Graham said...

Well I've followed your instructions to the letter but my phone keeps telling me that 'The requested file was not found.! I'm a numpty at all this so I'm now stuck...any ideas?

orly_andico said...

Brian,

Disabling critical phone functionality because people forgot to update is simply wrong design.

It boggles the mind how many people "blame the user" and absolve the LP developer.

Even Microsoft (for all the blame heaped on them..) hasn't ever done anything quite so dramatic as to disable core functionality.

I'm glad you're a happy LP user, but frankly, replacement launchers are fluff, a phone is primarily for making phone calls and sending messages, and after my experience I'll never use LP again.



Graham,

At which stage do you get the error? after you've copied the APK to your phone and are trying to open it in the browser? the file name is case-sensitive..

Graham said...

It's when I type the file name in the URL bar and go to find it comes back with
'Problem with file'
'The requested file was not found./sdcard/LauncherPro-0.8.2.apk'
I have also tried renaming it to lp.apk but the same results.

Graham

Graham said...

I have manage to do it now, not sure why but it's ok now, just have to get another launcher now!!
thanks again.
Graham

Geert said...

Thankzzz! It works

CoDa said...

Oh my freaking god, I had this problem almost 2 or 3 months, I couldn't use my apps, and I had no flatrate, so this was the only soulotion that helped my. Thank you :D I love you dude ^^