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2 Ways to Convert User App to System App on Android

How to make an user app a system app? Follow two ways below to convert an app to system app. Then the app would not be easily uninstalled or changed.

  1. Way 1: Convert to System App via Application Manager
  2. Way 2: Make an App a System App by Changing OS

Way 1: Convert to System App via Application Manager

If you have learned convert between user app and system app , you would know third-party application manager could easily convert user app to system app, such as RE and LINK2SD.

By comparing RE and LINK2SD, you would find LINK2SD seems easier to make a system app with user app.

Step 1: Download Link2SD APK and install it on your Android phone.

Step 2: Run it on android and look for the app you want to convert to system app.

choose a user app in Link2SD

Step 3: Click the app, and select Convert to system app in the right pop-up menu.

convert user app to system app with Link2SD

Sometimes, probably you cannot find "Convert to system app" option when you click a user app in Link2SD. This happens is possibly because the app cannot be installed as system app. So don’t worry it is your Android phone problem. When this really happens, I think you should give up to converting to system app.

Step 4: On Convert app dialog, click "OK" to confirm to convert this app, and undertake the possible risk.
For example, the app disappears or gets error after converting.

Way 2: Make an App a System App by Changing OS

Option 1: Directly Copy APK to Install in /system/app

If you have permissions to write in /system/app, you can follow this way to change user app to system app. If not, please follow option 2 to do.

1. Copy the app APK to /system/app, and reboot android phone.

2. The Android will prompt you the system is upgrading. Wait for Android upgrade successfully.

3. Find the app saved in the sdcard, and click its APK to install it on Android phone.

Now the app has been converted to system app. If you are not sure, you just need to open Settings > Manage apps, and choose the app and try to uninstall it. If it cannot be uninstalled or the system app prompting message appears without root privileges, you can be sure it is system app now.

Option 2: Convert User App to System App with Android SDK and Command

Compared to above two ways, this way looks more difficult for android users. But if you don't want help from third-party application manager, or you would like to learn the principles about how user app can be converted to system app, it will be more valuable than above two.


Step 1: Plug your Android phone into computer and enable USB debug.

Step 2: Open CMD and enter Android system with command.

Run Command Prompt as administrator, type "adb shell" and press Enter to see whether there is a message "#" returned back. If there is, it means that you have successfully accessed Android system by command on computer.

enter rooted Android system with ADB

Step 3: Make /system folder readable and writable.

1. Type "mount" and press Enter to check /system folder permissions, and get the /system partition location.

/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/system /system

check Android system folder permissions

2. Mount /system folder readable and writable. In order to be sure, you can type "mount" again to check whether /system folder permissions has been changed.

mount system folder read and write

Step 4: Find, copy the APK and library files to /system folder, and add permissions to them.

1. Copy APK to /system/app and add permissions.

command: cp xxxx.apk /system/app or mv xxxx. apk /system/app

locate app apk file location

copy apk file to system folder in android

add permissions to apk file

2. Decompress APK and check whether there is a file *.so in lib/armeabi. If there are, copy them to /system/lib, just like copying APK to system/app. If not, directly turn to step 5.

adb push xxxx.so system/lib

3. Add permissions to these library files. chmod 644 xxxx.so

Step 5: Reboot Android phone when you confirm all of things have been setup.

Now try to run this APK on your android phone, and then check whether it cannot be uninstalled. If all is successful, it means that you have converted the user app to system app.

Tips: After converting user app to system app, you should remount /system permission as r/o. Otherwise, anyone could change app settings in /system, which would lead to damage to Android system.

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