Make your smartphone a little dumber

Posted on Fri 01 September 2023 in Digital Minimalism

Photo by Thanos Pal on Unsplash

For many, MANY years, I've been an advocate for the simplicity of dumbphones. My go-to? The LightPhone 2. However, modern life sometimes demands the functionalities of a smartphone, such as banking or GPS navigation. Every once in a while, I wish my smartphone would be just a touch simpler, but I can't abandon its smart features entirely. There are times I need them, especially for those updates or browser-based app handshakes.

Thus, I've developed two scripts: dumbify and smartify. The project is here and here's your guide:


  • Backup all essential data on your phone.
  • Be familiar with your phone settings.
  • Prepare a list of apps you want to uninstall, noting their full package names. If you're unsure, "Full Package Names" on F-Droid can assist.


  • Go to your phone settings and enable developer mode.
  • Activate USB debugging.
  • Connect your phone to your laptop.
  • Run ./dumbify with your list of apps to uninstall. This script will identify these apps, create backups on your computer, and then remove them from your phone, while preserving app data.
  • When you need your phone's advanced features again, simply run ./smartify to restore.

Note: I tried exporting the Google Play Store using this method and encountered an issue. I had to manually address it with GrapheneOS. It's not ideal, but it's a solution. I welcome any feedback on this.

Here's to the balance between simplicity and functionality,