Yes, You Can Disable The Sense UI on the HTC EVO 4G


[Update]: Seems there is some confusion in the comments section, so let’s clear up a few things. Firstly, while the title of the article does say you can disable the Sense UI, it is true that this is inaccurate: you can use Android’s stock launcher in place of HTC Sense’s. My wording may have been confusing in the context of the article, but I didn’t mean to insinuate that you could replace SenseUI altogether. Secondly, while I understand you can use a home replacement to do this on phones like the Droid Incredible, I was referring to the ability to revert to Android’s stock launcher – something the Droid Incredible does not have. I hope this little blurb will do its job in explaining what I meant by posting this article.

While HTC’s Sense UI is one of the deepest and prettiest Android customizations out there, some people simply don’t like it. There’s always the option of avoiding a phone with Sense altogether, but being given the choice of launchers you want to use is much more appreciated.

Andrew Kameka from Androinica.com confirmed that – at least in the build he played with at Sprint’s and Disney’s event in New York, last week – the Sense UI can be turned off on the HTC EVO 4G. It’s as simple as choosing which launcher (or home, if you’re used to calling it that) you want to use whenever you press the phone’s Home button.

I’m not sure if this will revert you back to Android’s stock “core” apps, as well (such as dialer, browser, etc) but at the very least, you can experience the same Home screen experience that many users on the Nexus One and other vanilla 2.1 phones are.Are you going to stick with HTC’s layer of frosting or do you prefer Android 2.1’s default launcher?

[Thanks, AC]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Nice, I like to have options.

  2. I’ll prob stick with Sense for the first few months.
    If I like it, I’ll keep it!

    one has to ask, can you use the Sense UI keyboard without Sense UI running?

  3. NO, you can NOT disable Sense UI! Sense is a USER INTERFACE, meaning it is heavily integrated into the operating system. You CAN disable the Sense home application (Rosie.apk) in favor of the AOSP home application (launcher2.apk), but this is definitely far from actually disabling Sense UI. I really wish people would quit passing around this false information. The ONLY way to disable Sense is to root and install an AOSP ROM. Period. End of story.

  4. That’s always been an option. I have a Sprint Hero and I’ve had the option. You have to clear the defaults for HTC Sense. Then you get the option to pick when you hit the home button.

  5. you can do this on ANY sense phone…

  6. I prefer the HTC sense but since there is an option I’ll take advantage of it for sure…thanks for the info!!!

  7. Does this mean you would now be able to play games or use apps that require that you don’t have sence. for instance the wii-mote app that lets you play your games via wii mote…

  8. @Lee, not the Incredible, apparently, which is why there were concerns surrounding the EVO.

  9. Lee, I dont believe you can do that on the incredible. At least not in any way I have seen.

  10. Something with HTC or HTC at Verizon’s request disabled this on the Incredible. Why, I don’t know. If someone is hacker enough to do it in the first place, I don’t think they’d be calling Verizon with crazy Incredible-related questions in the first place.

    Every other Sense UI phone I know of can be changed.

  11. I can assure you ,this will not be possible when its eventually released. The same was the case with the HTC Desire,before it was released,we saw videos on how to disable sense on the Desire,but that is no longer possible on the released Deisre,at least i have one to prove it.
    So don’t celebrate yet.

  12. i prefer HTC Sense UI…but the drawback is not being able to upgrade the OS faster. however, being able to turn of Sense on a HTC device, won’t allow for upgrades faster either.

    Google is fantastic for functionality and efficiency. Their Achilles heel is definitely user experience. UX is probably the single biggest selling factor of the iPhone and it is also what is wowing folks about Win Phone 7. HTC bridges that gap for Android with a stunning, usable, and effective interface.

  13. I bought and Sprint/HTC Hero last October and exchanged it for the Samsung Moment specically because I didn’t like HTC sence. I’m really glad to hear this about the EVO. I was gonna get it anyway, but this is really good news to hear.

  14. its pointless if it wont allow you to upgrade to a newer version of android when they are released. waiting for Sense UI updates is like waiting for peanut butter to fall off a knife

  15. HTC Sense, I can’t even contemplate why you would use stock UI once you’ve tried Sense. It’s probably the nicest, smoothest interface I’ve seen on a phone.

  16. @tdawg That is what xda is for. Why do you think I’ve been running 2.1 on my HTC Hero for the last few months?

  17. I can switch off Sense on my Eris… It actually annoys me that I have to select Sense sometimes. I assumed you could do that on all the phones with Sense. I can even do it on the 2.1 OTA update I got last night.

  18. why is this such a big deal


  19. @Quentyn – Actually, you can on the Incredible as well. Download any of the home replacements from the marketplace and hit the home key on the phone.

  20. @Al … obviously you can’t since there’s an entire article dedicated to this.

  21. You can always add a new homescreen app like Helix or Launcher Pro, then get homeswitcher to switch.

  22. the option is nice, and if you want your phone upgraded that bad there is always the option of rooting the phone people usually work on that, tho its at your own risk that you root your phone

  23. when the 2.1 update FINALLY comes to the Hero, I’m going to be torn between the new sense and the stock android. The stock looks sexy in 2.1, with the new tray icon, but the sense looks nice and has the helicopter view!

    I sometimes switch to stock home on 1.5, just to feel like I have a proper android phone. :)

  24. I don’t think many will avoid a sweet phone because of the Sense UI alone. I think it’s more of the lag in updates it causes. The Droid Eris just now got 2.1 while the Nexus One users are expecting 2.2 any day now.

  25. IV heard that Sense UI is very taxing on the battery. Does anyone know if there’s any truth to this?

  26. @Jon D – Yes you can use the HTC Keyboard on non Sense UI phones. I’m currently using it on my Nexus One with stock 2.1 and you don’t have to root your phone to install it. Just do a Google search for HTC keyboard on Nexus One and you can find a step by step walk through on what you need to do.

  27. You can do this on any sense phone, INCLUDING THE INCREDIBLE. Its just a home replacement app and Im astonished this is being treated as news! I switched home app yesterday on my incredible.

  28. Installing and replacing your ‘home’ app is different than being able to switch between the default Android home app and the integrated Sense UI. Both are installed by default giving you a choice without having further download/installation. It accomplishes the same thing but nonetheless its still different. You’re argument is like saying your phone could be rooted so its possible therefore this is not news.

  29. I have no problem with Sense UI at all. I suppose I can understand the need for a plain Jane version for upgrading purposes…but I think my first Android phone will be an HTC phone with Sense UI.

  30. BIG Question: I turned Sense UI off on my EVO 4G a while ago, but I’d like to go back to using it again. Once you’ve done a “Force Stop” on the HTC Sense App, there’s no obvious way to turn it back on. Does anyone know how to do this? I’d rather not have to do a full wipe & restore too (I know, picky picky picky…) ;)


  31. @ScottCH
    I had the same problem. You fix it by going to settings> applications> manage applications. Then find the app called launcher, select it and select clear default. Then press your home key and you should have the option back for either sense or the vanilla android.
    Hope that helps. Been looking for the answer for a few days myself and eventually just messed with it till I stumbled across the solution.

  32. Not anymore. Not after the most recent update that was released. It’s a Sense UI only device now.

  33. Yup. I never tried this before the last OTA update, but now when I try force stopping Sense (after clearing defaults), hitting the Home button doesn’t give the the choice to use Launcher–it shows the HTC splash screen, and Sense automatically turns back on. So much for choice.

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