Here are the steps I took to de-Google my Google Pixel Android smartphone.  Do this with any Android phone to degoogle it:

  1. Replace Google Apps with Secure, Anonymous Alternatives
  2. Remove Google search bar and replace with alternate search bar
  3. Install a Custom ROM (only for hacker-level users)
  4. Turn off location services & other Google tracking mechanisms
  5. Use a VPN like Calyx VPN or a paid VPN (Express, CyberGhost, PIA)

 

 

Replace Google Apps

To replace Google Apps, check out the Replace Google Apps guide I made, based on what I use with my actual de-Googled phone.

There are some pretty amazing alternatives to Google Apps, so I strongly recommend you check out the list I made.

For example, an Android app called OSMAnd+ has WAY MORE "street view" points than Google Maps.  This feature is called Mapillary, and can be downloaded within the OSMAnd+ app after install.

 

Replace Google Search Bar

To replace the Google Search bar on your Android phone, the answer is to use a different launcher.  I use Nova Launcher (free version).

Nova Launcher gives me a fresh phone layout, ease of use, and best of all - no Google Search bar.

Instead of the Google Search bar, I use the Brave Search Bar widget which becomes available after you install Brave Browser on your Android phone.

 

Install Custom ROM

A custom ROM is an operating system for an Android phone which provides better / different functionality out of your Android phone.

One of the best benefits of installing a Custom ROM is that the Custom ROM you choose could already be de-Googled.  Many Custom ROMs are pre-deGoogled for several reasons (privacy, smoother functionality, no embedded tracking software).

Be warned!  If done improperly, installing a Custom ROM could break your phone.

So have your hacker nephew / grandson do it.  If you don't know what a "command line" is, you probably shouldn't touch this one.  You can get along fine without it - it just completes the deGoogling circle if you're trying to 100% de-Google.

 

Turn off location services & other Google tracking mechanisms

This one is a no-brainer.  But if you're like me, you forget some of the simpler things.

So press that big gear icon on your Android phone to go to Settings.  Then go through each menu item and turn OFF anything related to Location, tracking, etc.

 

Use a VPN

I use Calyx VPN because it's free, it works great, and it just runs smoothly on my Android devices.

For a more secure solution, you need to get a paid VPN like IPVanish.

 

Check out this Whoogle ad-free, no tracking version of Google search:

https://github.com/benbusby/whoogle-search

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