How To: Remove AT&T From Captivate

Filed under Guides by Adam on July 25, 2010 at 1:44 AM

Okay, so perhaps this title is a little misleading. The Android devs haven’t exactly unlocked the device or anything. But, they’ve pretty much taken everything AT&T off of the Samsung Captivate that’s possible. Are Droid fanboys still angry at Ma Bell for neglecting the fast-growing OS? Probably just a little teeny bit. Mainly Android users just refused to tolerate the near fifteen bloatware apps installed to bog the Samsung Captivate’s sexy hardware down. Do you see fifteen AT&T crapware apps on a new iPhone 4? No. That’s how it should be.

So, you’re looking to remove all that AT&T crap and get to the core Android experience? Look no further. Guide below.


WARNING: BriefMobile is not responsible for any bricked, messed up, ruined devices. You modify your phone at your own risk. These processes are not necessarily safe for your Samsung Captivate or any other device.

Root the Samsung Captivate

First things first. You’ll need to root your device to continue with many of the modifications listed below. For our “How to Root the Samsung Captivate” guide, click here. It’s very very easy. Even a total noobie can do it! If you have questions, post a comment and we’ll get back to you A.S.A.P. Look below if you get the idea, check out our “How to Root the Samsung Captivate” guide if you don’t.


    1. Plug in your Captivate to your computer. When the phone notifies you that the USB has been plugged in, scroll down your notifications bar and click on “USB connected: Select to copy files to/from your computer.”
    2. Click “Mount”
Click here for details on the Samsung Captivate with AT&T service! Details
Samsung Captivate
$79.99 (Reg. Price) Free Shipping!

Click here for details on the Samsung Captivate with AT&T service!
  1. Now, you’ll probably see a popup telling you a new USB drive has been inserted, open it up on your computer. In Windows, click “Open folder to view files.”
  2. Drag into the Captivate USB drive (on the top level… do not navigate into folders)
  3. Turn off the Captivate (Power Off)
  4. Hold down the Volume Up/Down rocker and the power button until you see some action. Your phone is now booting into recovery.
  5. Use the volume down button to scroll down to “Reinstall packages”
  6. Click the power button to select that option

Enable App Sideloading

AT&T has some weird reservations against app sideloading. That means, AT&T Android users can not use any apps not downloaded on the Android Market. Have no fear! You can remove this restriction easily. Check below for the basic instructions, or click to go to our “Enable Captivate App Sideloading” guide.

  1. Turn on USB debugging: Settings >> Applications >> Development
  2. Plug in your Samsung Captivate
  3. Open up Command Prompt on your computer (Windows: start, search, type “cmd”, right click cmd, Run as Administrator)
  4. Type in: cd _____PATH TO ANDROID SDK FOLDER______\tools

    cd C:\Users\USERNAME\Desktop\android-sdk-windows\tools
  5. Type in: adb shell
  6. Type in: su
  7. Type in: cp /dbdata/databases/ /sdcard/settings.db
  8. Type in: cp /dbdata/databases/ /sdcard/settings.db.backup
  9. Type in: exit
  10. Type in: exit
  11. Type in: adb pull /sdcard/settings.db %userprofile%\desktop
    Leave Command Prompt open
  12. Open SQLite Manager in Firefox by pressing Tools >> SQLite Manager
  13. Click “Database”
  14. Then click “Connect Database”
  15. Navigate to “settings.db” on your Desktop
  16. Expand the tables
  17. Click “Secure” on the panel
  18. Scroll down to ID 6, “install_non_market_apps”
  19. Double click it and change “value” from 0 to 1.
  20. Close SQLite Manager
  21. Go back to the command prompt window, type in: adb push %userprofile%\desktop\settings.db /sdcard
  22. Type in: adb shell
  23. Type in: su
  24. Type in: cp /sdcard/settings.db /dbdata/databases/
  25. Type in: chmod 777 /dbdata/databases/
  26. Type in: reboot
  27. Disconnect your Captivate from your computer while your phone reboots.

Remove AT&T Bloatware Apps

Must have root and BusyBox installed before performing this process!

  1. Open up Android Market and search/download “Titanium Backup”
  2. Make sure your phone is not “Mounted” with USB
  3. Press the Backup/Restore button
  4. Click on each app and press un-install if you’d like to get rid of it. Do not delete apps off of this list, unless you know it is safe! This deletes these potentially forever… so be sure about things!

    • AT&T Navigator
    • AT&T Radio
    • AT&T Maps
    • AT&T Music
    • AT&T Mobile Hotspots
    • Mobile Banking
    • Mobile Video
    • Where
    • YPmobile
    • AT&T FamilyMap
    • Mini Diary
    • MobiTV
    • Write and Go

Remove AT&T Market Restrictions

Market restrictions? What? You mean AT&T really censors what apps I can and cannot see on my Samsung Captivate? Yes they do. But, no problem. Android developer Andrea Baccega has developed an app called “Market Enabler” to remove the censorship by emulating the T-Mobile market on the Samsung Captivate as well as other devices. Instructions below if you’ve already got root access:

    1. Download “Market Access” and install the latest version of the APK file on your Captivate.
  • Don’t know how to install .apk files? Copy the file to your phone and then install “Apps Installer” or “Astro File Manager”  from the market. It’s easy! Just double click the .apk when you find it!
  1. Close the Market down fully. If you were running the Market previously, reset the phone so it is not a running task. Or use a task killer and end the Market app.
  2. Open up the Market Access application and go to “Backup value” in case you need to get back to the AT&T market
  3. Then click “Providers” and find: “T-Mobile [US]”
  4. Click and hold that option until it says “Emulate “T-Mobile” SIM?” — click “Yes” there
    1. You may have to Allow Market Access in Superuser Permissions
  5. Click back to “Settings” click the checkbox next to “Emulate on boot”
  6. All done. Now your Market is uncensored.

AT&T Start-Up Sound

Must have root access and BusyBox fully installed with the Android SDK. See above for instructions on those things in previous links. Each “type in” command is to be followed by an enter press.

    1. Connect your phone to your computer with USB Debugging
    2. Open command prompt
    3. Type in: cd _____PATH TO ANDROID SDK FOLDER______\tools


cd C:\Users\USERNAME\Desktop\android-sdk-windows\tools
  1. Type in: adb shell
  2. Type in: su
  3. Type in: cd etc
  4. Type in: cp PowerOn.wav /sdcard/
  5. Type in: rm PowerOn.wav
  6. Type in: exit
  7. Type in: exit
  8. All done. Now your AT&T swoosh start-up sound is gone!

Remove AT&T and/or Samsung Logos on the Device

Not quite yet! Check back later. We are working with some chemistry-experts to see if we can dissolve those logos. Have you seen how sexy the Captivate is without logos? Click here to check out the video.


Big thanks to the XDA-Developers forum users for all their hard work on posting Captivate guides. User: nbs11 – bloatware removal. User: clubtech – market censorship removal application. User: blackjackboy – original root guide. User: kirbo20 – app sideloading.

8 responses to “How To: Remove AT&T From Captivate”

  1. robert G says:

    Does this work with Froyo?

  2. Nwoebcke says:

    It sounds like the ‘adb’ executable file is not in the same folder that you are in when you try to execute the command. Type ‘ls -al’ or just ‘ls’ to see if the ‘adb’ file is in this folder. If not, you should make sure you are cd-ing to the correct folder in step 4.

  3. Adam Rains says:

    The tutorial for App Sideloading does not work. When I type in “adb shell”, it tells me that the file cannot be found.

  4. Adam Rains says:

    The tutorial for app sideloading doesn’t seem to work for me. Whenever I get to the section where I type “adb shell”, the command prompt (which is running in Admin mode) doesn’t recognize that file. I tried downloading an installer for the Android SDK packet, thinking that maybe that would help, but then it prompted me to download a Java Development Kit in order to work. When I downloaded the JDK, it did absolutely nothing. Anybody have any insight as to why I’m not able to get this to work, or what I might try downloading to get past that step?

  5. How about wi fi tethering?

  6. Jacob61916 says:

    when i click reinstall packages it just says inmpossible, help?

  7. sixraven says:

    I have a Samsung Captivate ATT that I’m running with Straight Talk sim card. It works great talk text and data. Can I remove the ATT apps as stated above in Root instructions. Do I need to put ATT sim card back in or leave Straight Talk sim card in when rooting

  8. After I type in adb shell and get the $ prompt I type su and then I get a message saying access denied