It is no longer possible to disable the stock camera by ordinary means but I’m going to show you a workaround for disabling the camera in CM12 and CM12.1.

I am not a fan of the stock camera in CyanogenMod 12, 12.1, or any other AOSP based custom ROM. They just never produce photos that are high enough quality when compared to the camera that comes with the OEM firmware. For example, the LG G3 camera, when using LG’s software, is amazing and it can really take some great looking photos. Then when you slap an AOSP based custom ROM on your phone, like CM12.1, the photos are noisy, have less detail and are just horrible in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, they’re okay. . .they just don’t compare to the OEM camera.

This is because the AOSP camera uses open source software and OEMs generally put a lot of work into tweaking, optimizing and getting their camera to work just right with the OEM firmware.

They almost always close source this code too, so it’s not easy to just port over the camera from an OEM skin like TouchWiz or LG UX and have it run exactly like it does for an AOSP ROM. Most of these OEM camera apps require a framework that is in the OEM skin and again, it’s just not easy to port it over and implant it into the AOSP ROMs. This isn’t always the case though but more often than not, it is.

So the solution to this is to download a nice camera application from the Google Play Store. Camera applications like A Better Camera, Manual Camera and FV-5 Camera all shoot some great photos and they work on AOSP based custom ROMs. They still don’t match the exact quality that an OEM camera application does, but still, it’s very, very close. Some people recommend downloading a port of Motorola’s stock camera, and it’s okay, but personally I like FV-5 Camera the most. It has a lot of nice features, the UI isn’t horrible and the quality of the photos are good on my LG G3.

The thing is, when you have two camera applications installed on an Android device, other 3rd party applications always ask you which camera application you want to use. For most stuff, this is okay because you can simply tap the ‘always’ button and the application will always know to open URL links in Chrome or Firefox(for example). For cameras though, this doesn’t seem to work. . .at least in WhatsApp. When I have two camera applications installed and I try to launch a camera from within the application, I always get asked which camera application I want to use. This isn’t the end of the world but it’s rather annoying when I take a dozen or so photos per day.

Thankfully, you can just go into the Apps section from within the Settings of Android, find the application that you want to disable and then disable it so that it doesn’t appear. This is what I used to do in CM12 and CM12.1 and I would disable the stock camera so then WhatsApp always knows to launch the FV-5 Camera application by default. However, for the last few weeks, the nightlies for CM12.1 have stopped allowing this. The Disable button is just grayed out and it can’t be disabled. Thankfully though, I have found a way to disable the camera and that is what I want to show you today.

CM12 Disable Stock Camera

  1. Enable Root for Apps
  2. Download and Install Terminal Emulator for Android
  3. Launch Terminal Emulator for Android
  4. Type the Following. . .
  5. su
  6. . . .Press Enter
  7. Grant Root Access for Terminal Emulator for Android
  8. Type the Following. . .
  9. pm disable
  10. . . .Press Enter
  11. Tap On the ‘X’ at the Top Right to Close the App Session


I’m not sure why the Disable button is grayed out on CM12.1 now  but it used to not be that way. I used to be able to go into Settings, then Apps, tap on the Camera app and then tap on the Disable button and it would be disabled and moved to the Disabled column. Since this can’t be done anymore, you’ll have to enable root access for applications(if you already don’t have root enabled on CM12) and then download a terminal application. I suggest Terminal Emulator for Android as it is linked in the tutorial above. Once downloaded, launch the application and type the su command before pressing enter.

This will make the application ask for root access and you’ll want to grant root access to it so that we can execute the next command. After executing the second command, that is all you need to do to disable the stock camera in CM12. So just tap on the ‘X’ at the top right and it will close the session. You don’t want to leave a terminal command open with root access given to it and just tapping on the home button will not terminate the session. So close the session and then the application will close. Now you can double-check to make sure the camera application is no longer in the application drawer.


  1. Hi,

    After reading your article,I suspect that all stock cameras now have disable buttons greyed out. It used to be there,then disappeared not long ago. I have HTC Evo 4g lte and I remember being able to disable all kinds of apps,but after my last update (security fixes mainly) I can no longer disable at will, any app I choose. The only thing I can think of,why camera disable no longer works,is those bastards in the government have caused this. I can find no information on this subject except your site and one other similar to yours about cm 12.1 So,maybe the truth will come out some time in the future.

      • Perhaps I was not clear enough,but I am running stock HTC jellybeen 4.1.1 and after the last update,many disable buttons are now greyed out,just like camera. I can think of no logical reason for this.

        Have you contacted CM about this issue? I can not seem to get a reply from HTC .

        • Ohhhhhh, okay. Now I see what you’re saying. I typically see these types of applications unable to be disabled on stock ROMs all the time. It’s surprising that it just changed for you

          This makes me think that maybe it had to do with a Google Play Services update or something

          I haven’t contacted CM directly, but I did create a submission in their subreddit. This was how I found out about this workaround. I didn’t get a reason for this change though, but it might not have anything to do with them if it’s a Google Play Services thing

          • What I want to know is,why no one,on ANY android phones can disable the camera’s. I did find other mentions of this camera issue. They all recomend some app,and they do make apps that can do this,but they need device administrator activation on NO-ROOT phones. Something I would rather not give except for Google’s device admin. ,in case my phone is lost or stolen. And one app even can uninstall itself wihin.I would be curious to see what you find out. Thanks or for responding BTW.

  2. I need help.. I have followed the exact same steps as mentioned above and successfully disabled my cyanogenmod 12.1 stock camera..but I can’t find it under settings>apps>disabled section as I want to enable it again.. Pls guide me on how to enable it again.. I’d like the stock one better..


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