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Google will keep Android users safe from unused apps

Have apps you've forgotten about? Don't worry, Google is still keeping an eye on them.

Published onApril 4, 2022

instagram lite on the google play store
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
  • Google Play Protect will remove permissions for unused apps.
  • Developers can exempt their apps to preserve functionality.

Google is making a significant change to how Play Protect works, automatically removing permissions for unused apps.

According to Statista, 25% of apps downloaded by mobile users are only used once and never again. Unfortunately, with the sheer volume of permissions many apps require on installation, this can lead to significant privacy and security risks long term. Google is now addressing that with a Google Play Protect update that will remove permissions from apps that have gone unused for some time.

Google Play Protect is designed to protect Android devices from malicious apps and other malware. According to Chrome Unboxed, Play Protect will now help protect devices from unused apps as well. Android 11 and later already had this feature, removing unused apps’ abilities to access the camera, microphone, and more for some time. With this latest update, Android 10 and earlier will also benefit from the protection.

Read more: The best antivirus apps and best anti-malware apps for Android

Obviously, there are some apps that must always have permission to access Android and device functionality. Developers can flag their apps as protected from Play Protect’s auto clean-up feature. This will ensure those apps don’t break, regardless of how much time passes between use.

Users who want to see which of their apps will have their permissions revoked can open the Play Store, tap their profile, and select “Play Protect.” The apps slated for permission removal will be listed under “Removing permissions for unused apps.”

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