Help protect against harmful apps with Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect helps you keep your device safe and secure.

  • It runs a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store before you download them.
  • It checks your device for potentially harmful apps from other sources. These harmful apps are sometimes called malware.
  • It warns you about any detected potentially harmful apps found, and removes known harmful apps from your device.
  • It warns you about detected apps that violate our Unwanted Software Policy by hiding or misrepresenting important information.

How Google Play Protect works

Google Play Protect checks apps when you download them. It also periodically scans your device. If it finds a potentially harmful app, it stops the app from running, and may:

  • Warn you. If an app is detected that may be harmful to your device, you’ll get a notification. To remove the app, tap Uninstall on the notification.
  • Remove the app automatically. In some cases, if a harmful app has been detected, you may get a notification saying the app was removed.
How malware protection works

To protect you against malicious third party software, URLs, and other security issues, Google may receive information about your device's network connections, potentially harmful URLs, operating system, and apps installed on your device through Google Play or other sources. You may get a warning from Google about an app or URL that may be unsafe. The app or URL may be removed or blocked from installation by Google if it is known to be harmful to devices, data, or users. You can choose to disable some of these protections in your device settings. But Google may continue to receive information about apps installed through Google Play, and apps installed on your device from other sources may continue to be analyzed for security issues without sending information to Google.

Check your app security status

You can check the status of Google Play Protect on your device:

  1. Open your Android device’s Google Play Store app Google Play.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Play Protect.
  3. Look for information about the status of your device.

Turn Google Play Protect on or off

Google Play Protect is on by default, but you can turn it off. For security, we recommend that you always keep Google Play Protect on.

Turn Google Play Protect off or back on

  1. Open your Android device's Google Play Store app Google Play.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then  Play Protect.
  3. Turn Scan device for security threats on or off.

Improve harmful app detection

If you choose to install apps from "Unknown sources" outside of the Google Play Store, Google Play Protect may send unknown apps to Google. This information helps Google better protect everyone from harmful apps.

Information for developers

If you're an app developer and your app was flagged by Google Play Protect as harmful, learn more about Google's guidelines for developing mobile applications and review Google’s policy on unwanted software.
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