Protect your TV from harmful apps with Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect checks your apps and devices for harmful behaviour.

  • 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 potentially harmful apps.
  • It may deactivate or remove harmful apps from your device.
  • It warns you about detected apps that violate our Unwanted Software Policy by hiding or misrepresenting important information.
  • It sends you privacy alerts about apps that can get user permissions to access your personal information, violating our developer policy.
  • It may reset app permissions to protect your privacy on certain Android versions.
  • It may prevent an application from being installed that is unverified and uses sensitive device permissions that are commonly targeted by scammers to commit financial fraud. 

Turn Google Play Protect on or off

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

Android TV devices with Android 10 or lower

  1. On your Android TV, go to Settings and then Apps and then Security and restrictions.
  2. Turn Verify apps on or off.

Android TV devices with Android 11 or up

  1. On your Android TV, open the Google Play Store app Google Play.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Play Protect and then Settings Settings.
  3. Turn Scan apps with Play Protect on or off.

Send unknown apps to Google

If you install apps from unknown sources outside of the Google Play Store, Google Play Protect may ask you to send unknown apps to Google. When you turn on the 'Improve harmful app detection' setting, you allow Google Play Protect to automatically send unknown apps to Google.

Android TV devices with Android 11 or up

  1. On your Android TV, open the Google Play Store app Google Play.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Play Protect and then Settings Settings.
  3. Turn Improve harmful app detection on or off.

How Google Play Protect works

Google Play Protect checks apps when you install them. It also periodically scans your device. If it finds a potentially harmful app, it might:

  • Send you a notification. To remove the app, tap the notification, then tap Uninstall.
  • Disable the app until you uninstall it.
  • Remove the app automatically. In most cases, if a harmful app has been detected, you will get a notification saying that 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 may get a recommendation to scan an app from outside of Google Play that has never been scanned by Google Play Protect before. Scanning the app will send app details to Google for a code-level evaluation. A short time later, you’ll receive a result letting you know if the app looks safe to install or if the scan determined the app is potentially harmful.

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 checked for security issues without sending information to Google.

How privacy alerts work
Google Play Protect will alert you if an app is removed from the Google Play Store because the app may access your personal information and you’ll have an option to uninstall the app. 
Information for developers
If you're an app developer, you may be asked to send each new version of your app to Google. If Google Play Protect flags your app as harmful:

If you believe that your app was incorrectly flagged or blocked by Google Play Protect, file an appeal.

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