Enforcement Process

When reviewing content or accounts to determine whether they are illegal or violate our policies, we take various information into consideration when making a decision, including app metadata (for example, app title, description), in-app experience, account information (for example, past history of policy violations), and other information provided through reporting mechanisms (where applicable) and own-initiative reviews.

If your app or developer account violates any of our policies, we’ll take appropriate action as outlined below. In addition, we’ll provide you with relevant information about the action we’ve taken via email along with instructions on how to appeal if you believe we’ve taken action in error.

Please note that removal or administrative notices may not indicate each and every policy violation present in your account, app, or broader app catalog. Developers are responsible for addressing any policy issue and conducting extra due diligence to ensure that the remainder of their app or account is fully policy compliant. Failure to address policy violations in your account and all of your apps may result in additional enforcement actions.

Repeated or serious violations (such as malware, fraud, and apps that may cause user or device harm) of these policies or the Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) will result in termination of individual or related Google Play Developer accounts.

Enforcement Actions 

Different enforcement actions can impact your apps in different ways. We use a combination of human and automated evaluation to review apps and app content to detect and assess content which violates our policies and is harmful to users and the overall Google Play ecosystem. Using automated models helps us detect more violations and evaluate potential issues faster, which helps keep Google Play safe for everyone. The policy-violating content is either removed by our automated models or, where a more nuanced determination is required, it is flagged for further review by trained operators and analysts who conduct content evaluations, for example because an understanding of the context of the piece of content is required. The results of these manual reviews are then used to help build training data to further improve our machine learning models.

The following section describes the various actions Google Play may take, and the impact to your app and/or your Google Play Developer account.

Unless otherwise noted in an enforcement communication, these actions affect all regions. For example, if your app is suspended, it will be unavailable in all regions. In addition, unless otherwise noted, these actions will remain in effect unless you appeal the action and the appeal is granted.

 

Rejection

  • A new app or app update submitted for review will not be made available on Google Play. 
  • If an update to an existing app was rejected, the app version published prior to the update will remain available on Google Play.
  • Rejections don’t impact your access to a rejected app’s existing user installs, statistics, and ratings. 
  • Rejections don’t impact the standing of your Google Play Developer account.

Note: Do not attempt to resubmit a rejected app until you’ve fixed all the policy violations.

 

Removal

  • The app, along with any previous versions of that app, are removed from Google Play and will no longer be available for users to download.
  • Because the app is removed, users will not be able to see the app’s store listing. This information will be restored once you submit a policy-compliant update for the removed app.
  • Users may not be able to make any in-app purchases, or utilize any in-app billing features in the app until a policy-compliant version is approved by Google Play.
  • Removals don’t immediately impact the standing of your Google Play Developer account, but multiple removals may result in a suspension.

Note: Don't attempt to republish a removed app until you’ve fixed all policy violations.

 

Suspension

  • The app, along with any previous versions of that app, are removed from Google Play and will no longer be available for users to download.
  • Suspension can occur as the result of egregious or multiple policy violations, as well as repeated app rejections or removals.
  • Because the app is suspended, users will not be able to see the app’s store listing. This information will be restored once you submit a policy-compliant update.
  • You can no longer use a suspended app’s APK or app bundle.
  • Users will not be able to make any in-app purchases, or utilize any in-app billing features in the app until a policy-compliant version is approved by Google Play.
  • Suspensions count as strikes against the good standing of your Google Play Developer account. Multiple strikes can result in the termination of individual and related Google Play Developer accounts.

Note: Don't attempt to republish a suspended app unless Google Play has explained that you may do so.

 

Limited Visibility

  • Your app’s discoverability on Google Play is restricted. Your app will remain available on Google Play and can be accessed by users with a direct link to the app’s store listing. 
  • Having your app placed in a Limited Visibility state doesn’t impact the standing of your Google Play Developer account. 
  • Having your app placed in a Limited Visibility state doesn’t impact users’ ability to see the app’s existing store listing.

 

Limited Regions

  • Your app can only be downloaded by users through Google Play in certain regions.
  • Users from other regions will not be able to find the app on the Play Store.
  • Users who previously installed the app can continue to use it on their device but will no longer receive updates.
  • Region limiting does not impact the standing of your Google Play Developer account.

 

Restricted Developer Account

  • When your developer account is in a restricted state, all apps in your catalog will be removed from Google Play and you will no longer be able to publish new apps or republish existing apps. You will still be able to access the Play Console.
  • Because all apps are removed, users will not be able to see your app’s store listing and your developer profile.
  • Your current users will not be able to make any in-app purchases or utilize any in-app billing features of your apps.
  • You can still use the Play Console to provide more information to Google Play and amend your account information.
  • You will be able to republish your apps once you have fixed all policy violations.

 

Account Termination

  • When your developer account is terminated, all apps in your catalog will be removed from Google Play and you will no longer be able to publish new apps. This also means that any related Google Play developer accounts will also be permanently suspended.
  • Multiple suspensions or suspensions for egregious policy violations may also result in the termination of your Play Console account.
  • Because the apps within the terminated account are removed, users will not be able to see your apps’ store listing and your developer profile.
  • Your current users will not be able to make any in-app purchases, or utilize any in-app billing features of your apps.

Note: Any new account that you try to open will be terminated as well (without a refund of the developer registration fee), so please do not attempt to register for a new Play Console account while one of your other accounts are terminated.

 

Dormant Accounts

Dormant accounts are developer accounts that are inactive or abandoned. Dormant accounts are not in good standing as required by the Developer Distribution Agreement.

Google Play Developer Accounts are intended for active developers who publish and actively maintain apps. To prevent abuse, we close accounts that are dormant or not used or otherwise significantly engaged (for example, for publishing and updating apps, accessing statistics, or managing store listings) on a regular basis.

Dormant account closure will delete your account and any data associated with it. Your registration fee is not refundable and will be forfeited. Before we close your dormant account, we will notify you using the contact information you provided for that account. 

Closure of a dormant account will not limit your ability to create a new account in the future if you decide to publish on Google Play. You will not be able to reactivate your account and any previous apps or data will not be available on a new account.  

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