Control message storage & access

With your permission, some Google and third-party apps can access your messages to provide companion experiences like when you restore messages to a new phone or app, or when you send message notifications to your home device, smartwatch, or car.

When you receive end-to-end encrypted messages, they’re also included in Android backup and accessible to apps you’ve granted SMS or notifications permissions to. You can manage and update which apps can access your messages.  

Manage & control access to your messages 

View or disable SMS permissions on your downloaded apps 

Learn how to change app permissions on your Android phone.

For Google Pixel devices:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications and then Advanced and then Permission manager and then SMS.
    1. If you allowed or denied any permissions for apps, you’ll find them here.
  3. Tap an app to change its permissions and then Allow or Deny.
  4. Repeat these steps for every app.  
View and disable notification access on your downloaded apps  

Learn how to control notification access on your Android phone.

For Google Pixel devices:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications and then Advanced and then Special app access and then Notification access.

If you allowed or denied any notifications for apps, you’ll find them here.

  1. Tap an app to change its notification access.
  2. Turn Allow notification access on or off.
  3. Repeat these steps for every app.  
View or disable Android backup  

When backup is on, your messages are automatically stored.

  1. Open your phone’s Settings Settings.
  2. Tap System and then Backup. 
    1. If you allowed or denied any permissions for apps, you’ll find them here.
  3. Tap an app to change its permissions and then Allow or Deny.
  4. Repeat these steps for every app. 
Tip: If you remove app access for SMS permissions or notifications, some experiences may break. This may include Google auto-fill of one-time passwords, or when you send and receive messages from smart watches, home devices, or cars.  
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