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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.

Note: Android isn't the same on all devices. These instructions are for devices running Android 7.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

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.

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.

Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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