Did you ever receive a notification that reads something like “This app has been removed” or “Removed app, can damage your device” on your Android phone or tablet? If yes, then, it’s not a virus that is removing apps from your device, but the one that holds supreme power over your device is responsible for it. We are talking about Google. Google has the authority to remove or uninstall any app from your device using Google Play Protect.
To understand it in detail, let’s go back in history. Your Android device comes with built-in security features that keep it safe and secure. Initially known by the name Verify Apps, the security features are now known as Google Play Protect. Introduced in 2012 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean version, Verify Apps is a cloud-based security feature for Android devices that regularly scans the device for potentially malicious apps. However, with Verify Apps, Google did all the security checks behind the scene. It didn’t inform or let users know about the various things it did on their devices.
In 2017, Google rebranded the Verify Apps and launched it with a new name, “Google Play Protect”. Google Play Protect, in addition to providing extra security cover for your Android device, brings the old “Verify Apps” feature to the foreground. Meaning, instead of working silently in the background, it now communicates all the stuff it does to a user. Google Play Protect scans all the installed apps on your device and warns you about dangerous apps. Unlike Verify App, Google Play Protect now shows recently scanned apps and also the time when the last scan was completed. In addition to that, you can also initiate a manual scan of installed apps.
And, not only that, Google Play Protect has the ability to remove installed apps from your device. The service actively checks for harmful apps on your device, and removes them automatically when an app with malware or suspicious activities is found. It’s not a new thing though, Verify Apps had this feature too, but it would uninstall apps silently without notifying the user. And it was kind of stupid because people would download them again as they didn’t know that the app was removed because it was harmful.
But with Play Protect, Google notifies you that an app has been removed from your device. And that’s why you get that notification. Because Google uninstalled the app automatically after detecting that it can harm your device.
However, some users aren’t happy with Google’s behavior of forcefully removing apps. They feel that Google should inform them before uninstalling an app and not after removing it. Moreover, it should be a user’s decision whether they want to remove the app or not.
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If you are one of those people who aren’t happy with the Google Play Protect and want to stop Google from uninstalling an app from your device without your permission, you can disable Google Play Protect on your device following the instructions below:
Note: The Google Play Protect service is there to protect data from being stolen by any harmful app installed on your device. Do NOT disable it unless you fully trust the apps installed on your phone. You’ve been warned!
- Open Google Play Store on your Android device.
- Tap three bar menu present at top left corner. Select Google Play Protect.
- Turn off “Scan device for security threats”.