Google Play Protect

What is Google Play Protect?

Google Play Protect is a malware protection and detection service built into Android devices that use Google Mobile Services.

Google Play Protect helps protect mobile devices by scanning for malicious applications on Android devices and removing any potentially harmful software. It also warns users about apps that violate the Unwanted Software Policy by hiding or misrepresenting important information.

Applications are automatically checked when installed and are periodically scanned in the background. Users can also initiate a scan directly. Google Play Protect is found on a device by opening the Play Store and selecting "My Apps & Games."

When a potentially harmful app is detected, Android users receive a notification and the option to uninstall the app. Google Play Protect can also disable such apps and keep them from running until users uninstall them. Particularly concerning apps could be removed automatically, in which case the user is notified.

Along with malware detection, Google Play Protect offers other key security features. The Find My Device tool displays the location of an Android device. It can lock devices, sign users out of their Google account or wipe devices completely.

Google Play Protect's safe browsing feature monitors web browsing through a device's Chrome browser to identify malicious activity from websites. When it detects a site exhibiting unsound web practices, it warns users about proceeding to the site.

Google Play Protect can send users privacy alerts if apps that can access personal information through user permissions are detected. The service can also reset app permissions for privacy protection reasons.

This article was written by a TechTarget contributor in 2018. TechTarget editors revised it in 2023 to improve the reader experience.

This was last updated in August 2023

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