How to Find and Remove Hidden Spy Apps on Android
Unfortunately, spyware for Android is on the rise. This means that someone could be reading your messages, trawling through your social media profiles, and accessing your photos right now! But don’t worry, we are going to show you how to find hidden spy apps on Android.
We have successfully used these methods to identify and remove even the advanced and well-hidden spy apps. And don’t stress, our methods are simple and require no technical skills. Check them out below!
Is It Possible to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android?
Detecting spyware and spy apps on Android isn’t just possible, it’s fast and easy! The best way to locate spyware on Android phones is to:
- Check app permissions
- Look for unknown apps
- Check if installation from unknown sources is enabled
- Check for unusual signs on your Android (turning on and off, beeping, battery draining quickly, overheating)
- Check if your Android phone was rooted
Keep reading below to learn how to use these Android spy apps mobile detection methods. And if you suspect your Android device is infected with spyware, we will show you 3 proven to work removal methods!
How to Find Hidden Apps on Android Mobile?
The best way to locate spyware on an Android phone is to open your settings>applications and study your phone for unknown apps. You should also look out for any strange behavior from your phone, such as beeping, high data usage, and overheating. Lastly, check if installation from unknown sources is enabled and analyze specific app permissions.
We have tested every single one of these methods extensively, and not a single spy app has gone undetected! We will show you how to use these spyware detection methods below.
Method 1: Check App Permissions
To function, hidden Android apps need permission to access your call logs, camera, messages, photos, contacts, and more. Luckily, you can see exactly what apps have what permissions. To check app permissions on Android, follow these steps:
- Open Settings>Apps
- Click App Permissions or Permission Manager
- Click on each permission to see what apps can access what
If you notice an unknown app has permission to access your messages, photos, camera, call logs and other very private data, then it is most likely spyware! To be on the safe side, we recommend removing all shady apps.
Method 2: Look For Unknown Apps
How to detect spyware on an Android phone? Open your settings, then click applications and take a close look through your apps. If you see an app you don’t recognize or one you definitely didn’t download, it could be spyware. A hidden Android spy app may not show up on your home screen or in your app drawer, but you will still be able to see it by accessing your Android’s settings.
Method 3: Check for Unusual Signs on Your Android
With cybercrime costing the economy $600 billion per year, you can’t just ignore signs your phone is infected. If you notice any of the following signs, your Android may have spyware:
- Battery draining faster than normal – Spyware often uses a lot of processing power which can cause your battery to die quickly. Keep an eye out for changes in your battery’s performance.
- Beeping and odd noises – If you hear beeping or strange noises when you are talking to someone, then this could be an app listening in on your phone calls.
- Phone switching on and off – The spyware may be causing your phone to malfunction, or someone may have remote control of your device.
- Spike in data usage – Spyware sends your information to 3rd parties via the internet. A sudden unexplained surge in data usage could be caused by a spy app.
This method is not foolproof! These days many spy apps leave virtually no trace on your phone. They won’t cause your phone to overheat, they don’t use much data, and they won’t cause any glitches or odd noises. This method is best used in conjunction with other spyware detection methods.
Method 4: Check If Installation from Unknown Sources Is Enabled
To install spyware for Android, the culprit needs to access your Android’s settings and allow installation from unknown sources. This allows the hacker to install any app on your device, even ones that aren’t on Google Play Store. To check if unknown sources have been enabled, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings>Apps
- Click Special Access
- Tap Install Unknown Apps
- If installation from unknown sources is enabled, then all or some of the options will be toggled on
If you never enabled installation from unknown sources but now magically it is turned on, then your Android could be compromised, and we recommend performing a factory reset.
Method 5: Check if Your Android Was Rooted
Hackers will often root or jailbreak an Android device to bypass security restrictions, giving them total access to your device and the ability to install nasty spy apps. If your Android has been rooted, then someone has hacked your phone. To check if your Android has been rooted or jailbroken, follow these steps:
- Open Settings, and click the About phone>Status information>Phone status
- If you see a custom tag on your Android device, then your phone has been rooted
Just because your Android is not rooted does not mean your device is spyware free. Modern Android hidden apps do not require your device to be rooted to be installed.
How to Remove Hidden Apps from Android?
You don’t need to be a tech whizz to remove spy apps from Android. You can remove hidden apps from Android you can:
- Perform a factory data reset
- Enable Google Play Protect
- Use a spyware remover tool like Bitdefender
Keep reading to learn how to remove even the most stubborn spyware from Android using our methods.
Method 1: Factory Data Reset
Be warned performing a factory data reset will wipe everything from your mobile and not just spyware.
- Tap Apps
- Click Settings
- Select Backup and reset
- Tap Factory data reset
- Select Reset Device.
- Click Erase Everything
This method should only be used if other methods fail, as there is a risk you could lose precious data. And setting up your device again and downloading your backup can be annoying!
Method 2: Enable Play Protect
Google Play Protect monitors your device and can detect harmful apps. By switching it on, Play Protect can alert you to spyware and remove threats from your phone. To Enable Play Protect, follow these steps:
- Open Google Play Store
- Go to the top right-hand corner and tap the profile icon
- Click Play Protect>Settings
- Turn on scan apps with Play Protect
Unfortunately, Google Play Protect is not very accurate and can only detect 31% of malicious apps. If Play Protect doesn’t work, use a specialized tool like Bitdefender or perform a factory reset.
Method 3: Use Spyware Remover Tools (Bitdefender)
There are no specialized spyware removal tools. These tools will quickly scan your mobile phone and remove any hidden apps. The best tool on the market is Bitdefender. Bitdefender can detect and neutralize all spy apps, even the legendary Pegasus spy app, which was used by governments and militaries around the world.
To get Bitdefender, simply:
- Open Google Play Store
- Search for Bitdefender Mobile Security
- Hit install
This spyware removal tool and antivirus app has over 10 million downloads and a 4.6-star rating. Bitdefender makes it super easy to remove any hidden apps and keep your phone secure!
How to Find Hidden Apps on Samsung Phone?
To find hidden apps on a Samsung Phone, you need to:
- Click Settings
- Tap Display
- Click Home Screen
- Select Hide Apps
- Look at the apps shown under the Hidden Apps section
How to Find Hidden Apps on RedMi?
To find hidden apps on RedMi, you need to:
- Open app drawer
- Double swipe left twice
- Draw your security pattern
- Tap Edit in the top right corner
- Unselect the apps you want to unhide
- Tap Done
How to Find Hidden Apps on OnePlus?
To find hidden apps on OnePlus, you need to:
- Swipe up to open the Apps tray
- Click Settings
- Tap Apps & notifications
- Click See all apps
- Select the app you wish to unhide and hit Enable
- The unhidden app will be back in your App tray
How to Find Hidden Apps on Vivo?
To find hidden apps on Vivo, you need to:
- Open the iManager app
- Click on the app encryption menu
- Enter your password
- Click on view
- Select the app you wish to unhide
- Tap unhide option
What Are Common Android Phone Spy App File Names
The thing with Android spy apps is that they usually have a covert system-like name, so users can’t identify them easily when going through the app drawer. Some common examples include:
- Update Service
If you notice any of these file names, then your device has probably been hacked, and a spy app has been installed. However, before deleting, make sure that it’s actually not a system app – a quick Google Search of the suspicious file name should do the trick. Once you confirm that it’s spyware, just use one of our removal methods above to quickly delete it from your Android phone.
Luckily, it is very easy to remove a spy app from Android. You can perform a factory reset, enable Google Play Protect, or use a specialized spyware removal tool like Bitdefender. Up to 80% of internet users have devices affected by spyware, protect yourself today and quickly rid your device of any malicious apps!