How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android?

How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android?

Are you worried that your Android device might be hiding a hidden spy app?

This type of invasive software can take the form of keyloggers, Trojan horses, adware, tracking cookies, and sophisticated commercial spyware. The threat posed by these digital spies is enormous. Their purpose is to secretly collect your personal information and pass it on to dubious third parties.

Knowing the magnitude of this problem, it’s crucial to have the knowledge to identify and eradicate these covert apps. Next, we’ll show you how to find hidden spy apps on Android and tell you how to delete them.
Now, let’s start this quick tutorial on “How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android”!

How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android?

Are you concerned about potential hidden spy apps on your Android device? It’s time to take proactive steps to secure your privacy.

In this simple guide on “How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android,” we’ll walk you through several effective methods to detect and remove any intrusive software.

1. Inspect Apps in Settings

Inspect Apps in Settings
  • Open your Settings and head to the Apps or Applications section.
  • Scrutinize all installed apps, paying special attention to those unfamiliar or unexpected.
  • Uninstall any suspicious apps and search online for reports on potential spyware.

2. Utilize the App Drawer

  • Navigate to your App Drawer and look for any unknown apps.
  • Long-press the questionable app and select Uninstall.
Inspect Apps in Settings

3. File Manager Sweep

File Manager Sweep
  • Use your Android File Manager to search for unusual or unrecognized files and folders.
  • Remove anything suspicious, including the potential spy app’s APK files.

4. Review App Permissions

  • In Settings, find Permission Manager.
  • Check each app’s permissions and deny any that are inappropriate for the app’s function.
Review App Permissions

5. Manage Unknown Sources

Manage Unknown Sources
  • Be wary of apps installed from outside the Google Play Store.
  • Disable the Install unknown apps option to prevent unauthorized installations.

6. Monitor Location Access

  • Look out for the location symbol that appears when not using your location services.
  • This can indicate a hidden app is tracking you without permission.
Monitor Location Access

By following these straightforward steps, you can rapidly identify and eliminate any hidden spy apps on your Android phone or tablet, keeping your data safe and secure.

How to Remove Hidden Spy Apps on Android

Now that you have learned about how to find hidden spy apps on Android. If you suspect that your Android device has a hidden spy app that is violating your privacy, the following procedures can help you remove spy apps hidden on Android.

Come and try it!

1. Enter Safe Mode

Enter Safe Mode
  • Power off your device.
  • Begin to power it on, and as soon as you see the Android logo, release the power button and hold down the volume down key until you see “Safe Mode.”
  • In Safe Mode, third-party apps are disabled, allowing you to easily identify and remove suspicious apps.

Removing spyware from your Android device in Safe Mode can be a more effective way to keep your information secure.

1. Access Settings

Once in Safe Mode, go to your device’s Settings either by tapping the settings icon in the Apps menu or using the gear icon in the quick settings dropdown.

2. Check Device Administrators

Check Device Administrators

Find the Device Administrators menu in Settings. The navigation path differs for stock Android

(Settings > Security & privacy > More Settings > Device Administrators) and Samsung Galaxy (Settings > Apps > ⋮ > Special Access > Device admin apps).

3. Deactivate Unauthorized Apps

In Device Administrators, carefully review the list and deactivate any apps that you did not install or that should not have administrative privileges.

Deactivate Unauthorized Apps

4. Find and Uninstall Suspicious Apps

Find and Uninstall Suspicious Apps

Return to the main Settings menu and select Applications or Apps.
Scroll through your apps, looking for any that are unfamiliar, or you did not install.
Tap on the suspicious app and choose Uninstall to remove it from your device.

By following these steps, you can effectively remove any hidden spyware applications in Safe Mode, keeping your Android device and personal data safe.

2. Use Google Play Protect

Use Google Play Protect
  • Open the Google Play Store app and tap on your profile picture in the top corner.
  • Go to Play Protect and tap on the Scan option.
  • Enable Scan apps with Play Protect to let Google’s security tool scan and remove harmful apps.

By taking these steps, you can swiftly detect and remove any stealthy spy applications, helping you maintain the security and privacy of your Android device.

What are the Signs That Hidden Spy Apps on Android?

Hidden spy apps can be intrusive and dangerous, compromising your privacy and security. So, what are the signs that they might be present on your Android device? Let’s check it out together!

  • Strange Phone Behavior: Unexplained errors, frequent crashes, or overheating might signal an active spy app on your device.
  • Abnormal Data Usage: A sudden increase in data consumption can hint at spyware transmitting your personal information to a remote server.
  • Unusual Battery Drain: Spy apps working silently in the background can drain your battery more quickly than normal.
  • Unusual Sounds During Calls: Clicks, beeps, or echoes during phone conversations may suggest your calls are being intercepted or recorded by a hidden app.
  • Weird Text Messages or Files: Receiving texts with odd characters or unrecognized files could indicate an attempt by spyware to communicate with your device.
  • Random Reboots and Shutdowns: Frequent, unexpected restarts or shutdowns could mean a spy app is interfering with your phone’s operations.
  • Strange Noises When Idle: If you hear noises from your phone when it’s not in use, it may be a sign that a spy app is activating functions like the microphone remotely.

How Can I See Disguised Apps on Android?

To find disguised or hidden apps on an Android device, you can usually follow these steps:

  1. Access the App Drawer by tapping the app’s icon on your home screen, which typically looks like a grid of dots.
  2. Once you’re in the App Drawer, look for the three dots menu (⋮), which can typically be found at the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap on the three dots to bring up a menu, then select ‘Home Screen Settings’ or a similarly named option, depending on your Android device or launcher.
  4. Look for an option that says ‘Hide apps’, ‘Hidden Apps’, or something similar.
  5. Inside the ‘Hide apps’ menu, you should see a list of any apps that have been concealed from the main app drawer.

FAQ about Spy Apps on Android

  • What Is Spy Apps?

    Spy apps, also known as spyware, are covert software programs that can be installed on smartphones and other devices to monitor and track the user's activities. Some common examples of what these apps can do include:
    ● Tracking GPS location
    ● Monitoring text messages and phone calls
    ● Recording internet browsing history
    ● Viewing photos and videos
    ● Accessing social media activity
    ● Keylogging to capture passwords and other sensitive information
    ● Remotely activating the camera or microphone

  • Which are the spy apps?

    Here's a list of some known spy apps and commercial spyware:
    ● XNSPY
    ● FlexiSPY
    ● SpyBubble
    ● Hoverwatch
    ● Eyezy
    ● mSpy
    ● Umobix

Author

  • JORDAN GLOSSER

    Jordan Glosser is an avid tech enthusiast who curates the top apps for Android and iOS, compiling definitive best lists and top app roundups. Jordan has over 10 years of experience testing and analyzing applications across multiple platforms. His passion lies in highlighting applications that increase productivity, spark creativity, make life easier or more fun. When Jordan isn't immersed in the world of apps, he enjoys discovering new gadgets and smart home products that take innovation to the next level. Jordan draws on his deep knowledge and personal testing experience to create authoritative, insightful app coverage and gadget recommendations.

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