How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android and Remove Them


Spyware is malicious programs that stay hidden on the target device and steal all the information from it without the owner of the phone knowing about it. Sounds terrifying, right? Android phones are more vulnerable to spyware attacks as anyone can install a spy app on it without even rooting it in 5 minutes. In the case of an iPhone, one has to jailbreak it in order to install any kind of malicious program on it. Hence an iOS device offers better security against spyware than Android.

If you own an Android phone then you need to be more careful and always look for signs of spyware on your device. There is an abundance of hidden spy apps for Android in the market, one can easily create an account on the spy app website, download the app and install it on your phone when you are not around. Once the spy app is installed on your phone they can remotely view all your activities on your device.

If you are an Android phone user you don’t need to worry, in this article, we will show you how to find hidden spy apps on Android and remove them before they can do any damage to you.


Inside This Article

  1. What Does Spyware App Look Like?
  2. Signs of Hidden Spy App on Android
  3. How to Find Hidden Spy App on Android
  4. How to Uninstall Spy Apps on Android
  5. How to Prevent Your Android Phone from Getting Spyware
  6. The Bottomline


What Does Spyware App Look Like?

This question must have come to your mind: what does a spyware app look like? Well, it looks like a normal app. These are mostly hidden under a generic name which looks like system applications such as Play Service, Update Service, etc. Spy apps are disguised as system apps so that the target person does not get suspicious if they find it running in the background on their phone.


Signs of Hidden Spy App on Android

If there is a spy app installed on your Android phone you will see some obvious signs that can alert you that there’s something wrong with your device. If you are aware of these signs you can tell if there’s a spy app on your device without any external help. Some of these signs include:

1. Your Phone Is Rooted, but You Have Not Done It

Although a spy app works without rooting an Android phone, some spyware needs the target Android phone to be rooted in order to provide advanced spying features such as remote camera and mic access, intercept phone calls, etc.

So if you notice that your phone is rooted without your knowledge then it could mean that someone has rooted your phone to install spyware on it. You can make use of free apps like Root Checker to see if your Android phone is rooted or not.

2. Strange Phone Behaviour

If you suddenly notice abnormal behaviors on your Android phone — such as pop-up messages, weird noises while calling, and automatic shutdowns — then it could be a sign that your phone is under surveillance.

3. Heating & Battery Loss Issue

If suddenly your phone is heating up more than usual or the battery is depleting fast enough to raise concerns then it could mean that there’s a hidden spy app installed on your device. A spy app runs in the background 24/7 and hence uses your phone’s resources causing the phone to heat up or battery drain even when the phone is not being used.

4. Increased Data Consumption

Spyware consumes a lot of data because it needs to sync the data it has collected on your device to its server. Hence, if there’s a hidden spy app installed on your Android phone then you will see an increased data consumption on your device. Keep a note of your data consumption, if there’s some app that is consuming a lot of data in the background then it could be spyware.

5. Unknown App Installed On Your Phone

If you see some unknown apps installed on your phone, which you don’t remember installing yourself, it could mean spyware. Look for the app’s permission, if it is having unnecessary permissions such as access to the camera, contacts, location, etc then remove it from your device as soon as possible.


How to Find Hidden Spy App on Android

Most people want to know how to check if any spy app is installed on their phone. If you are one among them then sit back and relax as I am going to show you how to detect spyware on Android phones.

1. Use Google Play Protect

If there’s spyware installed on your device then the person who has installed the app on your phone must have disabled the Google Play Protect. Because a spy app cannot be installed on your phone without disabling Google Play Protect.

So the first thing you can do to detect a spy app on Android is to turn on Play Protect and scan your phone with it. Here’s a step-by-step process to do that.

scanning spyware using Google Play Protect

  1. Go to the Play Store and tap on your profile icon. Next, select the Play Protect option.
  2. If it is disabled, tap on the Turn On button.
  3. As you hit on the Turn On button it will start scanning your device and if there’s malware installed on your phone it will show it to you.


2. Manual Inspection

You can manually inspect your phone to locate spyware on Android. This process may take some time, but it is worth it because you will have a higher chance of detecting the spyware. Here’s how you can find hidden spy apps on Android manually.

configure permission settings for Android Apps

  1. Go to Settings > Apps. This will open the list of all installed apps on your device.
  2. Scroll through all the apps one by one and look for unfamiliar apps which you don’t remember installing yourself.
  3. Tap on the app that you doubt is a spy app. Look for the permissions it has on your device. If it has all the permissions like calendar, contacts, camera, location, etc., then it is definitely spyware.


3. Use Anti-spyware Programs

You can also scan a phone for spyware using an anti-spyware program such as Avast, Quick Heal, etc. The good thing is most of these apps are free to use. You can download an app of your choice from the play store and then run a scan on your phone to find spyware on Android.

If you find hidden spyware using this technique, then you can easily uninstall it from your device.


How to Uninstall Spy Apps on Android

1. Manually Remove Spyware from Android

Once you have detected spyware on your phone through any of the above-given methods, the next step is to uninstall the spy app from Android. Below are steps to uninstall the hidden spy app from a Samsung phone but these steps will work on any other Android phone as well.

How to uninstall spyware on Android phones

  1. You need to first take away the Accessibility permission from the spy app or else you won’t be able to uninstall it. For that, you need to go to Settings> Accessibility> Installed Apps.
  2. Under Installed App, select the spyware and turn off the Accessibility settings.
  3. Now go back to Apps under Settings and select the spy app which is disguised as a system application.
  4. Tap on the spy app and then simply tap on Uninstall option at the bottom to remove the spy app from Android.

So that’s how you uninstall spyware from an Android phone.


2. Factory Reset

If you can’t find the hidden spy app on your Android and can’t remove it from your device then the last resort to get rid of spyware is through factory reset. You need to hard reset your Android phone to factory settings which will remove all the third-party apps installed on your phone including the spyware.

But make sure you keep a backup of all your important data before resetting your device or else you may lose it forever.


How to Prevent Your Android Phone from Getting Spyware

Prevention is better than cure, if you could stop a spy app from attacking your phone you can prevent yourself from going through a tiring and worrisome process of cell phone spyware detection and removal. Here’s how you can prevent your Android phone from getting spyware.

  • Never click on suspicious links you receive in emails, social media, or anywhere on the internet. Also, you must not download anything from a shady website. Only download content from reliable sources.
  • Keep your phone password protected so no one can tamper with it behind your back and install a spy app on it.
  • Always keep a reliable anti-spyware app installed on your device. It will help you fight against spyware attacks.


The Bottomline

You must actively look for hidden spyware signs such as phones acting weirdly, high data consumption, heating issues, etc. If you see any one of these signs you can confirm your doubt by manually checking your phone for spyware.

If you find a suspicious app that you have never seen before, look for the permissions it has. If the app is having unnecessary permissions on your device then it could be spyware. You can also search for the name of the app on the internet to find out if it is a spy app or not.  Once the spy app is detected, you can uninstall it from your device or you can factory reset your phone for complete satisfaction that your phone is now secure.