How to Automatically Revoke Permissions for Unused Android Apps

Facebook app permissions on Android
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When you’re no longer actively using an app, it’s best to revoke any sensitive permissions you’ve given it. Fortunately, on your Android phone or tablet, you don’t need to keep doing this manually.

Introduced in Android 11, the permission feature offers a handy option that automatically revokes the permissions of an app that you haven’t opened for some time. This setting cannot be applied globally across the entire operating system, which means you will need to enable it separately for each application. We recommend that you turn it on, especially for apps from developers you don’t trust. Here’s how to get there.

Before you begin, note that each Android manufacturer changes the name of various menus and settings. The following steps and screenshots will cover the process on a Samsung phone. Although the names may be different, the process will be very similar.

Open the “Settings” application on your Android smartphone or tablet. You can find it in the app drawer or by tapping the gear icon in the notification panel.

Go to the Settings app on Android

Select “Apps & Notifications”.

Go to Apps and notifications in Android settings

Inside, tap on the “See all apps” option.

Access the list of all apps in Android settings

Find the app whose permissions you want to be automatically revoked after a few months for non-use. Tap the “Permissions” option.

Access the app permissions settings on Android

Activate the “Remove permissions if the app is not in use” setting at the bottom of the page.

Configure automatic removal of app permissions on Android

Now, if you don’t use this app for a few months, your phone or tablet will cut its link to all data modules and sensors that it is allowed to access. If you choose, WhatsApp, it will lose permissions to access camera, microphone, local storage, etc.

The set of permissions to which this setting applies varies depending on the application. Also, it should be noted that it is only available in a restricted form for system level applications. Therefore, for example, you cannot instruct Android to automatically revoke Gmail’s access to your phone’s contacts and calendar.

Google doesn’t specify when Android will automatically revoke app permissions between uses. But later on when and if this setting is triggered for an app, Android will notify you and also give you an option to uninstall the app.

Want more control over the privacy of your smartphone? You can do more for better manage permissions on Android and how much data each application can read.

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