How to Enforce Apps on Android Devices

Enforce the usage of certain apps and prevent them from being uninstalled on Android devices.

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Tech Lockdown Team
Updated July 5, 2024

There are several different settings that we recommend if you want to ensure that an app can't be easily uninstalled on an Android smartphone. In many cases, an AppLocker or Screen Time app might do the trick, however, full device management also offers similar capabilities.

Please note that if you've connected the device to your DNS Content Policy, then there are additional settings that you can enable from within the dashboard that will help. Please see our help docs for up-to-date information.

Add a Device Admin App

Many app blockers and content filtering apps for android can prevent themselves from being uninstalled. When you grant the app Device Admin privileges, you won't be able to uninstall the app.

Freedom blocker , for example, lets you toggle on a "locked mode" which will attempt to prevent uninstall using various methods like requesting Device Admin permissions.

Hide the App from the Home Screen

For most people, simply removing easy access to an app is enough to prevent yourself from easily accessing it again.

One way that you can do this is with the help of an app launcher. You could use somethings like OLauncher , which is a minimalist app launcher that removes app icons.

OLauncher also includes the options to long-press an app name and hide that specific app.

Even without OLauncher, you can still hide apps on the default home screen. The steps for each device might be a bit different between device models, but in general, you should find them under home screen settings.

These apps should disappear from your home screen.

Disable App Uninstall Completely with Device Management

The most effective way to enforce apps is to disable the feature to uninstall apps entirely. This isn't possible on standard devices, unless you install an AppLocker.

If you've instead configured your Android device with mobile device manager (like we explain in our premium guides ) then you have access to the most effective methods for enforcing apps.

Disable uninstalling apps altogether

To disable installing any app on your smartphone, you will need to add an application restriction to a profile. When creating a profile with the MDM, go to Restrictions > Applications > Uninstalling apps. Set this to Restrict.

This will universally disable any app from being uninstalled onto your system.

Prevent specific apps from being uninstalled

You can enforce a specific app, as well as silently installing it onto your smartphone without prompting the user. Doing this is a bit trickier, but can be done with the help of the App Repository:

Hide the Settings or Play Store apps

Additionally, you can make apps you've silently installed hidden apps, which will prevent them from being opened on your smartphone. You can enable hidden apps by using Kiosk mode:

Kiosk mode is also great if you want to limit access to the Settings app or Play Store, since neither can be uninstalled. 

Manage Android Devices at Home
Manage Android Devices at Home
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