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What mechanism does Google use to disable apps Google decides are 'dangerous for you'?

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c(n*199780) Senior Member
Feb 18, 2002
When Google Play Protect first appeared in existence, I immediately thought of this day, and after all these years it has come... Google nuked an app from everyone's phone, including mine. Handcent SMS texting app.
Why Google did it is a separate story [issue has apparently been resolved] - but let's talk about how Google does this?

I have always had Google Play Protect turned OFF thinking I could prevent it from telling me what I can and cannot install and use, dreading the day would come when Google would say to me 'it's for your own protection' - but Handcent Next SMS disappeared from my phone too, on which Play Protect is turned OFF (!)

So what is the mechanism Google uses to enforce uninstalling apps they blanket label as 'dangerous for you' if Play Protect is turned OFF?

I manually reinstalled the .apk which reactivated the app, but Google nukes it after a day or two. This happened three times already.
I don't want to install the new allegedly safe version because it has ads, and old version 9.7 does not.
If only other texting apps offered basic cutomizations, I would use them, but none do.
Actually Google was always collecting data from the get-go and we were kind of always quiet about it - but when Microsoft started doing it people complained loud - completely forgetting that what Microsoft started doing, Google has been doing forever. Both are bad.

I suppose I was asking what Google Protect is for!?
Since my example in real life has shown that even with Google Protect turned OFF - Google still disables apps it feels like, which is what I thought the purpose of Google Protect was? I guess it has nothing to do with Google Protect.
I still only find references to "Play Protect" removing already installed apps - but since my Play Protect is turned OFF - I can't find anyone out there talking about if we can stop Google from disabling ALREADY INSTALLED apps.

Not on Play Store. Our phones. Already installed apps on our phones, can any setting be changed to stop Google from disabling an already installed app? It is not Play Protect.

I mean the nano second I saw the Play Protect feature for the first time years ago - I thought - Oh, Google want's to decide which app we can and cannot use, under the excuse of "our protection". Warnings are fine. But deciding which app to nuke without asking us, that's what I always thought Play Protect is, not a protective, helpful feature.
But even with Play Protect OFF - this happened.
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I have discovered [the hard way] how to successfully deal with this.
Fact: Turning OFF Google Play Protect does not turn OFF Google Play Protect. Google *will* scan and disable anything it wants using Play Protect, *regardless* of whether your Play Protect is ON or OFF.

Play Protect OFF button is there as an illusion that you have a choice, you do not. Your phone may have any app disabled any time by Google... for your protection of course. For our protection.

Now here's the correct way to do this:
Google Play Store > [upper right corner] Tap your name icon > Play Protect >

You will see your disabled app listed, with two options:
Enable app

The *only* correct way to re-enable it, is to TAP on Enable App here > Enable [to confirm.]

Doing anything else, such as uninstalling/reinstalling/manually installing an .apk file will only _temporarily_ work.

Google will disable it again, 24 hours or so later...

So you must follow exact procedure above to Enable App if you wish to continue to use it, after it has been flagged by Google Play Protect.
Being able to re-enable it is a big deal. You don't get to do that in China or Russia so tank you Google for giving us this choice.
Makes sense... renabling it in the app that disabled it/holding it hostage. You're adding it to an exclusions list.

Are you able to remove the app from the 'protected for you' list? I looked in mine, but Google hasn't protected me from anything so I can't try.
I have been using/modding every Galaxy phone from Galaxy 1 to 10 and this is the first time a legit app that was in the store for a decade was flagged.

PlayProtect1.jpg PlayProtect2.jpg PlayProtect3.jpg
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Notice how Play Protect is OFF.

Then who/what disabled it, if Play Protect is OFF?

The only answer I can think of is, Google does not turn Play Protect OFF when you choose to turn it OFF. The OFF button is not real.
Real protection apps are informative. They WARN and inform. Then you nuke.
Google does not do that.
They decide FOR you.
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