Why is my Android downloading random apps and how do I stop it?

Why is My Android Downloading Random Apps and How Do I Stop It?

Have you ever found random apps appearing on your phone and wondered why your Android downloading random apps and how to stop it? First of all, there’s nothing dangerous about it in most cases. Yes, it is frustrating to see random apps appear on your phone without your knowledge, but you don’t have to panic as it is pretty common. 

It happens to almost every Android phone user. But just because it is common, doesn’t mean it is safe in all cases. So you have to be watchful. There are multiple reasons behind the sudden appearance of random apps on your phone. In this post, we will know why is your Android downloading random apps and how to stop it.

Read next: How to clear the cache on Android all at once

Why is my Android downloading random apps?

Common reasons behind the random apps’ appearance on your Android device.

  • Accidental clicks on random ads
  • Installing apps from untrustworthy sources
  • Software updates
  • Compromised Google account

Accidental Clicks on Random Ads 

The majority of Android apps/games and websites you visit on your Android phone contain ads in the form of banners. And sometimes a few apps and games display full-screen ads covering the whole screen, which increases the chances of you clicking them accidentally.

When you accidentally click on such ads, you will be redirected to a suspicious website or Play Store from where the random apps will be downloaded to your phone automatically.  I have accidentally clicked on such ads a few times, but thankfully, no apps appeared on my phone randomly.

Installing Apps From Unknown Sources 

While Android users have the privilege of Sideloading apps from trusted unknown sources (like FDroid, and Apkpure), one should be smart enough not to install apps from unsafe unknown sources. When you install an apk from an untrustworthy website or app store, it either runs ads in the background or installs random apps in the background on your phone.

Software Updates 

Software updates also sneakily download random apps to your Android phone. For instance, Samsung installs apps automatically with security patches and software updates (This happened to me quite a few times, I had to uninstall them after the update manually). This is because phone manufacturers usually have paid partnerships with such apps. Hence they forcefully install a few apps after updating the software automatically. 

Compromised Google Account 

This may not happen often, but this could be one of the reasons why your Android is downloading random apps. Either your Google account is compromised or you have users (your mom/dad/sibling) other than you using the same Google account. 

How To stop my Android from downloading random apps?

  • Block ads on all apps and websites 
  • Stop installing apps from unknown sources 
  • Be watchful when updating the software 
  • Disable auto-updates 
  • Change your account’s password 

Block Ads on All Apps and Websites on Android

Blocking ads entirely on your Android device almost eliminates the problem of your Android downloading random apps. Because when no ads are displaying on your device, the chances of you accidentally clicking on ads are zero. You can block all ads on almost all apps/games/websites without using any third-party Android ad blocker. All you need to do is…

  • Head over to the settings.
  • Search for “private DNS” in the settings. 
  • Now tap on it and change “private DNS provider hostname” to “” and save the changes. 
block all ads on android without any ad blocker

That’s it! From now onwards, you will not see ads on almost all apps, games, and websites on your Android smartphone. 

Stop Installing Apps From Untrustworthy Unknown Sources 

As mentioned above, apps installed from untrustworthy websites or app stores might install a few more apps in the background without your knowledge. So disabling app installations from unknown sources could resolve the issue to a great extent. To do that…

  • Open settings, and go to “security and privacy”.
  • Find “install unknown apps” and tap on it.
  • Now disable the sources from where you don’t want to install apps. This will stop app installations from sources other than the Google Play Store.
disable app installs from unknown sources

Disable Auto-updates 

Even the Play Store is not 100% safe. So it’s a good idea to disable auto-updates to stop your Android from downloading random apps. You can do that as shown below.

Launch the Google Play Store app, tap on your account icon, tap on settings, tap on Network and Preferences, and then tap on Auto-update Apps, select Don’t auto-update Apps, and hit OK. 

disable auto app updates on play store

From now on, you will have to update the apps manually which ensures nothing is updated or installed without your consent. 

Be Watchful When Updating the Software 

If you are a Samsung phone user, you better be watchful when finishing the software update. At the end of almost every software update, Samsung users will be asked to download a few apps from the Galaxy store.

Some users would click on the “Next” button to quickly finish the software update without unchecking the apps suggested by the Galaxy store. You’ll have to uncheck those apps if you don’t want them to be installed on your phone.

Change Your Google Account’s Password 

Your Google account may not get compromised often, but you should not take a chance. It is always a good idea to change the password of your Google account every few months. To do that…

Open settings, go to Accounts and Backup, then tap on Manage Accounts. Now tap on the account and remove it from your device. Then change the password of your Google account and log back in. It clears all the old sessions and stops your Android from downloading random apps.

remove google account and update google account's password

Wrapping up 

The chances of your Android downloading random apps without your knowledge are high when you accidentally touch random ads, sideload apps from untrustworthy sources, or Compromise your Google account. However, you can stop your Android from downloading random apps by blocking ads on your phone, not installing apps from unsafe sources, being watchful during software updates, and following security measures to safeguard your Google account.

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