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Prevent installation of applications (APKs) on company-owned Android devices

dec 19, 2020 | 42Gears Team

Android users can install apps on their phones or tablets using two methods. The first method is to sign up for a Google Play account and install apps from Google Play. The second method is to sideload the app. Sideloading involves downloading the Android App APK file from the internet or  copying it from the PC or laptop to the device over USB and then manually installing it.

If you need to use Android devices as dedicated purpose devices, you won’t want your users or workers to install any unwanted apps, which can distract them and result in loss of productivity or compromise the security of corporate data. In this case, you can block users from installing apps, and this can be done by disabling access to an Android system app called Package Installer (com.google.android.packageinstaller).

What is the Package Installer (on Android)?

Package Installer is responsible for the installation, upgrade, and removal of Android applications on an Android device.

How to remove Package Installer on Android?  

The package installer cannot be removed/uninstalled from a device by a typical user because it is a component of the Android OS. However, it is possible to disable the package installer or block users from accessing the package installer functionality. Disabling access to the package installer will ensure that no new apps can be installed or uninstalled from the Android device.

How to disable the Package Installer?

You can lock down the Android device (also known as kiosk mode) using SureLock. You can allow certain apps that the users are supposed to use and block the rest of the device’s features and apps. If users cannot download any apk files from the internet, they won’t be able to install them.

Locking down the Android device with SureLock is the quickest, safest, and easiest way to keep users away from installing any wanted programs, apps, or games on company-owned devices.

Some OEMs also offer special features that do not allow users to install any apps. For example,  on Samsung Android devices, SureLock uses the Disable Application Installation feature provided by Samsung Knox. Click here to learn how to lock down your Android devices to prevent users from installing unapproved apps on their devices.

Stop users from installing apps on company-owned Android devices


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