Technology, Smartphones, Games

How to Run a Manual Scan for Malicious Apps on Your Android Device


Android has had its fair share of problems with malicious apps sneaking onto the Google Play Store. When these rogue apps make their way onto the store, users might unknowingly install them, leading to big problems like malware, ransomware, and trojans. While no vetting process is perfect, these harmful apps typically don't stay on the Play Store for long. However, even if only one person installs a malicious app, it's still a problem.

Fortunately, Android devices have a feature that allows you to run manual scans for malicious apps. I've used this feature quite often, and it's been effective. The only time it found something malicious was when I intentionally installed a suspicious app from outside the Play Store for testing purposes. The feature identified and removed the app successfully.

I don't recommend trying such tests yourself. I used a phone that wasn't linked to my personal Google account and had been factory-restored. However, the good news is that the feature works, and you should use it regularly to keep your device safe.

Here's how you can manually scan your Android device for malicious apps.

What You'll Need

The only thing you'll need is an updated Android device associated with a valid Google account. That's it! Now, let's get started with the scan.

Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Unlock Your Device

The first step is to unlock your Android device.

Step 2: Open the Google Play Store

Next, open the Google Play Store app on your device. Once you have the Play Store open, tap your profile icon at the top right corner of the screen. From the menu that appears, tap on "Play Protect."

play protect

Step 3: Run the Scan

In the Play Protect window, you will likely see a message that says "No harmful apps found" and the time when the last scan was run. Play Protect can detect and handle malicious apps by disabling or removing them based on the severity of the threat.

To start a manual scan, tap on the "Scan" button. The scan will go through all the apps you have installed on your device. Unless you have hundreds of apps, the scan should take less than a minute. For example, with over 150 apps on my device (including system apps), the scan took about 20 seconds.


If Play Protect finds anything malicious, it will automatically resolve the problem.


Why You Should Run Manual Scans Regularly

The chances of encountering a malicious app on your Android device are slim, especially if you are careful about what you install from the Play Store and avoid downloading apps from outside the official store. However, it's reassuring to know that you can run a scan anytime and that Play Protect is highly effective at keeping your device safe.

Regularly scanning your device ensures that any potential threats are caught early, giving you peace of mind. So, make it a habit to run a manual scan every now and then to keep your device secure.


Keeping your Android device safe from malicious apps is crucial. While the Play Store's vetting process is not perfect, manual scans with Play Protect add an extra layer of security. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can easily run a scan and ensure your device remains free from harmful apps. Stay vigilant, and make use of this handy feature to protect your device and personal information.