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Google To Roll Out Permissions Auto-Reset For Android Apps Even On Older Devices

by Abeerah Hashim
Android March 2023 update

Google has recently announced the launch of a privacy-friendly feature for old Android devices users. The tech giant will roll out permissions auto-reset for Android apps that remain unused for a long time. This will allow users to review the apps already installed on their devices.

Permissions Auto-Reset For Android Apps

In a recent blog post, Google has announced launching the permissions auto-reset feature for Android apps.

This feature first surfaced online with Android 11, Google’s latest Android OS version. With auto-reset, the system automatically resets app permissions for an app unused for a long time.

Specifically, this feature resets the app’s runtime permissions that Google defines as,

Runtime permissions, also known as dangerous permissions, give your app additional access to restricted data, and they allow your app to perform restricted actions that more substantially affect the system and other apps…
Many runtime permissions access private user data… Examples of private user data include location and contact information.

While this feature remained limited to Android 11 or above, Google plans to expand this to old Android devices running Android 6 or higher.

Precisely, this means that the new feature will target API levels 23 and higher. It will be enabled by default for API level 30 and above (Android 11) and will require manual enabling with API levels 23 to 29.

As for developers, Google has allowed them to request users to disable auto-reset permissions for their apps.

The new feature will start rolling out in December 2021 for devices running Android 6 to Android 10 and will complete by Q1 2022. Then, the users can manually activate this option.

On these devices, users can now go to the auto-reset settings page and enable/disable auto-reset for specific apps. The system will start to automatically reset the permissions of unused apps a few weeks after the feature launches on a device.

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