How to disable Android app Device admin rights

Updated: If you use an Android device and regularly download and install apps from the Google Play Store, you may have noticed that some apps require device admin rights to be disabled before you can “Force stop” or “uninstall” an app. Device admin allows developers to create security-aware apps that are mainly useful for enterprise settings. These settings (or policies as they are referred too) may stop a user from installing or uninstalling an app for example.

I’ve started noticing quite a few Android mobile security apps are employing device admin rights to their consumer apps. The main reason for doing this is that the AV vendors want to lock down their app in the event some malware looks to disable or remove their security app, but it is also to with defining a generic security standard for mobile security app development.

Glancing through developer forums it’s clear to see (and I’m one of these) that not being able to kill an app because it is using up large amounts of CPU or RAM time, isn’t that useful to us end -users. Apps and operating systems do have memory leakage and probably always will from time to time. So, how do you disable device admin rights for a particular app so that you can enable ‘Force stop’; ‘Uninstall’; ‘Clear data’; ‘Clear cache’; and ‘Clear defaults’ from within App Manager? It’s actually very simple folks:

  • Click > Settings > Security > Device administratorsย and TAP the app you want to disable Device admin
  • The Device administrator screen will appear > TAP > Deactivate – You will then be asked “Are you sure you want to deactivate Device admin rights? TAP > OK
  • Click the BACK icon until you reach > Settings > TAP > Apps and scroll down to the app you disabled Device admin. ‘Force stop’; ‘Uninstall’; ‘Clear data’; ‘Clear cache’ and ‘Clear defaults’ should now be enabled.

This post is relevant to those users running Android Froyo 2.2 to Marshmallow 6.0.1, which is the current version (August 2016). To find out which version you are using Click > Settings and scroll down and click > About phone. You should now be able to check your Android version number.

Safe surfing folks!

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126 Responses to How to disable Android app Device admin rights

  1. Gabriel Hartman says:

    I have an HTC vivid running android 4.0.3 ice cream sandwich, and the device administrator option in settings is nonexistent. In order to uninstall lookout security I have to remove administrator permissions but can’t with out the option. Any advice? Please email me directly, thank you.

    • joadey says:

      Hi I have a ukash virus on phone and have tried to deactivate administration rights for it but it just goes back to screen lock while phone is on safe mode!!! What can I do ? Plesae help … Thanks . Joadey

      • Julian says:

        #joadey# Suggest you hard reset which will wipe the device. Make sure you have backups!

        • Joseph says:

          I had the same thing. I pressed the button to deactivate, and it locked my nexus, but with a new password (not pattern, letters/numbers) i didnt know. (I am not the administrator of the screentime app, my father is, so I dont know if the password would be the password he used for the app.]

    • Daniel says:

      Hello, I installed an app called “Download manager” but now that I tried to uninstall it it says that I need to remove admin rights. The problem is that Everytime I try to remove them it crashes the settings before I can remove them, please help

  2. Gerald White says:

    Thank for the information. I am new to android after being with Apple for years. I will not go back!!

    • Julian says:

      #Gerald White# iOS is a much more secure operating system than Android and it doesn’t allow for developers to self sign their app code either! As for mobile OS’s, the BlackBerry 10 which runs on QNX is possibly the most secure and efficient mobile computing platform currently available.

      • Richard Lake says:

        #Julian# As a developer, I enjoy the fact that I can produce apps for my own use or for sharing with other users without having to pay a corporation $110 a year just for a developers license.

  3. Rohit Dahiya says:

    That was of Great help man. Thanx a lot.

  4. Tony says:

    I am having the same trouble as the person in the first comment Mr. Hartman. I cannot find find the device admin anywhere. It most certainly cannot be found in security. I would appreciate any advice that would help. Thank you.

  5. donna says:

    I have had same ptoblem.. something has control over my phone and wont allow me to do the things i wanna.. Someone PLEASE HELP!!!

    • Julian says:

      #Donna# What Android version and device are you using?

      • raju says:

        my requirement is i want to install an app which requires admin roles and can disable lock patterns ,
        but still i want to avoid that , i want to install app but i want my lock screen pattern also .

      • asif says:

        I have tablet and the settings are blocked I cant installed any thing in my tab there is admin password please Kindly gaude me thanks..

  6. Chantelle Lawrence says:

    Thank you so much. Was having trouble uninstalling Bullguard off my Android phone. This method got rid of it straight away. Thanks again.

  7. Ankit Shah says:

    Thankx man….Desperately need this information.
    Thankx a lot…:):):)

  8. Joe says:

    Thank you after installing “Android lost” and giving it admin rights it took over and was a real pain trying to control it without loosing my mental health.
    thanks again

  9. Josiah says:

    As others have said, I have an HTC vivid running android 4.0.3 ice cream sandwich, and the Device Admin settings are nowhere to be found. I’m stuck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Amin says:

    I have a htc phone with android 4.0.3 when I go to security section tob remove my password … I have no permission to do that because I am not administrator … How can I remove my password from my screen?
    I cleaned the credential storage and restart the phone but I am not successful ….. ๐Ÿ™
    How can I run this version of android as administrator ????????

    Thanks so much

  11. Greg Chandler says:

    I am having a similar problem. I can go to the phone administrator location and double click on it. It open and I click deactivate, then the phone quickly flashes and does not deactivate the privilege. It will not show me the “Are you sure”. It simply skips past it and disregard the deactivation.

  12. Cody says:

    Hello sir,
    I have a HTC inspire that is running via straight talk. 2 things:
    1:I cant receive MMS messages. I can send them but not receive them. the internet works fine.
    2: I cant delete or stop any apps that are on my phone. It says “this app blocked by admin” when i try to delete one.
    Any help??? Please email me directly.
    Thanks so much!


    • Julian says:

      #Cody# Backup your device – if rooted you can backup the entire device, including SMS/MMS. If not, then you can get your apps back from the Play Store (assuming you got them from here in the first place). As for MMS and SMS unless rooted, you will lose these. You should then do a factory reset. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Jeet says:

    I am having few app which gets disabled and hidden as soon as I configure Exchange ActiveSync. I need to use both Emails on Exchange ActiveSync and those apps. please help.

    • Jeet says:

      I am on Android 4.3 and Exchange ActiveSync also takes control of Device Administration on the phone, which I don’t want. If I disable the Exchange ActiveSync in Device Administrators, y Office Emails goes away.

      • Julian says:

        #Jeet# The behaviour you describe with Device Admin is normal. Is your Exchange ActiveSync related to a business you are working for? If so, you should speak with the admin who will be able to advise you.

  14. JJ says:

    I was infected by some type of trojan that locked me out of my phone and wa nted me to pay to have unlocked (yea right). I tried everything short of reloading original firmware from cellular provider. This trojan looks like a valid Adobe App for Android but is only a mask for a nasty virus. Once the user authorizes install on device the trojan creates itself as a system App and device manager. The result is not being able to remove as device manager because it pops up saying “cannot remove the system application”. It is reported to originate in eastern Europe and lately targeted at western countries. I think will try and find in the file folders next. Just a heads up for you all.

    • Julian says:

      #JJ# Please could you email me julian at the URL you downloaded the malicious app from. I will also need filename/package etc. We will take a look. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Natalie says:

        I an even locked out of my settings!! I cant fer m’y texts, i cant male Valls but i van RECEIVE them. HELP! IM USING AN OLD PHONE WITHOUT ร€ SIM CARD SO I PRAY THIS GOES THROUGH. U CAN EMAIL ME at removed @gmail. com or Gall removed…thank u

  15. Jessica says:

    For all those looking to solve the mystery of where the heck Device Admin settings are on phones like HTC Vivid like I have been doing: I was looking to deactivate Lookout. My exhaustive search has informed me to look in Settings then Location and Security…which is nonexistent. Then I finally had a ‘duh moment’. Go to the app itself and deactivate device admin! Then the ‘uninstall’ option is granted/lit up in your Settings–Apps. Frustration induced self harm/binge drinking averted.

  16. Mo says:

    I installed an admin app that required a password to uninstall. I forgot the password, is there any way to get rid of the app manually?
    (without doing a hard reset on the phone!)

  17. casandre leboeuf says:

    thank you so much im using my first smart phone and was unfamiliar with the admin i would never would have found that i couldnt stand knowing there was something on my phone i couldnt remove again thanks

  18. George says:

    I have an HTC One M8 with Delayed Lock installed. It stopped working 3 days after several months of reliable operation. I have been unable to get it going so thought I’d reinstall. When I deactivate administrative rights the check mark refuses to go away. The ability to uninstall in never restored. Is there a way I can force this app off my device?

    • Julian says:

      #George# Simple answer no. Did you make a backup? If you did I’d suggest using that. If not, you might have to put your device in recovery mode. Are you running the app on a rooted or non-rooted device? If rooted, you can use the Xposed module GravityBox which is the method I use for entering recovery mode. This module will allow you to reboot in recovery mode so you can remove a cache partition and or do a factory/wipe reset. Further information about recovery mode can be found here:

  19. Azeem says:

    how to activate and deactivate profile programmatically in android

  20. mike says:

    I installed game and then this game locked for uninstalling!I’m unchecked in device administration but not working!What’s problem?

  21. Eric says:

    I downloaded an app that requires administration and when I try to deactivate it it asks for a password. Is there any other way to deactivate it?

  22. Maryann says:

    We boight a used Galaxy tablet and there’s an app called dinner time on it that we cannot uninstall. I researched it and it said its a parental control app that is controlled by another device. So I tried going into the device admin and unchecking the box but when I press it to uncheck the box, it just goes back to the home screen and doesn’t do anything. I thought about leaving it but I don’t like the idea of it being connected to another device. Is there a way to uninstall this app another way?

    • Julian says:

      #Maryann# You have to setup Dinner Time app before it is activated. Also, the app only works if it is installed on your device and another say your child’s device (Device Admin is enabled on your Child’s device to stop them from removing the app). If you don’t want it installed, then you should be able to remove it without Device Admin. Alternatively you could root your tablet (this allows you to gain admin privilege) to remove the app. For further information you might want to read this >

  23. Richie says:

    Thanks very much Julian, after a frustrating search of Google to remove an App (Bulldog Mobile) yours ws found and was easy to understand and it worked well.
    I had paid for the app and had a free download but with an incorrect email addy and it would not go away…………
    Thans again

  24. Ben says:

    I have a Samsung Galaxy s5 and I was asked yo update my browser before my browser crashed. do i hit ok And It Gave Me A “update browser” ICON Now But It Turned Out To Be A Trojan virus!!!!!! I can’t get rid of it. I downloaded Bitdefender while on safe mode it found the virus but when I try to remove it it says that it is an active administrator and you need to disactivate it. When I click disactivate it throws me back to the pop up and locks it again. So then I have to restart and try AGAIN!!!! I would greatly appreciate any advice thank you.

  25. mehjuba says:

    This method is not working for me.

  26. dinesh says:

    I have Nokia XL Android based phone. I unexpectedly installed app called Speed YouTube downloader. When I installed it, it asked for administrative permissions. I thought it as suspicious at but gave the administrator permission. After that it doesn’t get uninstalled. Even I tried to deselect the administrator permission in security settings but the app doesn’t allow me to deselect it. What should I do.

    Please help me

  27. Kaauds says:

    When I try to unchecked the box for device administrator, the screen quickly disappears before I can deactivate. Itโ€™s very annoying. Can I do anything besides factory reset? My android version is 4.4.2

    • Mary says:

      I am having this trouble as well. The deactivate option appears for me, but when i click it, disappears and doesn’t deactivate anything. I too need help.

  28. Bonnie says:

    I have two issues going on.
    1. My play store seems to do whatever it wants. I go to search for an app and while I’m looking at it or trying to install it the app will all of a sudden go to another page that has nothing to do with what I searched for. It is also downloading apps by itself that I haven’t looked for or even heard of.

    2. I have inadvertently installed (or Google play store did) a program that has taken over my administrator settingd. If I try to deactivate one of the two apps activated (Android Device Manager and Android Settings) it will flash to another screen before I even have time to click on it, also does the same thing if I try to activate one.

  29. Pierre says:

    I have bn a victim of malware on my phone. I was instructed to run d phone in safe mode so as to uninstall and deactivate from device administrator the stubborn virus/malware. The virus on my phone were actually two and I have managed to deactivate and uninstall one.The other is proven difficult and an attempt to deactivate from device administrator leads me back to the lock screen demanding I make 100pound payment as fine….Please I need help!!!!!!!

  30. Pierre says:

    *My android version is 4.4.2 (kit kat)

  31. Irfaan says:

    I have the ukash virus on my phone and to uninstall it i have to deactivate it in “Device Administrators” when i deactivate it, i doesnt allow me to press ok and it goes back on the virus page, (i then reboot back into safety mode) please help!!!

    • Julian says:

      #Irfaan# Restart your Android device in ‘safe mode’. Next go to Apps (or Applications folder) and look for an App* you don’t recognise. Google-fu the app name to make sure it’s not genuine. Tap the App and you can now uninstall. If Uninstall is greyed out, you will then need to go to Device Admin to uncheck the App to deactivate and then uninstall. ๐Ÿ™‚ *The app name will always be continually changed by the malware authors.

      • Jordo says:

        We are having same problem except when we tap disable the app administrator the virus pops up again and blocks us from disabling it .. what do we do now .. please help

  32. Shayia says:

    I’ve tried the steps but It will not allow me to remove the selected one it just sends me back to the settings

  33. Shayia tucker says:

    I’m having the exact same problem as the last person above me please help

  34. Shayia says:

    There is some app that I did not download that’s called phone booster that I can’t Uninstall at all and it tells me that it is an active device administrative so I can’t Uninstall it how do I fix this?

  35. Nadine says:

    I am having the exact issue with Phone Booster as the above poster. When I attempt to uninstall, the tab is greyed out. Apparently it has attained active device administrator rights, yet doesn’t appear on the device administrator screen so I can’t uncheck it and subsequently can not uninstall it.
    Please help!

  36. Sivateja says:

    When i am trying to deactivate the app form device adimistration it is taking me back to settings.
    Even my phone is strucked unable to use. I am using sony xperia e .please help me out in sloving this issue.
    Thanks in advance

    • Julian says:

      #Sivateja# Which App are you having trouble with?

    • Rupai says:

      Same thing happening to my device also, its taking me back to settings such a fake appzlock app is just a junk!!! What to do please suggest without format is any possibility is there…

  37. John says:

    hi i have a moto g 4.4.4 with a parental control app called MobileFence on it from its previous owner.when i try to delete device admin priveleges’ it asks me to login to my MobileFence account. Please help!!! Is there a root hack where i can delete this?

  38. Alor Augustine says:

    I have tried it by deactivation but its not working pls what I do.I am in a deep shit

  39. smriti singh says:

    i installed an app called appzlock..but now it wont uninstall..n wont let me to uncheck it from device administratror..plzz help

    • Rupai srkr says:

      Well guys for having troubles in using’ appzlock’ app, to uninstall it…
      Go to settings> select developer option> switch it on> go to debugg>select debugg app option> select appz lock app option> then go to security> device administration> select deactivate it> then uninstall from all applications program.See it has been uninstall…

  40. balu says:

    Just reset ur mobile. Same thing happened to me with Appzlock

  41. Rupai says:

    I have installed an app named ‘appz lock’at first when I installed it , it take me directly to accessibility and told me to activate, after activating my devie started hanging even I cant go to settings the system was full hanged then from start button by long press any how went went to accessibility and deactivated it, but when tried to uninstall it no uninstall option was available just only I can deactivate ‘show notification option’then I went to play store and from there I tried to uninstall it, then there also no uninstall option given just showing ‘Deactivate’then I tried to deactivate but not working at all, then I tried you procedures from setting went to device administration options and tired to disable but it sending again to setting options, and along with when I am playing games, surfing Internet,watchings youtube shows , ads are coming and coming, and even when I turned on the device from push button every time its opening play store and randomly they select one app to download , its fake app please help…

  42. sachu says:

    I am going to follow this

  43. Adi says:

    Hey, I have a Samsung tab 3 neo with android 4.2.2. It’s not rooted and is provided by my college. Recently the installed an app secure launcher on the tab which does not let me access anything but the studying material on the tab. I also can’t access the settings and task manager due to security policies. How can I remove those security policies???

  44. aman Rathod says:

    I stuck in one app that is not deactivated in device administrator what can I do..?

  45. kanika says:

    Hello sir help me out please

  46. Name says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH Rupai srkr !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WORKED! F*** THAT APPZLOCK APP! lol what a p.i.t.a. right?

  47. Nayan says:

    I have installed an app called applock and set a password for camera and few apps .and after that I am unable to open camera even if I type my password.I am unable to deactivate or uninstall the app.even I can’t do it through your idea .it is not shoeing that app in the menu box or on the home screen how can o get rid of this problem please help can send the solution to my email also please give solution

  48. J says:

    PLEASE HELP. I’m trying to do this but there’s an app called appzlock that is running as an administrator but it doesn’t list as one so I can’t get rid of it. It has malate and it’s screwing up my phone. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO

  49. Gokul says:

    Pls help me… I accidentally downloaded an application called appzlock. I can’t able to uninstall it. When I scanned with cm security it says that its a malware. Please say some ways to uninstall it… The above steps didn’t work.. Pls reply fast
    Email:[email protected]

    • kiran says:

      I also faced same problem with appzlock I went into accessibility and tried many times I frequently switched off /on my device when it boots up I quickly go to settings and disables it.To uninstall it I uninstalled an app called more shortcuts when I switched off its device administration I quickly switched off the appz lock then I could uninstall it

      • Julian says:

        #Everyone# Suggest you install Greenify App, which places an app in hibernation. Alternatively, you could restart the device in Safe Mode and then go to Device Admin to uninstall the App. I’ve tested both of these methods and they do work.

  50. Cathy says:

    The information is not working

  51. Jay says:

    I have installed APPZLOCK now i cant uninstall it even it is not appearing in device admin. Plz give me sol.

  52. ivy says:

    OMG thank you so much.I finally uninstalled it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Visitingmamba says:

    Hi Julian,
    I have got this ransomeware on my Note 3. I have rebooted in safe mode. When I try to deactivate the admin privilege, it takes over the screen with Australian Federal Police ransome warning. How do I get it out?

  54. Fahim says:

    I was also facing same issue then I tried to turn off service of Appzlock in Settings–>Accessibility. When we try to click on this service it was going off before turning off I keep on tried then finally turned off and uninstalled the app.
    This worked for me you guys can try and see.

  55. shyam says:

    Thanks I resolved my problem by deactivating USB security system app

  56. Chaniel Hope says:

    Thank you so much.This is really useful and helpful.An application was automatically downloaded to my device and I couldn’t deactivate it or uninstall it.Now I just could solve this problem by following your advice.Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Kim says:

    when i try to uncheck the activated app, it wont let me. it makes my setting stop. can u email me plz? thx

  58. Pranjal says:

    I have a bit complicated problem the app lock is the device administrator and moreover thw settings os also locked.
    Kindly tell how to bypass the app lock

  59. tayo says:

    I have deactivated administrative privileges given to avast free anti theft app but would not deactivate, I have tried an hard reset and tried again and again but still will not deactivate. I therefore cannot uninstall the app. What do I do? Android version 4.2.2.
    You install this apps, but getting reed of them becomes an headache!

  60. Ryan Scheffert says:

    Please help! I’m on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 and I installed Norton Mobile Security. But I want to uninstall it because it’s causing network issues and causing my tablet to become so slow I can barely open any apps at all. But when I go to the app in applications manager, everything is greyed out. I can’t click anything. And when I go to Device Administrators and click on the check box for Norton and click “Deactivate” it doesn’t do anything. I do not have any backups and I really don’t want to completely reset it, as that would mean losing everything! Please help me!

  61. James says:

    I followed your instructions and was able to remove the app, Thank you

  62. satybhan says:

    My Google play store connection time aut retry problem Samsung galaxy grand neo plus 4.4.4 GT 190601 please help me.

  63. Roxane says:

    I have a Samsung galaxy s3 and had cm security downloaded. It is now locked as an administrator on the phone. I don’t have the pattern to unlock it or the email address to recover the password. How can I remove it as administrator and completely from my phone. I have tried to remove administration but it needs the pattern. In settings I don’t have the option to force stop or uninstall. In playstore it only gives the option to deactivate or open and wont deactivate because of the administration rights on it

    Please help desperately

  64. Drashnar says:

    Not sure if you know the answer to this, but maybe you can help.

    I’m using Outlook for Android to connect to my company’s exchange server. Before I set it up to connect, I removed the Outlook App’s Device Admin rights. Now I can connect and get all my information, but do not get the same popup that I do (regarding security policies, etc) if I try to add an exchange account through the normal Settings -> Accounts menu.

    Is there a way to verify that remote wipe (or other administrative features) will not work, short of IT trying?

    Thanks for the Help

  65. donald says:

    Installing apps from other sources is turned off by administrator , so I can turn it on to.install android app

  66. abubakar shah says:

    My device administration sitting have some mobile screenaautomaticaly off. Plz do some help

  67. abubakar shah says:

    My phone name is Haier has someaadministration problem. Screen is automatically off.

  68. Keisha=Kid says:

    My Android Version Is 4.4.2 Kernel Ver. This Is My Question Is It Necessary To Activate My Android Device So I Can Forcely Uninstall It?? Cuz Like I’m Scared That Something Will Happen To My Phone….. Please Help I NEED Your Help…. Thanks

  69. kellie arnold says:

    I’ve tried that went to the administration clicked on go power master then I clicked sedative and it didn’t work. I went to setting then clicked on app to try it that way but it won’t let me force stove are anything…..
    Please help

  70. Satyam says:

    I have cool pad dazen1, I have some hanging problems due to an which was not deleted from my mobile and I also disabled, Clear data and also do factory reset data 2 times but the app was not removed from my device and create a problem.

  71. Satyam says:

    I have cool pad dazen1, I have some hanging problems due to an app which was not deleted from my mobile and I also disabled, Clear data and also do factory reset data 2 times but the app was not removed from my device and create a problem.

  72. help me please my device is Samsung galaxy Grand prime i have a in my device

  73. syaf8 says:


    I have a problem to uninstall assistive touch app. The problem is when i want to deactivate the app form device administrator setting, it force the setting to unfortunately stopped. I am unable to uninstall this app because everytime i tried to deactivate it keep giving same error. Kindly need your help to solve this issue

  74. Ron Gustafson says:


    I know this blog doesn’t look as if it’s still managed. But just in case it is, I would like to ask you a question. When attempting to deactivate Android device manager in the list I get a “settings has stopped” warning, then, of course it takes me out to my home screen. I’ve searched through all my files & searched the internet pertaining to ADM & can’t figure it out.
    It’s time to ask the professionals!! Do you have any advice as to how I can fix it so that I can deactivate my ADM? Thank you for your time.
    ~Ron Gustafson

    • Julian says:

      #Ron Gustafson# I was able to reproduce the issue. Try this > Settings > Location > Tap Device Manager. You can now UNINSTALL or FORCE STOP ADM. I suggest FORCE STOP which should now allow you to deactivate ADM.

  75. Brad says:

    Hey Julian,

    I have CM Security on my phone and I am trying to disable its administrator rights on my phone. But every time I do the settings app crashes. My goal is to uninstall the app completely. I have cleared it’s cache, disabled its accessibility, but cannot uninstall it. I have tried doing all of this right after reboots, even in safe mode. I don’t know what else to do apart from using a file browser and deleting its files or a factory reset (which I really do not want to do).

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Galaxy Note 5
    Model Number SM-N920V
    Android Version 6.0.1
    Kernal Version 3.10.61

  76. a y u b says:

    But in my ZEnfone C

    Click > Settings > Security > Device administrators and TAP the app you want to disable Device admin
    The Device administrator screen will appear > TAP > Deactivate โ€“
    then button “do nothing”

    How To Deactivate????

  77. kona says:

    Hello, i have a samsung s7 and the phone is administrator controled. I dont have a google account on my phone and it wont let me add one because administrator wont let me. can someone help on how to add an account through some other method so that i can access google play and add vital apps? i dont want to ask the administrator because it will be a couple months before they get back to me…

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