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Remove Instant Apps Android virus (Free Instructions) - Removal Guide

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: System tools

Instant Apps Android virus is a term used by users to describe suspicious background downloads on their devices

Instant Apps Android virus
Instant Apps Android virus is a term that users use to describe unknown background installations on their phones or tablets

Instant Apps is a feature that allows most Android users to try out various apps without having to install them on their devices. This new and innovative technology works similarly like users visiting a web page on a particular site – it is gone as soon as the tab is closed. This cloud-based feature is provided by Google and can be download via the official Google Play Store. Once installed, it allows users to press the “Try it now” button instead of using the regular “Install,” which makes it much more convenient.

However, users started to spot some suspicious activities on their phones – such as Google Play services for Instant Apps installing automatically without permission – and questions like “Is Instant Apps a virus?” piled up very quickly. Additionally, there were several security questions raised about the feature, as it could potentially allow the attackers to install malware without user consent. In March 2019, a security vulnerability within Instant Apps was also discovered, which allowed the attackers to steal authentication tokens and browser data like cookies.[1] While the Instant Apps Android virus term might seem strange, we are here to explore how safe it is to use and whether you should be concerned about these issues.

Name Instant Apps
Function Legitimate Google feature which allows to try out apps on Android without having to install them
Release  May 18, 2016 by Google Inc.
Concerns
  • Users complained that the so-called Instant Apps Android virus is being downloaded on their device without permission
  • Vulnerabilities on the service were discovered (CVE-2019-5765), which allowed the attackers to harvest sensitive information from devices that were not patched with latest updates
Solution In some cases, the updates can be stopped by clearing Google Play services' cache and data 
Optimize  To optimize your device, download and install Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

Generally, Instant Apps is not a virus, and users should be aware that the feature is developed by Google, the biggest player in the IT business. The company always takes extensive precautionary measures in order to protect users from potential dangers, although even a company like that cannot keep all the adware and other malicious apps aware from its official stores at all times.

There are several concerns from the users about the Instant Apps Android feature, as they did not enable it or download it themselves. According to users, they were receiving the “Installing Instant App” pop-up notifications via their Android phones and claimed that these actions were initiated without their permission.

One user on Stack Exchange was especially concerned about the feature, as he claimed that the app simply reinstalls itself after a full Instant Apps removal is performed. Additionally, the user also claimed that the functionality of such a useful application like a Firewall was broken:[2]

“Google Play services for Instant Apps” has installed itself onto my device without my permission. It broke functionality of my firewall (AFWall and couple of other apps). And it is updating itself and other apps/components without permission. When I uninstall this component, it downloads itself again and installs right back. (That is, most likely it is “Google Play services” that's actually doing this in the background)

Thus, users even claimed that Google Play services for Instant Apps were behaving like malware – updating itself without permission. However, it is important to understand that Android OS is constantly being improved by the developers, and some features are included as mandatory additions. As a result, users cannot remove Instant Apps from their devices, as the feature is updated via the Google Play services automatically.

Instant Apps Android virus not a virus
Instant Apps is not a virus, and users should be safe as long as they have their Android operating system running on the latest version

If you see a pop-up on your phone, do not thing that it is Instant Apps Android virus, as it is a simple update brought to you by Google. However, you should also be aware that vulnerability inside the operating system was detected in March 2019, and you should ensure that it is patched.

The vulnerability CVE-2019-5765[3] would allow the attackers to abuse Instant Apps's or WebView component to break into users' devices and steal sensitive information from it. For example, an authentication token could be stolen, providing attackers broader access within the device.

Keep your Android phone safe from unwanted apps and malware

Mobile devices such as phones or tablets are now powerful machines that employ processors and other components that are typical for desktop computers. Thanks to touchscreen, users can operate these gadgets exactly the same way as they would a desktop or a laptop. Since many are using phones to pay bills, order items online, use all email attacks and perform other actions, these devices become extremely valuable to malicious actors. Android malware has been on the rise for many years now, so you should ensure that your phone is adequately protected from these attacks.

First of all, we highly recommend not to download applications from third-party sources. Androids even block such actions by default, so users need to turn it off in order to install applications from other than Google Play. Unfortunately, many do download pirated apps on their devices to avoid payments for the software. In other cases, users simply want to try apps that are not available in Google Play Store.

However, third parties should never be considered secure, as malicious actors often place malware-laden apps, and users download them without them suspecting anything. As a result, Android viruses like Trickbot, Xhelper, Cerberus, and many others, might be transferred to users' phones in the background.

Thus, better stick to Google Play – the IT giant, while not perfect, applies the best security measures in order to protect users from harmful apps. Other security tips include:

  • Install a robust security application to prevent malware from being injected into the phone automatically;
  • Ensure that your Android phone is patched and the latest updates are applied.

Instant Apps Android virus elimination

While there is no way to remove Instant Apps Android virus per se, there are certain things that you could try. If you see strange behavior besides Google Play Services update in the background (for example, an extreme amount of intrusive advertisements, quick battery drain, browser redirects, and similar actions), you should ensure that your phone is not infected with malware.

For that, we recommend download and installing reputable anti-malware software and performing a full system scan. The tool can detect and eliminate invisible malware components if such are present on the device. Also, we would recommend clearing the cache and data of Google Play Store, Instant Apps, Google Play Services, and Google app. Here is how:

  • Go to Settings and select Applications/Apps
  • Tap on See all apps
  • Go to Google Play Services
  • Pick Storage and cache
  • Clear both storage and cache

Instant Apps Android virus removal
Scan your phone with anti-malware and clear cache and data from all Google-related apps if you suspect that your device is infected

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References


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