Security 101

Why Is Prey Difficult to Uninstall on Android?

Don’t you hate when it you download an app that’s not what you expected? Even worse: what if you can’t even remove it from your phone or tablet? We get it, because we hate that too  ¯_(ツ)_/¯

We get the frustration this might cause, and we know that Prey is not an easy app to uninstall on Android. The purpose of this post is to explain why that is, and how to remove it if you must.

Many of our Android users are having a hard time uninstalling Prey from their phones. Oh, we have heard:

We understand why it might be complicated for some users to figure out how to uninstall the app. You know the drill: you commonly drag any app on your device and drop it on the ‘uninstall’ bin, or you can follow these steps. However, Prey doesn’t work like the rest of applications regularly do. Trying the aforementioned method won’t remove Prey from your Android phone, for a number of reasons:

  1. Prey is difficult to remove because it should prevent thieves from doing so. If the person who stole your phone goes through it and recognizes our icon or finds out about what our service can do, they will definitely want to uninstall it before they get busted. The fact that Prey can’t be removed the regular way is one way to keep control of your device. You can also toggle the camouflage mode on your Prey account to make the icon disappear (pressing the volume down button on your phone for 10 seconds will also do the trick). Thieves won’t even know they’re being watched.

  1. Prey works as a device administrator. Yes, time is critical if your phone ever falls on the wrong hands. The Block and Wipe features of Prey act in your favor to help you prevent any unwanted person to access your phone, your apps, and your private information. Blocking your phone is an effective way of stopping unauthorized access to your personal stuff, but this can only be achieved if Prey counts with device administration privileges. That means that you must revoke said privileges in order to uninstall the app.

So finally, how’s it done?

We thought you’d never ask. If you’re positively sure you don’t need Prey’s protection anymore, we’ll gladly explain how to uninstall the app:

  1. On the device, go to Prey > Extra Security

  2. Disable Uninstall Lock and also Revoke extra permissions

  3. Remove Prey as any other app.

If you can’t do this, you can also:

  1. Go to Android > Settings > Security > Device administrators

  2. Disable permissions for Prey

  3. Uninstall Prey as any other app

Having done this, our affair would be officially over. If that’s the case, though, we’d love to hear what went wrong. Was it something we did? Reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll happily engage in some friendly conversation and ping-pong a few GIFs with you.

About the author

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.