I read about a security vulnerability in Android. It's possible to install apps on your phone via the desktop browser, if logged in with the same account. When you visit the Playstore in your browser, you can install apps directly.

NB: The Google+ article is a critical comment on the research, and states that it's not all that serious. But it's the only article in English and does explain the problem rather well.

Still I would like to disable this "feature". (Using this word I cannot but think of the many comments on Windows where all security flaws were explained as features...) Anyhow - how can this be done?

How can I disable installing apps via the browser?

  • I don't think you can achieve the goal at least not now but I found that you can't uninstall the apps from Desktop. In that case, you can root the device, install XPrivacy to restrict the damage that may be caused to your data or privacy. That I think would be one of the best things to do to safeguard against such dangerous Play store feature from Google.
    – Firelord
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


Frankly, if someone has access to your logged-in account, they could do much more nefarious things than installing filling your phone with apps (such as accessing sensitive emails).

That being said, if you're particularly concerned about this:

  1. Navigate to Google Play Settings on your desktop browser after signing in
  2. Toggle the visibility of the device you want to prevent installations to


That's it. The downside of this is anyone could potentially reverse this setting, install apps and restore it without your knowledge. But you really shouldn't leave logged-in sessions around in the hands of people you don't trust.

  • Well, the admins at my school could download malware on my phone cause I'm signed in to my school account. And of course agencies like the NSA being able to send a NSL&gag order to Google or whatever.
    – Aaron Esau
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 8:15

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