It's either I had virus on my phone or some apps I installed lately started to add shortcuts on my home screen. These shortcuts look like apps and will take me to the download page of the apps. I like to block this behavior but I don't even know which app or virus is doing this. I like to know if there is a master switch to turn off this feature or if there is an app where I can monitor such activity. Thanks.

  • If it takes you to the download page then it's hard to tell. The Play Store creates shortcuts for launching installed apps but not for downloading apps. Go through the list of lately downloaded/updated apps and uninstall the ones that look suspicious (performance boosters, wallpapers and similar). Also make sure you are using the stock launcher and no third-party one. – GiantTree Jun 5 '16 at 18:17
  • Related: “Lucky try” & “Recommended” shortcuts always appear on homescreen, how to remove it?. See my answer there and here for how to find the responsible app. Once identified, report it to Google (this kind of ads is not permitted), leave a comment on its app page, and remove it from your device. Also remember its developer, and avoid apps from the same in the future. – Izzy Jun 5 '16 at 18:20
  • @Izzy♦ hey I am using a samsung s7 and my application setting only shows permissions to camera, location, phone, sms, and storage. – Aero Windwalker Jun 6 '16 at 3:04
  • @AeroWang Have you tried to check with aSpotCat? I don't know what "application setting" you are referring to, but aSpotCat shows more than that. // Btw: no need to quote the ♦ behind my nick (hover your mouse over it to find out what it stands for ;) – Izzy Jun 6 '16 at 5:20
  • @lzzy cool, aSpotCat doesn't show any apps using shortcut creating permission, instead it shows almost all my apps under "unknown permission" tab... – Aero Windwalker Jun 6 '16 at 12:37

Unfortunately INSTALL_SHORTCUT is not the only permission an app can use to create shortcuts on your home screen - especially if your shortcuts take you to "the download page of the apps." INSTALL_SHORTCUT usually only run once, but permissions like WRITE_INTERNAL_STORAGE can give an app unlimited power to run however many shortcuts on your screen - and direct you to ads to boost the developer's revenue. This is often seem for some non-playstore apps because they do not have to obey the rules from Google.

  • It would be nice if I can see which app created these shortcuts so I can remove it. – Aero Windwalker Jun 7 '16 at 4:11

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