Why does Google Play Services require so many permissions. Access to my phone, contacts, text messages, camera, microphone, and even body sensors cannot be turned off without constant push notices saying they must be turned on for it to work properly. I didn't know my phone had "body sensors". It is the only app in my phone with such a request. I find all these demands for access to every aspect of my phone way too invasive into my personal information. No possible permission is excluded. Do I have to keep this app running or can I disable it?

  • For example: My new phone won't sync my contacts until Play Services has access to my camera and body sensors. I'd pretty much forgotten about phone rooting until I saw this app. Considering a google-free rootkit now, on principle. Sep 19, 2019 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


Google Play Services is kind of a "service provider" for other apps on your device. A look into our google-play-services tag-wiki will give you some details and explain some of the permissions this app requires. For example it requires access to your location as it offers location services to other apps.

If you'd disable this, several of your apps will probably no longer function the way they did before. Some apps won't care. But especially other Google Apps will complain (Gmail and Google Maps definitely will). As the Settings app is not affected, you can try that out (if the effect is too strong, you can always revert your change).

On the other had, you could also try revoking some permissions from the Google Play Services app, if your Android lets you (it's a system app, so depending on your device and Android version you might not be able to do that).

  • 6
    Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having app permissions? If I don't want an app to know my location, I can disable the app location permissions, but then it can use Play Services to get the info anyway. Am I misunderstanding something?
    – Coo
    Feb 20, 2019 at 3:00
  • @Coo I'd hope it gives the location only to apps which have the permission. But I can't tell. Play services also includes AdMob & Co.
    – Izzy
    Feb 20, 2019 at 6:51
  • 2
    I've revoked the location access from Google Play Services app, but granted it to Google Map. Google Map works just fine even after that. So this doesn't match your answer. May be there is something else here we are missing.
    – Fayaz
    Apr 29, 2019 at 16:20
  • @Fayaz it might work while on GPS. But network location? Apart from that, I wouldn't trust the permission staying removed. Deep as it is ingrained in the system, it might simply grant it back to itself. As Playstore simply gets reenabled (and updated) if you disable it (I've experienced that multiple times, back when I still had GApps on a device – luckily I no longer have).
    – Izzy
    Apr 29, 2019 at 17:53
  • 2
    @Fayaz Play Services is an API that apps can use, but apps don't have to use it, they can access the services of Android also in other ways. Perhaps that is what Google Map is doing. The main reason Play Services exists is that it is an app which can be updated without having to update the whole OS which is not possible on some older devices. For an app that does use Play Services I THINK (and hope) that you need to give permissions to both Play Services and the app. I wish Google would clarify this question by giving a simple answer themselves.
    – Panu Logic
    Jul 23, 2020 at 17:49

It is because new android >6.0 ask for permissions on any app ,even on system apps. Don't be scared. Allow them, because it is services for all google apps. Without that youtube ,gmail, chrome won't work. It's neccesary. And because it is neccesary it request a lot. Google wants from you to doenload all their apps to use. And it request contacts and dialing because he want to backup your contact to google servers in case of losing data.

  • 3
    What has needing so many permissions to do with Android 6's runtime permissions? And why would that be necessary? Why is the "dialing" permission required to backup contacts? Sorry for being direct, but that's pure nonsense. the only thing I can agree to here is that Play Services offers its functionality to a lot of apps.
    – Izzy
    May 24, 2018 at 14:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .