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If so, how can I disable the ability to sideload apps while still being able to update apps already installed?

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Disabling the package installer would prevent apps from making the user request to install an app. Technically, they would still make the request but it would not show up, with the installer being disabled. That said, if a system app has INSTALL_PACKAGES permission (such as Play Store) or a third-party app has root access somehow, disabling the package installer would make no difference. Similarly, disabling it would not prevent sideloading from adb.

  • So if I were to find a way to disable install via ADB, install an APK updater app that auto updates apps and then uninstall the package installer, would the apk updater still be able to update apps already on the device, but the user wouldn't be able to install new apps if no other installers had root permission? Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm pretty new to all of this and I'm still learning about the android structure and it's components. – ShtarkBochur Jan 13 at 12:23
  • @ShtarkBochur it is not a stupid question but a genuine question arising out of an immediate need. Unfortunately, I'm not well-versed with the internals of Android. However, others may be able to help with this new question of yours if you ask it as a separate question. If it helps, link your current question for reference purposes. :) – Firelord Jan 13 at 13:53

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