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I have a Google Pixel 5a running the latest version of Android 12 (I updated a couple of days after I bought it, so I didn't use Android 11 much if at all). I noticed that a lot of apps trigger the "app pasted from your clipboard" as soon as I open them. These are legitimate apps like Here Maps or Firefox Focus, installed directly from the Play Store.

Importantly, I am not doing anything to trigger this manually. No long press and hitting paste, nothing. I'm worried about this for security reasons, obviously, but I've checked my permissions and they all have minimal permissions. Here Maps, for example, only has location access and nothing else.

Why is this happening? Is there any way to debug this or see what's being pasted or why? Or to disable apps from checking the clipboard without my explicit permission?

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  • The text Android displays is just a notice to you that the app accesses the clipboard and reads it's content. Before Android 12 there was simply no such notice so some apps checked clipboard regularly without knowledge of the user. For the question why I am not sure of the community is able to answer that.
    – Robert
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 22:53
  • @Robert Right, I know it's just the app checking the clipboard. I guess I'm simply worried that certain apps, which have no reason to be checking the clipboard at all, are actually checking it. Are they trying to steal passwords? Even legitimate apps like Firefox? Is there no way to disable that?
    – Michael A
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 23:42
  • As Robert said, community cannot answer why an app behaves or does not behave in a certain way. You should ask the developer of the app. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 6:52

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I cannot answer the question as to why apps are doing this, it does seem like a major security issue to me. It looks like there might be better features in Android 13 for this. I have an app that I need to use but this bothered me that it pasted contents from my clipboard on open every time. For Android 12 (and I assume below that, but only tested on 12) there is an option if you run a few commands. First you will need to setup adb on your computer (there are many tutorials depending on your computer os), then on the phone enable developer options, and enable adb access. Then you can type adb shell and this will allow terminal access on the phone. You can then type the below to see all the apps that have clipboard access.

cmd appops query-op --user 0 READ_CLIPBOARD allow

From there you can type the below, replacing with the full name from the list.

cmd appops set <packagename> READ_CLIPBOARD ignore

This will block the app from reading the clipboard and I no longer see the message at the bottom of the screen when I open the app. Hope this helps!

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