I'm new to using an android. Apps I have never visited nor installed are showing up on my screen (Slots, Candy Crush, Expedia, Droid Games). If I touch them, I go to their site. I would like to remove them but can't figure out how? Any ideas?

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    Home screen or app drawer? Either way the first step would be to long press them.
    – jlordo
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:43
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    If icons appear without a proper explanation, there is a chance that another installed app is creating them. These are malicious apps and won't be detected by antiviruses. You'd better check your apps for free and fun type ones
    – Sid
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:20
  • What device and version of the OS? The methods may be slightly different for each.
    – ale
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:28
  • Also, are these apps that came pre-installed on the phone?
    – ale
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:29

3 Answers 3


Sounds like you tapped into some spam trap. Certain apps place advertisements this way -- though the new playstore rules do no longer allow that. Others do the same in the notification area. Airpush is the best known evil source of such.

I suggest you scan your device for such apps. Try e.g. with TrustGo Ad Detector. Quoting from the apps description:

It is common for advertising networks to collect information on how you use your device. Your information is then used for targeted marketing campaigns.

Some common and aggressive methods include:

  • Pushing ads to your Android notification bar
  • Creating unauthorized shortcuts on your home screen
  • Modifying the default browser, homepage and bookmarks settings
  • Subscribing you to emails and text messages when an ad is clicked
  • Making phone calls and downloading malicious files when an ad is clicked

At least one line sounding familiar? (remark: emphazation is mine).

EDIT: Once you've identified the malicious app, make sure to...

  1. report it to Google (according to the current playstore rules, this kind of advertisement is not permitted)
  2. comment on the app to warn off other users
  3. uninstall the app and leave it out
  4. think about whether in the future you want to use any apps from such developers which do not respect your privacy
    nothing bad with ad-financed apps -- but it a) should be clear where those ads come from, and b) they should be related to the app itself, i.e. being displayed in that app when it's used -- and not outside in different places whether you use the app or not
  • +1 I didn't address how they got there. I assume that just deleting the apps won't prevent the malicious one from reinstalling them, I should have added that in.
    – Peanut
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:55
  • Right. That would just be handling symptoms instead of curing the cause -- which is why I pointed to those detectors. Once identified the bad app, make sure to report it to Google first, write a comment on that app to warn off other users, and only then uninstall (or you can't report/comment).
    – Izzy
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 19:52

If they're on your home screen then long press them and drag them to the trash can on the screen. Depending on what phone you have and what version of Android it's running the trash can be in a different place. On the image below the trash can is at the bottom of the screen however I think on Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean it's at the top.

Deleting an icon from the home screen

If you want to delete an application from the phone (and so from the menu screen) then go to Settings -> Apps and find the app you want to get rid of, click on it and there should be an Uninstall option, click this and the app and icon will be removed from the menu.

uninstalling an application to remove icon from menu

Since these icons/apps are appearing without you installing anything I assume they're being installed by a malicious application so although so may delete the icons they malicious app can just reinstall them, you should deal with the root of the problem, see Izzys answer for a suggestion on how to do this.

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    On my new Moto X with Lollipop, the trash can is a white X Remove up top.
    – Bob Stein
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 21:55

You should download AVG and scan for the app that is placing the apps on your screen and it will help you not to download future programs that so this as well AVG has a website that will allow you to track your phone in the event of loss all for free.

  • 1
    What has AVG anti-virus has got to do with the OP's question? Not alone that, so called anti-virus scanners are a scam as well! :)
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 20:38
  • +1 to @t0mm13b -- see e.g. this slashdot article.
    – Izzy
    Commented May 11, 2013 at 15:06

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