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There are a lot of spy apps, that can record audio of the surroundings of the phone, take pictures and trace the phone using GPS, Cell towers, and transfering the information to the spy (husband/wife/parents/stalker/criminal) using internet or SMS. Some of these spy applications hide once installed and the user cannot detect them.

Question 1: Does the factory reset uninstall those spy apps?

Question 2: Is there any way to see these kind of hidden apps?

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    What spy apps? – t0mm13b Mar 4 '14 at 23:08
  • @t0mm13b Probably safe to say that he's looking for a way to check if there are spy apps (or services) on a device, and if a factory reset can uninstall them. – geffchang Mar 5 '14 at 9:30
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As Colin already pointed out, a clears all apps, data, and cache from things installed/edited in user mode (i.e. without root or system privileges, see our factory-reset tag-wiki for details). So yes, if you didn't root your device, it's pretty safe to assume a factory-reset removes those "spy apps" along.

Concerning "checking for spy apps": There are plenty of apps on Google Play claiming to do that. However, it might be hard to decide what makes an app a "spy app": Recording audio? Fully legit for an audio recorder. Taking pictures/videos? A video recorder/camera app is supposed to do that. Still, there are several "frameworks" or "ad-modules" known as being suspicios, and apps using them will be presented by e.g. Lookout Ad Network Detector, Privacy Scanner (Antispy) Free, AppBrain Ad Detector (to name my 3 favorites here), and similar tools – which often even offer you to remove "offenders".

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Answer 1: In short yes, the factory reset (as the name suggests) brings the phones software back to the state it was when it left the "factory". There are most likely some hypothetical cases where this wouldn't fix it, but they would require some personal time with your phone and some hardcore technical skills that seem extremely unlikely to occur and are most definitely nothing to worry about (it would be like worrying Anonymous is going to hack your personal website).

Answer 2: There is a very similar question to this one located here: Android Spy Apps with two answers that should be satisfactory.

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To uninstall specific app like "iKeyMonitor Android Spy App", you can follow its FAQ.

For general guide about how to uninstall other spy apps, there are 2 methods you can try:

  1. Go to Android Settings - Application Manager, find the app you want to uninstall. The name may be masked. You should know what's the real name before trying to uninstall it.
  2. Factory reset of the Android device will remove all the apps installed.
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Yes.

Question 1: Does the factory reset uninstall those spy apps?

Answer 1: It will be better if you uninstall from Application Manager after unhide the application from Device Manager.

Question 2: Is there any way to see these kind of hidden apps?

Answer 2: Yes. We can see these types of apps

        Settings  :>   Security :>  Device administrator :> 

        Here is the list of these types of apps.
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Every modern spy app (unless it's not a fake) admit that factory reset of the host phone deletes the app client. So yes, answering your first question, you can delete them in this way.

Regarding second question, it depends on the type of the app. Every app leaves specific tracks which are unique, has its own algorithms and so on - but neither is completely untraceable.

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You can uninstall the apps simply by GOING IN THE SETTING-> SECURITY or PRIVACY-> DEVICE ADMINISTRATORS-> UNALLOW SPYAPPS (YOU HAVE). Then you simply uninstall the spyapp just GO THE SETTING-> INSTALLED APPS-> UNINSTALL THE APP.

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  • THE QUESTION DOESN'T ASK HOW TO UNINSTALL THE APPS – Jonny Wright Feb 10 '17 at 19:32

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