How to Block a Specific App from Being Downloaded on Android

Want to prevent a particular Android app from being downloaded on your device or your child’s device? With the right tools, blocking the installation of specified apps is quick and easy.

In this complete guide, you’ll learn multiple methods to block and restrict app downloads on Android.

Let’s get started!

Using Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect is a built-in security system that provides real-time scans of your Android device to detect harmful apps.

One of its capabilities is the option to block specified apps.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Open the Play Store app on your Android device.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu icon ☰ in the top left corner.
  3. Select Play Protect.
  4. Tap App permissions.
  5. Toggle on the setting for Scan device for security threats.
  6. Under Recently scanned apps, locate the app you want to block.
  7. Tap the 3 dot menu next to the app name.
  8. Choose Block.

This will prevent the selected app from being downloaded or used on that Android device.

Google Play Protect will scan any newly installed apps and block the restricted ones.

Considerations

Using Play Protect to block apps has some caveats:

  • It only blocks apps downloaded from the Play Store, not other sources.
  • The block can be removed by anyone with access to the Play Protect settings.
  • It’s device-specific, so won’t prevent installs across all devices.
Google Play Protect interface showing option to block apps

Leveraging Parental Control Apps

A better solution is to use a dedicated parental control app.

These give you more robust blocking options and increased security.

Our Top Pick: Qustodio

Our recommendation is Qustodio.

It’s a highly-rated app for parents that offers a range of controls over Android devices.

With Qustodio, you can whitelist or blacklist specific apps.

Any blacklisted app will be unable to install or open on the device.

Key Benefits

  • Works across device profiles, not just a single device
  • Prevents sideloading of blocked apps from unknown sources
  • Provides time limits, filters, location tracking, and more
  • Displays detailed activity reports of app and device usage

Limitations

Qustodio is not free and costs $54.95 per year for complete functionality covering multiple devices and child profiles.

But many parents find the investment worthwhile for the protection and peace of mind.

Setup Instructions

Follow these steps to block app downloads with Qustodio:

  1. Create a parent Qustodio account
  2. Install the Qustodio app on the child’s Android device
  3. Log in on the child’s device using the parent account info
  4. Select the child profile to manage
  5. Go to App Rules
  6. Add apps you want to block to the Blacklist

You can also whitelist approved apps in the Whitelist section, automatically blocking anything not on the list.

Other Parental Control Apps

There are various other good parental control tools with app-blocking functionality including:

Each app offers its own unique set of parental controls, so research thoroughly before deciding.

They provide similar app blacklist options to restrict access.

Other Methods to Consider

In certain situations, you may want to explore other techniques to block apps, such as:

Using Device Profiles and Restrictions

Android devices have built-in parental controls to limit app usage and downloads through custom profiles.

This requires setting up a restricted account on the device itself.

Employing App Lock Software

App lock utilities allow locking down individual apps with passwords, fingerprints, or patterns to control app launching.

Blocking via Wi-Fi Network

Business or home Wi-Fi managers and routers can filter app traffic to block services and restrict usage based on category or name.

FAQs

Can I block an app from being downloaded only on cellular data?

Most parental control apps don’t differentiate between Wi-Fi or cellular data when blocking. However a few advanced tools like MMGuardian offer the option to block app downloads only on cellular connections.

What happens if the app is already installed before blocking?

The installed app itself will still function, but preventing future updates is a good approach. Uninstalling the app via a parental control tool is ideal if possible.

Can I block sideloaded third-party app installs?

Yes, leading parental control providers like Qustodio and Kaspersky Safe Kids can block installations from outside the Play Store, not just downloads within it.

Can app blocking be bypassed?

Determined kids may find technical workarounds in some cases. But robust parental apps that run deep at the device level offer strong protections. Using secondary authentication and hiding advanced settings reduces the risk.

Conclusion

  • Google Play Protect lets you block specific apps downloaded from the Play Store
  • For full management including non-Play Store sources, use parental control apps like Qustodio
  • Other options like Wi-Fi filtering, profiles, and app locking provide additional blocking capabilities
  • Combining multiple approaches offers the strongest shield against unwanted Android apps

Blocking a singular Android app across devices can be achieved thanks to the range of flexible options available.

Find the solution that best matches your needs for a tailored blocking approach.

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