(Q) How can I disable Instant Apps for Android

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namitutonka

Senior Member
Jan 3, 2014
320
66
72
Denver
thoronodor.tripod.com
Use Amplify module within Xposed Framework

Phone: AT&T LG G2 d800, running Android 7.1.2 (LineageOS version 14.1-20180314-NIGHTLY-d800)
Amplify reports the following:
Wakelocks
com.google.android.finsky.instantapps.statussync.StatusSyncService:launch
com.google.android.finsky.instantapps.statussync.StatusSyncService:run
com.google.android.finsky.instantapps.PhenotypeUpdateService:launch
com.google.android.finsky.instantapps.PhenotypeUpdateService:run
Services
com.android.vending/com.google.android.finsky.instantapps.statussync.StatussyncService
com.google.android.gms/.instantapps.routing.DomainFilterUpdateService
com.android.vending/com.google.android.finsky.instantapps.PhenotypeUpdateService

I have limited all four of the above wakelocks to Amplify's maximum time of 9.999.999 seconds, which equals a little over 16.5 weeks when these wakelocks are prevented.
I have denied all three of the above services with Amplify.

This is a newly installed ROM from this XDA thread. That said, I don't know the efficacy of this solution. As far as these limitations of these four wakelocks go, they can still be fired up every 16.5 weeks. Many replies in this "How can I disable Instant Apps for Android" have stated battery usage as a factor. Amplify is an Xposed module that is intended to conserve battery power. Amplify is authored by @cryptyk. During the last hour, since first limiting wakelocks and services from within Amplify, the following wakelock, "com.google.android.finsky.instantapps.statussync.StatusSyncService:launch" has very strangely disappeared completely from Amplify :(. The other three of the four wakelocks listed above have not tried to fire at all. (Amplify tracks how many times a wakelock attempts to run)

I am prepared (just in case of a bootloop) to disable any Xposed modules, or to uninstall Xposed. Also I have TWRP backups.

Nearly one week of Amplify limiting various ...instantapps..., I conclude they don't need limiting. They have 0 accumulated blocked time.
 
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Mikee19

Member
Feb 25, 2017
46
13
So this stuff is really driving me insane! Here's what I've just tried, in case any one wants to, you can try and let's see if it works:

I've edited permissions for the it (com.google.android.instantapps.supervisor) in the data/system/packages.xml file. I removed the following lines from it:

<item name="android.permission.DOWNLOAD_WITHOUT_NOTIFICATION" granted="true" flags="0" />

<item name="com.google.android.providers.gsf.permission.READ_GSERVICES" granted="true"

That should maybe stop it from "downloading without notification" and accessing Google play services? Let's see what happens
 

Mikee19

Member
Feb 25, 2017
46
13
Paranoia got the better of me and I couldn't wait it out, so I "multilayered" it up. In addition to removing those permissions from the data/system/packages.xml file, I went ahead to disable ALL 6 receivers (so that it wouldn't be triggered to start by anything, boot, or whatever else there is), as well as disabling ALL 82 services (yes, you read right. There were 82 services in disableservice app). For good measure I decided to also disable the instant apps service that was within the Google play services itself, to see if it would autostart like it did in this other case, but after restarting and restarting it stays stopped! Hooray! Something I did worked, or the combination of everything, but I don't really care lol


Thanks for the suggestion. Seems like the app keeps attempting to reinstall itself soon after each reboot. Here's what I did:

  1. Stood far away from the wifi router for intermittent connection and kept an eye out for the installation to start, before quickly canceling it
  2. Checked off auto update apps
  3. Searched for instant app on playstore and reported the app to google
  4. Downloaded the Disable Service app
  5. Disabled the InstantApp service within google play services (with root access)

Seems sneaky to install an app without permission, although the other app which did the same was google voice package. At some point we will have to get over our paranoia and ask "what's the worse that could happen? That being said - hoping this solution works.

Update: The InstantApp service activated itself again after reboot. So this time, I went ahead and revoked all data access, storage and boot permissions from (system) app permissions. Now the download starts and cancels out automatically.
 

Mikee19

Member
Feb 25, 2017
46
13
I want to clarify that this only seemed to work for a while... then suddenly play services updated itself to the latest version three days ago, and along with it Instant Apps updated as well. So I decided to take away permissions from play services to download files without permission, and to request apps from play store. I also disabled all activities in play services that has anything to do with Instant Apps. Then I proceeded to uninstall Instant Apps. It seems to have worked, as Instant Apps has stayed uninstalled since then
 

omunroe

New member
Oct 13, 2018
1
1
Enable/Disable Google Instant Apps.

I found this solution(s) for my sister & a few other random people who WANTED TO ENABLE instant apps but maybe following the steps & tapping NONE instead of an account will help fix your issue.


I have never had the option to enable Instant Apps (IA) via my Google settings. The ONLY way I have found to enable IA on any of my devices is by*following the steps listed below. Not listing all of my devices individually, but I have a collection ranging from: Protective plastic undisturbed to old & crappy but rooted.


1. Tap the Play Store app
2. Locate & tap to open the hamburger menu (3 stacked lines in upper left corner)
3. Find & tap the Settings option
4. Find the User Controls menu, the very last option should be Google Play Instant (GPI)
5. Tap GPI & choose the account you would like to use.

ALSO.....

1. Go into your phone Settings
2. Find & tap the Apps & Notifications option
3. Find & tap the Default Apps option
4. Find & tap the App Links option
5. Toggle Open Links In App option on
6. Right below that should be the Instant Apps Account (IAA) option - tap the IAA option & choose an account to use with IA.


IF YOU WANT TO OPT OUT FOR ALL accounts: Tap NONE instead of choosing an account.
 
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foreverman

Member
Sep 15, 2011
33
6
Sao Paulo
pm unhide com.google.android.instantapps.supervisor
Then you can see the app in Link2SD
Or you can freeze it:
pm disable com.google.android.instantapps.supervisor
 

Zibri

Senior Member
Dec 10, 2010
328
89
adb shell pm clear com.google.android.instantapps.supervisor

pm unhide com.google.android.instantapps.supervisor
Then you can see the app in Link2SD
Or you can freeze it:
pm disable com.google.android.instantapps.supervisor

pm disable gives error on galaxy note 4

$ adb shell pm disable com.google.android.instantapps.supervisor
Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Permission Denial: attempt to change component state from pid=30774, uid=2000, package uid=10202

Anyway in APPS I found "google play services for instant apps" and I uninstalled it. So far so good.
 
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i posted a solution to at least turn it off in the thread
"prevent block remove Google Playservices for INSTANT Apps"

of the forum
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S 5
Verizon Galaxy S 5 Q&A, Help & Troubleshooting

i can't yet post a link because i'm still a junior member
 
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GreenMandarin

New member
May 1, 2019
1
0
Try this

I was having the same problem. Searched everywhere for an answer without luck. I tried everything that was suggested but it still kept downloading. Here is what i did and so far it is gone. Go to settings - apps manager - google play store - force stop - uninstall. That will take the app back to factory settings and the download icon should go away. Good luck
 

Stevio2

Member
Nov 16, 2015
29
1
I have seen some troubling activity. I believe that instant apps is being hijacked for spyware purposes. I have had to free up 500 or more megabytes to install a resource heavy app, but once I uninstalled it, instant apps started downloading taking up the free space. So, I was worse off than before, and could not even update apps. When I turned the phone on, or started a session, it would start running hot, as if heavy data processing, or a video feed was initiated. Any option to turn instant apps off also disappeared sometime recently. I'm on android 6.1. I remember a previous instant app like instance, where hackers used an Google api in chrome browsers to download their own instant code and spy on everything and hack. Even though it was a constant security damaging thing, they kept it for years. Same thing I think here, even if it is not a third party hacking, it's still damaging. I could easily send them a $1000 demand so far for the time wasted, plus whatever damages if it is spyware/hacking.

The only real solution is for people to get together and keep taking them to court, and if criminal charges were possible, then to there with the court cases in hand. Say, after damages bill running into hundreds of billions of dollars, WHOEVER IS BEHIND IT, WOULD GET THE MESSAGE to STOP. I've really have had a lot, lot more damage than this from a lot of issues over the years. I'm really sick of it.


There are a lot of pages here, where are we up to with solutions? It would be helpful if there was a summary of these things at the top of the thread.

Thanks.

---------- Post added at 12:20 ---------- Previous post was at 11:59 ----------

Looking through my system, there is an app links section on it's own under app setting, but without instant apps. But the interesting thing is that there is a sandboxing link under device policy, and open anything and related URL under drive. I have changed these to ask first to see what happens.

Is this app link system the driving force behind instant apps, and a way to circumnavigation playstore permissions structure?
 

Quisizyx

New member
Sep 21, 2019
1
0
Greets- I checked my apps. There was an icon & listing for Play Store for instant apps. I selected it then uninstall. Haven't seen anyone mention this. It seemed to uninstall. I'll let you know if this works.
The arrogance of Google. I don't use Instant Apps. It takes up memory, eats clock cycles, and, for those with cheap accounts, when it updates using data instead of WiFi uses up data making it sooner the data cap is hit which is disrespectful of the device owner as the data stream is slowed to a crawl or stops altogether.
quisizyx
 

Stevio2

Member
Nov 16, 2015
29
1
A side note here: I have a few phones, the phone with most instant app issues and most mud like slow down, is an older TCL prepaid. When it updated some vendor preinstalled apps updated, like home, file viewer and calculator things got really bad. Uninstalling updates on them really improved things, and I don't think I've seen an illicit instant app update.

Could the instant apps misbehaviour be related to vendor apps like these?

There is also a vendor browser I haven't rolled back yet.

Where does one find spyware free home, file calculator etc, which are really excellent?

Re-edit: My apologies, my reasoning was that maybe vendor apps could use system privileges to bypass instant app controls.

Side note: managed to recover a lot of the missing storage space mentioned, but was still hundreds of megabytes down I think.
 
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  • 4
    oh man, when i saw this i thought i had a virus on my phone.
    especially when i couldn't find anything named "instant apps" in the app drawer
    3
    ...anyway, this crap from fck G auto-update itself. I restore just few minutes ago a ViperOneM9 backup where (I know for sure) the auto-update settings in PlayStore app was disabled.
    Now G auto-update his apps without ask nor advice... very nice. Thank you G for ruin my Android experience, every day worst and even worster.
    Best way is this.
    2
    So much whining, pointless anger and conspiracy theory bs over a complete non issue, smh. It seems like an idiotic herd has taken over XDA.

    Sir, if you consider this as a non issue to you, why bother reply?

    It is a ethical subject(read debate) which has to be looked into.
    And when you say idiots, does that #include you, sir?

    Apart from the above reference,

    great job all, there are some who are willing to get a work around.
    Im a victim of this forced update by google. Tried BK package which works onnly on samsung, my device wasnt allowed.
    Im a OP2 user, stock rom.
    If i could be of any help, please let me know.
    (And i will keep an eye on this thread)
    thanks!
    1
    Instant apps are temporary apps. So you can't uninstall them or disable it. It's a feature built into Android that is not going away. Your only option is to install a rom without Gapps. Otherwise deal with it.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    1
    Enable/Disable Google Instant Apps.

    I found this solution(s) for my sister & a few other random people who WANTED TO ENABLE instant apps but maybe following the steps & tapping NONE instead of an account will help fix your issue.


    I have never had the option to enable Instant Apps (IA) via my Google settings. The ONLY way I have found to enable IA on any of my devices is by*following the steps listed below. Not listing all of my devices individually, but I have a collection ranging from: Protective plastic undisturbed to old & crappy but rooted.


    1. Tap the Play Store app
    2. Locate & tap to open the hamburger menu (3 stacked lines in upper left corner)
    3. Find & tap the Settings option
    4. Find the User Controls menu, the very last option should be Google Play Instant (GPI)
    5. Tap GPI & choose the account you would like to use.

    ALSO.....

    1. Go into your phone Settings
    2. Find & tap the Apps & Notifications option
    3. Find & tap the Default Apps option
    4. Find & tap the App Links option
    5. Toggle Open Links In App option on
    6. Right below that should be the Instant Apps Account (IAA) option - tap the IAA option & choose an account to use with IA.


    IF YOU WANT TO OPT OUT FOR ALL accounts: Tap NONE instead of choosing an account.