8 Most Dangerous Android Apps You Should Not Install on Your Phone

With malware and bloatware becoming an increasing problem on Android, it is more important than ever to ensure that the apps you’re downloading are not a threat to you or your device. Google removes many adware and spyware apps from the Play Store from time to time, but what about some of the most popular apps that aren’t outright malware per se, but can be major privacy nightmares nonetheless? Here, we tell you about the 8 most dangerous Android apps that you should stay away from if you value your privacy.

Dangerous Android Apps You Should Stay Away From

Google Play is a great place for discovering wonderful new apps, but it’s important to be cautious before downloading new apps because of potential security consequences. Even older and well-established apps can prove to be privacy nightmares if you’re not careful. Some apps can collect the data from your phone and share your personal information with third-party advertisers for money. Which is why, we’ve come up with a list of the 8 most dangerous Android apps you should delete from your phone right now.

1. UC Browser

Developed by UCWeb, a subsidiary of Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, UC browser is one of the most downloaded web browsers on Android. However, cybersecurity analysts say that it does not adequately protect its data transmissions, which can leave your personal data at risk of being intercepted by hackers and intelligence agencies. According to researchers, the browser uses weak cryptography, and sometimes no encryption at all, when it transmits keystrokes over the web. This makes it a dangerous, unsecured app that should be deleted from your phone ASAP.

Most Dangerous Android Apps UC Browser

Alternatives: Mozilla Firefox (Free), Google Chrome (Free), DuckDuckGo Browser (Free). Privacy-conscious users should also check out Firefox Focus (Free) – the open source privacy-focused browser that uses ‘Private’ or incognito mode by default. There’s also the Tor Browser (Free) if you’re an advanced user and know what you’re doing.

2. CLEANit

CLEANit claims to be a junk file cleaner that has millions of downloads on the Play Store. The app not only needs a ton of permissions, it also advertises services that are frivolous in modern Android devices with powerful hardware. In fact, some of them can even be detrimental to your phone.

Most Dangerous Android Apps CLEANitFor example, clearing the cache will only slow down your phone when it needs to be rebuilt, while killing background apps does not make any real-world impact on battery-life. Unless of course, these apps are playing music or scanning for files in the background, in which case, you don’t want to kill them anyways.

Alternatives: Greenify (Free), CCleaner (Free)

Note: If you have a relatively new Android phone, you should skip these ‘cleaner’ and ‘optimizer’ apps entirely. They do not help improve your phone’s speed and often create complications by changing core settings, etc. That said, if you must use such apps, you should stick to the two mentioned above.

3. Dolphin Browser

Dolphin browser is yet another wildly-popular third-party browser app that promises a lot but delivers very little. It is a flash-supporting browser that is a tracking nightmare and should be uninstalled immediately. According to multiple reports over the years, not only does Dolphin save your incognito mode browsing sessions, but also reveals your original IP address even while using a VPN. It also comes with a bunch of additional ‘features’, like video players and speed boosters that only add to the bloat.

Most Dangerous Android Apps Dolphin Browser

Alternatives: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, DuckDuckGo Browser (see [1] above for download links)

4. Virus Cleaner – Antivirus Free & Phone Cleaner

An app with over 14 million installs, Virus Cleaner – Antivirus Free and Phone Cleaner from Super Cleaner Studio is exactly what’s wrong with the Android eco-system. It comes with a ton of ads, many of which are for services and brands of questionable repute. What’s more, it promises to be an “efficient security master, phone junk cleaner, WIFI security, super speed booster, battery saver, CPU cooler and notification cleaner”, none of which can actually be achieved to any perceivable degree by any software. Personally, I’d skip any app that promises to be a ‘CPU cooler‘.

Most Dangerous Android Apps Virus Cleaner

Alternatives: Avast (Free), AVG (Free), Kaspersky (Free).

Note: It’s best to skip the category entirely, as the best anti-virus tool on Android is Google Play Protect, which is enabled by default on all Android phones.

5. SuperVPN Free VPN Client

With over 100 million installs, SuperVPN is one of the most used VPN apps on Android. However, cybersecurity analysts earlier this year claimed that the app includes critical vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to carry out MitM (Man-in-the-Middle) attacks, potentially stealing personal info, including credit card details, photos and private chats. According to reports, criminals can also exploit the vulnerabilities to hijack a user’s connection to malicious websites that could further endanger user privacy and security.

Most Dangerous Android Apps SuperVPN

Alternatives: Express VPN (Free), Nord VPN (Free), SurfShark (Free). You can also take a look at our detailed list of the best VPN apps on Android.

6. RT News

Funded by Kremlin, Russia Today (RT) is the official mouthpiece of the Russian government. The network offers news channels, blogs and multiple mobile apps in English, aimed at western audiences. In spite of its claims of being a quality journalistic endeavor, it’s often used as a propaganda outlet for the Vladimir Putin government and, has been cited by western security agencies, like the CIA and MI6, as a major source of disinformation on US politics and Brexit. It’s a news app that’s best avoided if you don’t want to be bombarded with fake news.

RT News

Alternatives: CNN (Free), BBC (Free)

7. Super Clean – Master of Cleaner

Yet another ‘cleaner’ app that simply had to be on our list because of how popular it is. Super Clean by Magical Dev has registered more than 26 million installs on the Play Store, but like most other cleaner apps, it does precious little by way of actually speeding up your phone. As with other apps in its category, it promises to optimize battery usage, clean junk files and boost memory, none of which requires a third-party app. In any case, most Android vendors bundle a security/cleaner app with their phones, which should do the job more often than not.

Super Clean - Master of Cleaner

Alternatives: Greenify and CCleaner (See [3] above for download links).

Note: As mentioned earlier, ‘cleaner’ or ‘speed booster’ apps do more to harm your phone than help it. To truly boost your phone’s speed, uninstall apps that you aren’t using and remove multimedia files to a fast, Class 10/U3/V90 card if your phone supports microSD. Else, transfer them over to your PC or USB drive to regain space on your phone.

8. Fildo Music

The penultimate app on our list is Fildo, which was once an illegal music downloading app disguised as a local music player. The app has since discontinued the music downloading functionality after coming under the scanner, and has now reoriented as a music management app.

Fildo MusicHowever, we’re skeptical about apps that promise something and do something else. It also reportedly has ties to a controversial Chinese entertainment company, Netease, which should be yet another red flag for users. It’s best that you shift to a different app for your music playing needs.

Alternatives: VLC (Free), AIMP (Free), Poweramp (Free)

Bonus: S.M.T.H. (Send Me To Heaven)

Last, but not least, there’s S.M.T.H. It is actually a cool little game app, but is harmful to your phone in ways that you might not have expected. The app uses a smartphone’s built-in sensors to measure how high you can throw your phone. Yup, you need to throw your phone high in the air for the game to even work.

S.M.T.H.The app got a lot of attention when it was first released almost a decade ago. To be honest, the game can be good fun, but numerous devices have breathed their last because of this app for obvious reasons. You can install it at your own risk, but don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Other Dangerous Apps You Should Not Install

For the above list, we only picked apps that are currently available on the Play Store. However, there are hundreds more apps that have been banished from the Play Store for click fraud, illegal data mining, ‘disruptive ads‘ and more. Those include Clean Master, DU Battery Saver, ES File Explorer, Quick Pic Gallery and a whole host of other software, many of which are from the notorious Chinese developer, Cheetah Mobile.

Many of these are still available for download as APKs from various sites and third-party Android app stores. So if you’re unsure about the background of a particular app or its developer, it’s best to avoid downloading it on your device.

How to Tell Useful Apps from Potentially Harmful Ones

It’s sometimes difficult to tell good apps from malicious ones. However, the one tell-tale sign that should always raise concern is the number of unnecessary permissions an app asks for. Does a flashlight app need your location permission? Does a cleaning app require camera and/or microphone access?

Is a photo-editing app asking for phone or SMS permissions? If they are, it’s best to steer clear of such software. While asking for additional permissions isn’t a definitive indication of a dangerous app, you should always do your research before installing them on your phone.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to steer clear of cleaners, anti-viruses, RAM boosters etc., because they hardly offer any real-world performance improvements in most cases. Other apps one should be careful about are weather apps and scanner apps that can potentially collect sensitive location information and personally identifiable data from your phones.

And yes, many emoji apps and photo filter/editor apps are nothing more than glorified adware, if not worse. All said and done, it’s best to avoid apps that ask for a ton of permissions for things that are unrelated to their advertised functionality.

Make Android Safe by Staying Clear of These Apps

In spite of persistent efforts from Google, you can find thousands of risky apps on the Play Store, including malware, adware, spyware and bloatware. However, the aforementioned ones are among the most widely-used dangerous apps on Android, which is why they have made their way to our list. So if you have any of the above most dangerous Android apps on your phone, do uninstall it now and download an alternative instead.

comment Comments 43
  • Samson John says:

    I just want to thank you the very useful information. This will certainly help many of us who know so little about these apps scam.

  • El Anders says:

    How about Playstore apps the ones that say you can spy without jailbreak, rooting or so on. ?

  • William Riegert says:

    TCL cell phones have the Facebook app factory installed that is a trojan horse virus app with several hidden malware apps. I have taken screenshots to prove Facebook is following and controlling whoever they chose. Facebook has speeded malware thought-out ever devise that I have purchased in the past 4 years. This is an illegal action right out in the open.
    There is no reason for any cell phone manufacturing to factory installed any third-party app. Facebook is a scam and Mark Zuckerberg is behind most of the Cybercrimes on all of his websites.

  • Ignatius Batty says:

    Most of my apps are the smallest (Kb) I can find… Malware weighs a ton and pushes apps into (Mb) bloatware. You can’t go far wrong downloading small apps.

    • Joe says:

      You know a small app can still download from other sources and get installed.. a small batch file can be used to wipe everything..

  • Dawn says:

    The issue is the misuse of the apps and the permissions granted, by insiders in many of the various open source software programs. This apps which come with your devices are harmful if those who handle them have integrity. There needs to be a shake down of these programs from top to bottom to top again .

  • Natalie Petre says:

    Why are there so any apps behind my phone app? Lots of Qualcomm apps never seen before? Is it spyware

    • Joe says:

      No Qualcomm is a chip manufacturer

  • Keeyue says:

    it will be dangerous 😱😱😱

  • Mike P says:

    This list is lacking the top apps that fill your devices with insane amounts of adware and trackers. The same apps not only control your devices, but allow the companies to access cloud storage, messages, location history, all social media and so much more from you and all of your contacts without notifying you. The biggest issue is those apps come pre-installed on your devices and cannot be removed. Under app permissions, they state you can disable them, but also state all the data will be accessed and collected even if disabled. New permissions were granted after 1/6, without much awareness at all. However, if you do disable Google or any of the others, your device becomes essentially useless for many basic tasks. Most people would rather have convenience, so it was easy to give up basic privacy rights. We gave them up for us and our friends. I’d rather pay for apps that I choose than be the cash cow for billionaires. We cannot even be compensated because we gave up our rights to all our own content.

    • Angel38 says:

      What ate they called plz?

      • Tangelh38 says:

        What are the names of many many other apps to avoid other than what’s on your list here plz???

      • Khan says:

        GB and yowhatsapp

    • Gina says:

      You’re dead on bro!!! Its a damn shame too!
      Only way we cant 100% protect ourselves is completely going off grid and that’s sad. Our rights are being stripped slowly but surely.

      • Aamna Kerryann says:

        I totally agree, unfortunately they dont tell us the data safety permissions or app permissions to be wary of, nor do they say all the exact apps that are dangerou, in a list, and warn us that the app comes with risks and to download at your own risk or something, if playstore were to warn us: “download this app at your own risk” AND WHY THEY THINK IT’S DODGY, people would then be able to choose wether they want to risk it or not, it would make us feel better at least, and if someone wants to risk it, then they will know that it was their choice and error in not listening and reading it in data safety and permissions if a warning was issued, they’d know it could be avoided in the future on other future owned devices

      • Lillie says:

        You can go back to landline phone. Not completely off grid.

  • Penelope says:

    Get a flip phone..
    The simple life..😉🥰

    • Keeyue says:

      it will be dangerous, don’t download it.

    • Karin says:

      Even the modest flip-phone is powered by an Android processor.

      • Tracy Bueller says:

        Qualcomm. You’re thinking of Qualcomm. Android is an operating system, like Linux, or Windows. The processor, usually coupled directly with the baseband (cell network) radio, in most phones nea and old is a Qualcomm, , like AMD, OR Intel. That’s not to say Qualcomm doesn’t have problematic agreements with other associated businesses (like Broadcom did back in the day, and still does in a lot of markets, also like Intel had for a long time with Microsoft and Windows software developers), but the company that makes them is Qualcomm, not Google or it’s parent company Alphabet.

        Stay informed folks. From places more reliable than some guy on a comment thread, or some random YouTube video. It’s not hard, you just have to do it. No one is born with this knowledge, they just sat down and exposed themselves to the technology on a deeper level and things started connecting.

        Also, remember it makes no sense for a government that is funded by your taxes to put resources into making you sick or killing you. The real crazy thing is that its in a tax funded governments best interest to ensure the health and safety of the citizenry, including mentally. But, unfortunately, this is the world we allow them to be complacent in. Be careful with opening your mind, if you open it too far your brain falls out, then some jackass will come along and stuff their garbage in the empty space. No entity on this planet is obligated to act in your best interest, especially profit generating one, regardless of how pretty and feel good their commercials are. We have star trek data pads in our pockets now, connected to the compendium of human experience. Educate yourself, and be weary of anyone, either directly or indirect through intonation or word choice, attempting to tell you how to feel, what to think, or elicit an emotional response (particularly those that leave you pent up with no actionable plan to proceed on). You have to …horror of horrors… form your own opinion, and risk the ire of the pop-culture zeitgeist. Otherwise it’ll just keep getting worse, the wedges of societal division will continue to be driven between us, and eventually we won’t want to get together, have a BBQ, listen to music, and celebrate the differences that make all 8 billion of us the most uniquely us there will ever be…….And that doesn’t sound like a world worth living in does it?

      • Lillie says:

        That was a lot of big words to use to say “think for yourself”. But yeah, too many people just gobble up someone else’s words like they’re “gospel” without ever checking for truth then vomit them back out at anyone they can get to listen. All the while stressing “it is true”. If its true, why try so hard to convince people?
        I believe there are more people who still believe truth will win out and humanity will persevere than there are those that believe the sky is falling and people are out to get them.

  • Julie says:

    How can u get rid of orange kiss, pink barbie, and Charlie chaplain, these things are hiding somewhere in my android they are viruses which my security cleans but doesnt detect as bad yet i cant find where they are.

    • Sherri says:

      I had an unwanted app I couldn’t get rid of. I ended up getting a new debit card that had different numbers. It was the only way to stop the monthly charge. I tried calling and emailing to no avail. The new card cost me 35 bucks and a pain to call my creditors the new numbers but it worked.

      • Jeffry Wilburn says:

        Use Chime. It’s cheaper and their customer service is great.

    • Mike Roe says:

      Pretty sure these are filters from candy camera

  • John Mcmeeking says:

    I’m trying to cancel ad tranquility subscription but I’m just going round in circles it’s ridiculous

    • Sherri says:

      I had an unwanted app I couldn’t get rid of. I ended up getting a new debit card that had different numbers. It was the only way to stop the monthly charge. I tried calling and emailing to no avail. The new card cost me 35 bucks and a pain to call my creditors the new numbers but it worked.

    • Tammy R says:

      I”m having the same problem with this site, Ad Tranquility. I never even heard of them until I recently found out they have been stealing money , somehow, from my account.

      • Aamna Kerryann says:

        Can fingerprint Biometrics stop theft from my account?

    • L owatch says:

      Having same problem with adtranquility, ive had to go to my bank and have my card canceld.

  • Addermc says:

    I’m trying to figure out what the hell the comments are from gina getz and johnny blaze? The list given and comments on other items like uc browser and dolphin browser and others are reported by multiple sites and security firms. Only issue I can see if any to the article is there’s multiple times more browsers that should be listed here for deceptive advertising and practice. Ex. Opera browsers Chinese owned and advertised VPN is really a crappy data mining proxy. Hide my ass VPN sends traffic to LinkedIn and stores data log’s to possibly turn over to UK government. Hotspot shield VPN injects Java script code into the HTML pages returned to the user and redirects traffic thru”value click.com”. So Ms.Getz or Mr.Blaze anything resourceful to add instead of the crap comments you two made?? Then “Shut the Hell up” until you Do have worthy comments to help the readers here. Have a good day.😒…

    • Aamna says:

      Its safer to down load through Samsung Internet or Duckduck now, Duckduck lets you know if its had to block lots of ads on particular websites that have an app too, this is a warning sign to you that its dodgy, the tons of ad sites owning their own apps are usually malware or phishing sites, therefore letting you know which of the sites with their own apps are to be avoided at all costs, most VPN are dodgy and are just spyware, theft apps, I personally find its best to check the data safety and permissions, if it says its sharing financial information, purchase history etc. And names user i.d. and addresses of any kind is going to be shared with 3rd parties and asks for user I D. Names addresses, camera microphone etc. They usually want to screenshot your passwords, name, address, all personal data that they can screenshot and use to steal from us without our knowledge, WhatsApp is no longer private, chrome is now used for malware, cpu coolers, virus cleaners, theres a cloned fake Snapchat and Instagram n Tiktok AAAND FAKE PLAYSTORE, so it’s best to use Duckduck go to Install any of the apps I mentioned, also Google transcribe and most transcribe apps are also dodgy, apps with FLASHLIGHT permissions, and access to photos or media, or SCHEDULE EXACT ALARM, permissions in the apps permissions are a dead give away, phonecall and sms permissions and display over most apps and read badge notifications, delete and read and write over storage or SD are dead give aways if unnecessary in the permissions in apps you were tempted to download too, you can manage installed apps and check their permissions and data safety even if you’ve already installed them, then you can at least delete or force stop them if you discover they have dangerous or suspicious permissions or dodgy unneeded data safety permissions, at least you can find out and uninstall, Google has a list of several dangerous 1’s, its 1 of the places I discovered some of the apps, I hope my info helps and telling you where to look and what to look out for when downloading and uninstalling and which apps I’ve read are dodgy, its very frustrating, but best to be safe than sorry, try fingerprint biometrics too just to protect yourself as facial biometrics are no good, but fingerprints have been useful to me, sorry for long reply and hope this really helps

  • David Hunter says:

    Starting my phone under Google demanded I choose a weather channel I am stuck I cannot use my phone at all because the weather channel has taken over everything how do I get rid of it Google you put it on there I want out of here where’s the send button on this thing

  • K says:


  • Mohamed Saeed says:

    what type of privacy threat is RT??
    I mean you could say Fox ,CNN ,BBC and I’d accept your RT Advice.
    Such a fraud.

    • Candelish says:

      I agree with you!

  • uduak bassey says:

    I hate emoji keyboards no doubt

  • gina getz says:

    SO IS ANY OF THE STUFF I JUST READ ABOVE ABOUT THE MOST DANGEROUS AP TO NOT DOWN LOAD THAT R BAD FOR ur PHONE was any of it right or just all BULLSHIT will some one pleas message me back with an answer if u know I would really appreciate it so much Hi I am Gina WISHING u all a great day it’s getting warmer I just herd on Q13 fox News that the next 2 days is gonna be 70 degrees out yea summer is almost here!!! 🙂 😉 <3

  • Johnny Blaze says:

    Wow, the title says true caller is on here, but then you removed it. I KNOW they didnt change any of their software and far as permissions or what it does, so how much did they pay you, you little weasel? Pathetic. Journalistic integrity is gone. How dare you write an article claiming to help people steer clear of apps that circumvent the title of “malware” yet are still just as harmful, yet choose to omit one because they must have paid you. Boy if your daddy knew what you were doing… act the way he’d want you to act. This right here, is just sad.

    • Robert says:

      Init crazy, no matter where you go, just can’t get away from it

  • Abc says:

    Uninstall RT which is a Russian mouthpiece and install any other English news channel which is American mouth piece and propaganda machine

  • Ameer PK says:

    yesterday i have seen truecaller on this list…. why you removed it ….????

  • Emilacomila says:

    immediately you need to put the utopia ecosystem. Then you don’t have to use dangerous apps.

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