An Answer To Is Config APK Spyware On Android Devices?

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Config APK is a system application. It is not spyware unless it asks for permission to access things like your microphone, camera, etc., on your Android device.

Have you ever seen config APK app in your system’s settings? It can definitely make you start thinking. Why is it here if I haven’t installed it? Is it spyware? If a parent finds this in their child’s phone, they will be concerned that someone is spying on their child.

Many questions like these may pop into your mind. I ask myself many similar questions when I see something unusual on my phone. But I am here to answer these questions! We will discuss everything about the configAPK app.

What Is ConfigAPK App?

Icon of ConfigAPK

Every Android smartphone comes with some preinstalled applications. According to Hexnode, a unified device management platform, these are the system apps placed in the system partition with your ROM, Read Only Memory.

Some of these applications run in the background. I had a funny incident related to this. I found something called Android System Webview in my phone’s app manager. So I started looking for it on my phone to open and check it. I looked for about 10-15 minutes but I couldn’t find it. 

I thought my phone’s system might have some issues, but I later found out that it is one of these preinstalled Android apps that runs in the background.

Android configAPK app is one such similar system application that runs only in the background. It is an Android application package installer responsible for installing, uninstalling, and upgrading apps. In fact, the APK in configAPK stands for Android Package Kit.

While many modern-day mobile devices may not show this in your phone’s settings, you can easily find it in many Android models from Samsung, Huawei, and others.

Is Config APK Spyware? How To Find Out

As mentioned earlier, config APK is a preinstalled Android app for apk package handling. However, many spyware and other malicious apps are hidden as system apps. So the question that often arises here is whether the configAPK app is spyware.

This can be especially worrisome for parents. Parents may sometimes use spyware apps like mSpy or mLite on their child’s phones to monitor their activities. After seeing the configAPK app, a parent might think that someone is spying on their child.

One of my friends faced a similar situation. He worried about someone spying on his daughter when he saw configAPK on her mobile.

The best way to determine if an application is spyware is by checking its permissions. Spyware will require access to location, microphone, media, etc., to function.

However, many apps require these permissions and aren’t spyware. So the difference here will be that you will be aware of these applications installed by you. And you might also remember that you gave some permissions. But if you find a malicious app with many permissions you haven’t granted, there is a high chance it is spyware.

We will look at an example where I demonstrate how I check the permissions I have granted to the Instagram app. You can use these steps to check the permissions of any suspicious app:

  1. Open settings.
  2. Tap on “Apps” or “Apps & notifications.”
    The options you get may vary based on your phone model. I am using my Redmi Xiaomi Mi A2.
Apps and notifications option in Android smartphone settings
  1. Select the app on which permission settings you want to see.
  2. Tap “Permissions.”
Permissions option for the Instagram app
  1. Permissions required by the app will be shown here.
Instagram app allowed and denied permissions

You can watch this YouTube video to see it in action.

YouTube player

How To Disable Config APK App On Android Device

You can disable the config APK app on your device, but it will impact your Android operating system. You see, configAPK is a system app, something other than what you will find on the Google Play Store. Android documentation explains that these preinstalled system packages can have various purposes.

It is there to handle application management in the backend. If you disable it, you won’t be able to install, uninstall, or upgrade apps.

However, if you still want to disable the config APK app, here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Select “Apps” or “Apps & notifications.”
  3. Find and select configAPK.
ConfigAPK showing in the settings search results
  1. Look for the disable option and tap on it.
ConfigAPK app info page with Disable and Force stop options

Can You Delete The ConfigAPK App On An Android Device?

If, after checking the permissions, you find that the suspicious app is spyware, you can uninstall it. But if it’s the actual configAPK app on Android, you cannot delete it. This is because while you can disable a system application, you cannot delete it. But if you do want to get rid of it, you can root your Android phone.

Protecting Android Devices From Viruses

ConfigAPK is not spyware, but many malicious applications can enter your phone and implant viruses in it. This happened to one of my friends. She was using public Wi-Fi from a cafe we were in. She was accessing Instagram, and the account got hacked when she clicked on a link.

Follow the tips below to protect your phone’s Android operating system from viruses:

  • Don’t click on any links or download anything from untrusted websites. These can be:
    • Media links
    • Apk files
    • Spam links, etc
  • Use anti-virus software on your phone.
  • Ensure having strong password protection. You should use a combination of small and capital letters, numbers, and special characters as a password.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi to access financial or other sensitive data.


Is An APK Safe?

An APK is not always safe. APKs install applications on your Android phones. Hence, they do possess security threats of accidentally installing malicious apps on your device.

What Does APK Mean In Android Phone?

APK means Android Package Kit file format in Android phone. It is the file format used specifically for Android device operating system applications.

How Do I Open An .Apk File?

You can open an .apk file with any zip decompressing tool. APK packages come in zip file formats. So, any zip decompressor like WinZip or Zipware will work fine.

What Is The Mobile Application Configuration File?

The mobile application configuration file is a file that contains settings specific to a particular application. These settings are meant for the Android OS and are read by the common language runtime.

The Final Verdict

The configAPK app is essential to ensure your Android phone’s smooth functioning. It is not spyware and is completely safe to use. However, if you still don’t want to use it, disable it.

But there are many apps that seem like preinstalled apps but are actually spyware. If you are a parent of a child and find any suspicious apps on their phone, check its permissions. Uninstall the app if it has permissions that you don’t remember granting.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand more about configAPK. If you have any doubts, you can write them in the comments.

About The Authors

  • Kailash Vaviya

    Kailash Vaviya is a freelance writer who started writing in 2019 and has never stopped since then as he fell in love with it. He has a soft corner for technology and likes to read, learn, and write about it. His content is focused on providing information to help build a brand presence and gain engagement. You can connect with him on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

  • Jenn Peters

    Jenn Peters is an experienced content manager and editor who holds a degree in English and certifications in Social Media Marketing and Copywriting from the College of Media and Publishing. She has been working for TechUntold since 2018. In addition, Jenn works as a content editor for Valnet across 7 company sites, publishing numerous articles weekly. Connect with Jenn on LinkedIn.

Photo of author

Kailash Vaviya

Kailash Vaviya is a freelance writer who started writing in 2019 and has never stopped since then as he fell in love with it. He has a soft corner for technology and likes to read, learn, and write about it. His content is focused on providing information to help build a brand presence and gain engagement. You can connect with him on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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