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Permission Remover - Android App

You downloaded an application and you think it requests too many permissions? With the Permission Remover App you are able to remove unwanted permissions.

Technical details


  • Removing permissions from APK files and installed applications.

  • You can select APK files from the file system with the file browser of the Permission Remover.

  • It can be used as permission viewer to list the permissions of an application.

  • You can select installed applications with the package viewer of the Permission Remover.

  • Application backup: When you remove the permissions from an already installed application, then the Permission Remover makes a backup of the original file and saves it on your SD Card before it removes the permissions and installs/updates the application.

  • Install and uninstall of applications.

  • It'a not required to root the device.


/sdcard/at.plop.PermissionRemover/backup   Original APK file backup directory
/sdcard/at.plop.PermissionRemover/new   New created APK files with removed permissions
/sdcard/at.plop.PermissionRemover/key   Directory for the key to sign APK files

The Permission Remover needs 2 files to sign the application with the removed permissions. The files are testkey.pk8 and testkey.x509.pem (total size only 2.8 KByte). The Permission Remover can download the files for you. When you don't trust the Permission Remover, then you can search and download those files by yourself and you have to save the 2 files to /sdcard/at.plop.PermissionRemover/key.


This software is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software. When you remove permissions from an app/apk, then you have to check their licence to avoid licence violations.


Please donate when you like the software.

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PermissionRemover.apk full version 1.3 released 02/Mar/2012

Technical details

It seems, many people are afraid to use the program, because they think my program is adding code to the apps. Here is a email that I wrote to such a user with technical details how my program works, why the key file is needed, why my program needs some permissions and why not well written apps stop working when a permission is removed.


currently i read your thread on androidforums.com and you are afraid
that my app is adding malicious stuff. the simple answer is "no, it
doesn't add anything". when your question in the previous email would 
have been more focused, then i would have been able to answer more 

however, the technical background of permissions is simple. the
permissions are defined in a file called Manifest.xml. this file must be
in every app. for example, when the internet access permission is not in
the manifest.xml, then the app cannot access the web. its so simple. the
permission remover simply removes the permission that you selected from
the manifest.xml and the app is no longer able to access whatever. there
is no need to add some crazy blocking stuff or any code. 

hint: when you remove a permission and the app tries to access something
without that permission and the app is not well programmed and catching
the case that it has not the permission to do something, then the app
will crash. but thats not the fault of the permission remover. its the
fault of the app.

more details: the tricky part of removing the permissions is that the
manifest.xml is encoded and the whole apk file is digitally signed. my
app is handling that. when the manifest.xml has been changed, then the
signature is broken, so the apk has to be resigned. the android testkey
is used for that. i dont ship the testkey with my app, so either you
download it by yourself or you let my app download the key. this has to
be done only once. and the key download is the only reason for the
internet access in the free version. for the paid version the internet
access is required to verify with the marked place. 
why sdcard access? its the place to store the backup apk, place for the
new created apk and the place for the signature key. 

Additional info: the app does not download the testkey files from my servers, the files are downloaded from public servers that are not hosted by me.






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© 2023 by Elmar Hanlhofer
This page was last modified on 01/Jan/2013.