What to Know

  • Fastest method: Tap Settings > Privacy > Permission Manager > tap the permission > tap app.
  • Or, tap Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Permission Manager > tap the permission > app name.
  • Alternatively, go to Settings > Apps & notifications, tap an app, then tap Permissions.

This article explains how to access and manage Android permissions, and how to control the information Google collects from you. Instructions apply to Android 12 through Android 8.0 (Oreo).

How to Access Permission Settings

There are three ways to navigate to the permission manager. The first option is by going to the Advanced settings under Apps & notifications.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Privacy > Permission manager.

  3. Tap a permission, such as Calendar or Camera, to allow or deny permissions by app.

    Privacy and Permission Manager in Android Settings

  4. Select an app, then choose a permission setting.

    Duo and Selected icon highlighted in Android Microphone permissions

Get to Permissions Settings By Viewing All Apps

Another method is by going to your all apps page in settings.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap AppsSee all apps to get the full list.

  3. Tap an app, then tap Permissions to view that information.

    Apps, Sell all apps, and Permissions in Android settings

  4. As above, you'll see an Allowed and Not Allowed section. Tap an item to change the permissions. Tap See all apps with this permission to see an overview.

    Camera and Selected icon in Facebook permission settings on Android

How to View Special App Access

Android also has special app access settings. You'd rarely need to play around with these, and some are available in an app's settings. These include Tap & pay (mobile payments) and Unrestricted data.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Apps.

  3. Scroll down and tap Special app access.

    In older versions of Android, tap Advanced > Special app access.

  4. You’ll see a list of lesser-known permissions such as Battery optimization, Device admin apps, Do Not Disturb access, and Picture-in-picture.

    Apps, Special app access, and Picture-in-Picture in Android Settings

  5. Tap a permission to see which apps have it turned on, then tap an app to toggle the permission on or off.

    Chrome and toggle switch turned on in Picture-in-Picture permission settings

How to Limit Activity Tracking From Google

Google tracks a lot of your activity, some of it to provide you better service or suggestions based on places you’ve visited, websites you’ve navigated to, YouTube videos you’ve watched, as well as personalized ads. It’s easy to limit or turn off these permissions if you prefer.

  1. Open Settings > Privacy

  2. Tap Google location history.

    In older versions of Android, tap Advanced > Google location history.

  3. Choose a Google account if prompted.

  4. Under Location History, tap Turn off.

    Scroll down and tap See All Activity Controls to see all of Google's activity tracking.

    Privacy, Google Location History, and Turn off in Android app settings

In the Activity Controls, you can also enable or disable Google's ability to collect web and app activity, location history, and YouTube history. 

For example, scroll down to Ad personalization and tap Go to Ad Settings to see an explanation of how Google personalizes ads, including personal information you've added to your Google account. You can also see which companies serve you ads based on website visits.

To turn off this feature, tap the Ad personalization slider > Turn off.

Go to Ad Settings, toggle switch set to ON, and Turn Off in Android Activity Controls FAQ

  • How do I turn on location services on Android?

    To turn on location services on Android, go to Settings > Location and move the slider to On. Tap an app to change individual location permissions.

  • How do I turn on the microphone on my Android?

    To turn on the microphone on Android, go to Settings > Privacy > Permission manager or App permissions > Microphone. Choose an app to set microphone permissions.

  • How do I find hidden apps on Android?

    To find hidden apps on Android, go to Settings > See all apps. It will say how many apps you have (for example, See all 57 apps).

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