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How to turn off "apps from unknown sources" on Android 11

Hi everybody,

I have just joined this forum, (or I might have re-joined!).

My phone, Xiaomi Mi A3 was shipped last year with Android 1 but recently updated itself to Android 11.

For various reasons I installed Kapersky antivirus and it keeps telling me to “turn off accessibility for unknown apps”.

I know on earlier versions of android this can easily be achieved. For example, Android 7 on Redmi Note 4, I go to:- Aditional settings > Privacy > Unknown sources and there is a switch to turn on or off.

On my tablet running Android 9, I go to Settings >Security > Unknown sources, there is a switch to allow installation of apps from unknown sources.

But on my Mi A3 recently upgraded to Android 11, there does not appear to an option to allow or stop installation of apps from unknown sources. I think Xioami runs their own user interface, could it be the reason for this?

I would be very grateful if anyone could throw some light on this issue.

Many thanks in anticipation.

John.
 
The way this is handled changed a couple of versions ago. Rather than being a global setting to allow/disallow installation from "unknown sources" (i.e. outside the Play Store) it is now controlled on a per-app basis. Try looking in Settings > Apps & Notifications > Special App Access > Install Unknown Apps (or search your Settings for the word "unknown" if Xioami have rearranged things). This should give you a list of apps that request the permission to install apps, and allows you to choose which, if any, you want to allow to do this.

To be honest this is safer than granting that permission globally and potentially allowing any app requesting that permission to install apps. For example, I personally think that you have to be insane to allow a browser to install apps: given that some dodgy script on a website could tell a browser to download an apk without asking you it seems obvious to me that the last thing you want is for the same browser to have the ability to install it. So the approach I take is that I allow just 2 apps on my phone to install apps from "unknown sources": F-Droid (open source app store, so installing apps is its function) and Solid Explorer (so that if I have an apk I want to install on my device I can use my file manager to select and install it). But for me, nothing else, not even my other file managers - if I want to install an apk I'll use the one app I've selected for that purpose.

Anyway, if you check that list and ensure that no apps have been granted that permission you should be fine. If Kaspersky still complains after that then tell them to update their own software ;).
 
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Hi Hadron,
Thanks so much for taking the time to give such a detailed and informative reply. I tried your suggestion to search “unknown” and found the following 2 entries

SPECIAL APP ACCESS, Just 2 apps have an entry under them – eg.

1) ”Device admin apps >1 active app > “Find my device” switched on

2ADAPTIVE NOTIFICATIONS > “Android adaptive notifications” Android adaptive notifications confirmed. Second heading “None” not confirmed.

There was a third entry “Install unknown apps” but no entry under it, however, when I tapped it there was a long list of apps but all saying “Not allowed”

So, it would seem that none are allowed to install from unknown apps! So why does Kaspersky think there is permission to install from unknown apps? Perhaps Kaspersky could be wrong??

From doing the above, I feel a bit more relaxed that my phone is safe, (I hope!).
I just want to repeat my genuine thanks for sharing your thoughts andadvice.
Kind regards,
John.
 
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