Does Android Update Clear Any Surveillance Software?

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Spy apps are stubborn as you cannot easily remove them from your device. First of all, they are hidden and hence you cannot detect them easily. Secondly, even if you somehow find them, there is no guarantee that you will be able to uninstall these apps as they might have got admin permission which prevents uninstallation.

However, in my test of factory reset to remove spyware, I found out that a spy app can be completely deleted from your phone if you run a hard reset on it. But again, if you install a spyware on rooted or jailbroken phone, even a hard reset cannot uninstall it. Therefore, spyware companies recommend you first root the target phone and then install their app on it.

But does Android update clears any surveillance software? If you also have this question in mind then keep reading as I will try to answer this question in this article.

Table Of Contents

What Is An Android Update & What Does It Do?

Android update

An Android update is a software up-gradation that the phone receives over the air (OTA). The phone user can choose to update their phone to the latest OS or not. A phone receives multiple security updates per year, but an OS update is only rolled out on yearly basis.

A security update makes the phones more secure. Whereas, an OS update adds new features to the phone. Hence it is advised that one should update their phones frequently. Now, we know what is an Android update and what it does, so let’s find out if a software update removes spyware from Android or not.

Will Android Update Clear Any Surveillance Software?

android update removes spyware

A security update adds patches and fixes security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by any third-party app with the help of a virus or malware. This means that a security update can remove a spy app’s ability to track a target user by fixing the exploit it might have been using to spy on the user.

Although a security update may be able to stop spyware from properly functioning, however, it cannot completely clear any surveillance software.

On the other hand, an OS update may completely remove the spy app from your device since such apps are specific to a particular operating system. So if you change the OS on the phone the spyware should automatically be removed from it.

Unlike a factory reset which cannot remove spyware from a rooted device, a system update will delete a spy app from a rooted or jailbroken phone as well. This is because a software update also removes the rooting and jailbreaking permissions from the phone.

The crux of the matter is, an Android update will most probably clear spy app from the target phone.

My Experience Of Removing Spyware With Software Update

I have waited for one year to write this article, and in this one year, I received multiple security updates and one OS update. I have updated the target phone with all these updates.

In my test, I found that no Android update be it a security path update or major OS update was able to remove the spy app from the target phone.

While writing the article, my target phone was running on Android 11. I waited for 12 months, and when I received the software update i.e. Android 12, I downloaded and installed it on my phone while the spyware was still installed on it.

does software update remove spyware

After the software was updated I found that the spy app was still there on the target phone. Moreover, it was working perfectly well.

So what can we conclude from this, a software update may not remove all spyware. Although it may be able to remove some viruses, malware, or spyware but not all of them.

Other Ways Using Which A Spyware Can Be Removed From Android

Besides factory resetting and software updates, the other possible way to remove spyware from Android is by using an anti-spyware program on it. These apps are designed to detect and remove hidden spy apps on Android. Anyone can install these apps on their phone and run a scan for finding hidden spyware and malware on their phone.


Spyware is hard to detect and hence hard to get rid of. But if the target person is smart enough they can delete the spyware from their device by factory reset. However, if you have installed spyware on a rooted phone then even a factory reset won’t help. Apart from factory reset, the software update is also a feasible way to delete spyware from a device.

Moreover, a software update may also delete a spy app from a rooted phone. If you are spying on someone through their phone then you may have to reinstall the app on their device after each major software update. However, in my test, even a software update was not able to clear surveillance software.


How Can You Tell If There Is Spyware On Your Android Phone?

There are some signs of spyware like your phone getting heated up, battery discharging fast, and data consumption increasing, etc.

What Are Spy Apps Disguised As?

A spy is installed with a fake generic name. For example System Update, Internet Services, Play Services, etc. so that the target person cannot detect them.

What Happens When We Update Software In Android?

A software update in Android brings new features and makes the device more secure.

Are Android Updates Necessary?

Yes, Android updates are necessary as they make your phone fight against malware and also adds new features to it.

Does iOS Update Also Removes Spyware?

Yes, an iOS update can also delete the spyware from iPhone just like Android.

About the Author

Ankit Prasad, an engineer driven by a passion for digital safety, founded SpyDrill to simplify cybersecurity. With a modest approach, Ankit shares insights on parental control and monitoring apps and effective protection measures. His aim is to empower users with practical knowledge, bridging the gap between technology and everyday understanding. An advocate for digital literacy, Ankit's commitment to demystifying cyber threats underscores his dedication to creating a safer online environment for all.

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