REQUEST_DELETE_PACKAGES, For Realz Now

One of the changes announced for Android 8.0 was that apps needed to hold the REQUEST_DELETE_PACKAGES permission to be able to delete apps using ACTION_UNINSTALL_PACKAGE, once their targetSdkVersion rose to 26 or higher.

It didn’t work, as apps could use ACTION_UNINSTALL_PACKAGE even without holding this permission.

Now, on P Developer Preview 1, this actually works as (currently) documented. Once your app has a targetSdkVersion of 'P' (or, presumably, 28 or higher), you need to have a <uses-permission> element for REQUEST_DELETE_PACKAGES in order to be able to use ACTION_UNINSTALL_PACKAGE. Without it, you get an error in LogCat:

E/UninstallerActivity: Uid 10145 does not have android.permission.REQUEST_DELETE_PACKAGES or android.permission.DELETE_PACKAGES

Note that this error does not come from your process, so it will not show up in LogCat if you are filtering for the selected app. There is no exception thrown, either – from your app’s standpoint, your startActivity() call is just fine. However, the user is not presented with the “do you want to uninstall this app?” dialog.

REQUEST_DELETE_PACKAGES is a normal permission, so you do not need to mess around with runtime permissions to hold it.

So, if you use ACTION_UNINSTALL_PACAKGE (or equivalent methods), you’ll need to add a line to your manifest for it to keep working.


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