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How to Blacklist/Whitelist Apps on Android Devices

Organizations may require to block apps on their devices for various reasons. They may block apps to avoid access to certain apps that may decelerate productivity, prevent malicious apps for data security, and restrict unwanted content on their devices.

With Hexode MDM, the admin can either create a blacklist or whitelist of apps on Android devices. The Blacklist feature blocks the users from accessing any apps added to the list. Whereas, Whitelist restricts the users from using any apps other than the whitelisted ones.

Applying Policy to Blacklist Apps

To block apps on a device using Hexnode’s Blacklist policy,

  1. Log in to your Hexnode MDM portal.
  2. Tap on Policies > New Policy > Android > App Management > Blacklist/Whitelist. Click on Configure.
  3. Policy name– Assign a suitable name for the policy. This is a mandatory field.

    Description– Provide a brief description for the policy.

  4. Choose the Blacklist button and click on +Add to add either an app or a group of apps to be blacklisted.
  5. Once you have selected all the apps, click Done.
  6. Next, associate the policy to the target devices by clicking on Policy Targets.
  7. Select the Devices/Device Groups/User/User Groups/Domains with which the policy is to be attached.
  8. Click Save.

Applying Policy to Whitelist Apps

To block apps using Hexnode’s Whitelist feature,

  1. Select Whitelist from Policies > New Policy > Android > App Management > Blacklist/Whitelist > Configure.
  2. Click on +Add button to add the required apps or app groups to the list. Note that the users cannot access any apps other than the ones mentioned in this list.
  3. Click Done after selecting the required apps.
  4. Next, associate the policy to the target devices by clicking on Policy Targets.
  5. Select the Devices/Device Groups/User/User Groups/Domains with which the policy is to be attached.
  6. Click Save.

Whitelisted apps
Notes:

  • Supported by Samsung Knox devices and devices enrolled via Android Enterprise.
  • If the device is enrolled in Android Enterprise in profile owner mode, only the work apps (the ones with the work badge) can be whitelisted/blacklisted.
  • Kiosk mode is another lockdown mechanism where you can restrict your devices to work in purpose-specific modes. The admin can limit the users to access only the required apps.

Exceptions

  • Users are not allowed to install or update a blacklisted app. However, in Samsung Knox, blacklisting an already installed app will not remove an app or hide its icon, and the users are allowed to access the apps.
  • Blacklisting/whitelisting won’t hide apps on other Android devices. Instead, they will be marked as ‘non-compliant’ and the admin is notified via email if notification is enabled from Admin > Notifications. However, on a device enrolled in Android Enterprise program, the blacklisted apps get hidden from the device.

Devices other than Knox and those enrolled via Android Enterprise become ‘non-compliant’ if Blacklist/Whitelist policy is associated

Notes:

  • If the user tries to install a blacklisted app, he receives a notification specifying that the app cannot be installed.
  • Conversely, if the user tries to whitelist a set of apps, all the other apps not included in the list will be treated as blacklisted. A notification specifying the restriction is received if the user tries to update/install a non-whitelisted app.
  • In case the user chooses to include an app group, all the apps included in the group can be either blacklisted or whitelisted.