Written by 1:04 pm Android

Is It Safe to Enable Developer Options In Android?

Most people have no reason to enable developer options, but at some point, some of us are pushed in that direction. Android hides developer options by default. This begs the question: Are there any downsides to turning it on?

What Developer Options are Available For Android?

Developer options are settings that are of particular interest to Android app developers in most cases. These include features like turning on your phone’s screen indefinitely while the device is plugged in, allowing you to monitor your app’s performance over time.

One of the most common reasons people look for developer options is to enable USB debugging, which is required to install Android apps from a PC or flash a custom ROM. You can learn how to enable developer options by checking out the best Android developer options worth optimizing for.

What are The Risks Of Activating Developer Options?

Developer options are kept as secret features for a reason. Once enabled, these features may cause problems or even interfere with normal use of the phone.

Here are some ways things can go wrong:

  1. You can set up your phone to stay connected to both LTE and WiFi at the same time. This results in increased battery drain and leaves you wondering why your phone doesn’t last as long as you expected.
  2. You can toggle the speed of app animations, which may make the device appear too sluggish or appear as if it’s not showing any animation at all.
  3. You may be changing audio settings, which may cause the sound to be choppy, too quiet, or too loud.
  4. You can disable codecs required for video playback in various applications.

These are some settings you may forget over time. A friend or a repair shop might not think to check them out, to see if, from the looks of it, your phone is actually malfunctioning.

Why Developer Options are Safe To Enable

If you are an advanced user who likes to tinker with your devices, then you might have a good idea to repair your phone yourself. Ultimately, most software issues can be solved with a factory reset. You may be more concerned about whether enabling developer options exposes you to remote attacks, malware, and other threats.

Various malware and other security threats target Android devices, but they often don’t check whether your developer options are enabled. Unless an attacker is specifically targeting you, they will design their code to target the lowest common denominator. This means that the average person is using a device with developer options disabled.

This type of malware targets older hardware, and outdated Android versions contain software vulnerabilities that have not yet been patched. Or they rely on you installing APKs from untrusted sources – for example, cracked versions of paid apps are an attractive way to inject malicious code. Disabling developer options will not add it to the list of tips to avoid dangerous malware on Android.

If you enable USB debugging, you can transfer software from your PC to your phone via a wired connection. However, you still need to approve the connection. The same applies to wireless debugging. In both cases, the attacker needs physical access to your device, or the app needs to trick you into approving the connection. Your phone is not as vulnerable as unlocking the bootloader.

Only Use Developer Options If You Know What You are Doing

Developer options aren’t just for developers; they’re also aimed at enthusiasts who have a deeper understanding of how Android devices work. If you don’t know what a setting does after reading its name or researching it on the Internet, you probably want to leave it alone. If you mess with the developer options, the one who poses the greatest risk to your device is you, not anyone else.

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