The feature-adding and ad-blocking YouTube Vanced app was discontinued earlier this month, but the app’s developers said it would continue to work until changes to YouTube’s API killed it off for good. Now, those with the app still installed are seeing Google Play Protect marking Vanced Manager as “harmful,” and prompting the app to be uninstalled.
Over the past several hours, Android users with the Vanced Manager app installed have been getting notifications from Google Play Protect saying that the app is “harmful” and “puts your device at risk.”
Vanced Manager isn’t the same app as YouTube Vanced directly, but rather an app that acts as a sort of “app store” to keep Vanced updated, as well as to install it initially. It’s similar to how Fortnite is distributed on Android through the Epic Games Store app.
Google Play Protect is installed on the vast majority of Android devices at this point, as a safeguard for apps installed both from the Play Store and sideloaded. Protect can monitor for malicious apps and behavior and alert you upon installation or after the app has been installed. It’s not entirely clear why Google has suddenly marked Vanced Manager as a “harmful” app, but the decision appears to have been made on a wide basis, with reports across Reddit and Twitter in the past several hours.
More on YouTube:
- Ad-blocking ‘YouTube Vanced’ will be ‘discontinued’ over legal reasons
- YouTube tests letting you leave emoji reactions at specific moments on videos
- YouTube’s free with ads catalog of movies adding nearly 4,000 TV episodes
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