Just like in many other operating systems, some of the apps in Android also run with administrator or root privileges so that they can access the system level functions and make changes to the Android settings whenever needed. While some of the reputed apps like ESET Antivirus for Android set themselves as device admins for good reasons, but many other malicious apps can also make their way into becoming hidden device admins and then can secretly control many critical settings as they please. Some versions of Android cannot really remove such hidden device admins on its own, and you can make use of the free Trend Micro Hidden Device Admin Detector to find and remove such malicious apps.
After installing the Trend Micro Hidden Device Admin Detector app, you can just touch on the Click here to scan button to start the scanning of your system for such malicious apps that could be hiding in form of device admins. It scans all the installed apps and determines whether any of these apps is acting as a device admin.
If it finds that one or more of the malicious apps are hidden device admin on your Android device, it gives you an option to deactivate them. However, if it does not find any hidden device admins, then it simply shows a message that “No hidden device administrators found on this device”.
In order to prevent such malicious apps from infecting and making their way into becoming device admins on your Android device, you should install a good antivirus/security product on your smartphone that can block such attempts before malicious apps can do any damage. If your device manufacturer is offering an OS update then you should consider upgrading to the latest version of Android to protect yourself from such vulnerabilities in the future.
Conclusion: Some versions of Android may have a vulnerability that allows apps to become hidden device admins. You can use the free Trend Micro Hidden Device Admin Detector to find and remove such apps. In addition, you should also protect your device by installing an up-to-date security solution from Play store.
You can get the Trend Micro Hidden Device Admin Detector from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trendmicro.mtrt.hiddenDAcleaner.