Apps uninstall themselves and cannot be reinstalled

rogorz

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Jun 22, 2023
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Hi,

My mother has a weird problem on her phone, and I've tried everything I know and can't find a solution. It's a Samsung Galaxy A33 5G provided by her company. It has both a personal and a work profile (as in, the app drawer has 2 tabs, one for the company apps and one for her personal apps). From what I've tested, the company has a limited list of apps that can be installed on the work profile, but it doesn't affect the personal profile.

Today, she realized that the Gmail app was missing from her home screen. If I go to the app drawer, it's not there, so I assumed it somehow uninstalled itself. When I go to the Play Store, search Gmail, click install, it downloads, tries installing and I get an error "Can't install Gmail".
What's weird is that if I go to Settings → Apps, the Gmail app is there. In app info, I get an "Enable" button, but if I click on it, it acts as if I had clicked on a disable button. If I select disable app, I can then enable it again, but nothing changes.
I've tried clearing cache/data from both Google play store and google play services before trying to reinstall, rebooting the phone multiple times, nothing works.

The exact same problem happened a few days ago with the Google Messages app. She started using the default Samsung messages app instead. So I'm also wondering if it's a coincidence that both the apps that pose the problem are from Google.

Do you have any idea what could cause this?

Thanks!
 

VidJunky

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Welcome to Android Central forums. I'm not sure how the company might have censored the device but Google email is known to be undesirable as they read all correspondence, OK read may be too strong of a term, they scan everything that passes through their servers with AI looking for violations to their TOS. This includes SMS and MMS, so I doubt it is a coincidence. Samsung to my understanding does this also but may not be as intrusive. The easiest thing would be for her to ask her IT, A. if she can have them on the device and B. how she might go about getting, using and keeping them. If this is something that she really must have. While there is a work and person profile on the device, I would assume that it is a company supplied device and ultimately they own it and have domain over the device, even though they allow some personal use. I'm sure your mother won't be the first to ask and they may have a ready made answer. Not the answer you were hoping for I'm sure but it's the simplest solution.

Best wishes.
 

HeebieJeebies

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Jun 29, 2023
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I actually think this is a bug in either Android OS / Google Play store or the mobile device management solution deployed by her company.

The mode of enrollment is most likely "work profile on a company-owned device", meaning that the device is marked as managed by the company but there's a personal profile where the user is mostly free to do whatever.
Apps like gmail or others can still be installed on the personal profile even if they are not approved for the work profile (as long as they are not explicitly blacklisted)

I manage Android devices and this started happening on my devices too. I know for a fact that the gmail app is not blacklisted in any way but users are still unable to re-install it on their personal profiles.
 
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rogorz

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I actually think this is a bug in either Android OS / Google Play store or the mobile device management solution deployed by her company.

The mode of enrollment is most likely "work profile on a company-owned device", meaning that the device is marked as managed by the company but there's a personal profile where the user is mostly free to do whatever.
Apps like gmail or others can still be installed on the personal profile even if they are not approved for the work profile (as long as they are not explicitly blacklisted)

I manage Android devices and this started happening on my devices too. I know for a fact that the gmail app is not blacklisted in any way but users are still unable to re-install it on their personal profiles.
I think you are correct, this seems like the exact way they do things.
Unfortunately, it seems like it's not a problem that we can correct ourselves :/

She's asked her coworkers, and they have no problem with any app disappearing.

This morning I'd managed to completely remove any trace of the Google Messages and was able to install it again. But while I was trying to do the same with Gmail, the Messages app disappeared again (it disappeared in front of my eyes while I was in the app drawer). Not sure what the trigger is.

I've been considering removing her personal profile entirely and setting it up again from scratch, but I'm not sure if it's possible without affecting/erasing the work profile. And it might not even fix anything.
 

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