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Kiosk mode in Android

Posted by: admin March 11, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m in the process of evaluating if and how a CF .NET enterprise application can be ported to run on Android devices. The application on Windows Mobile phones are run in kiosk mode where the application autostart in fullscreen-mode after booting and with the users unable to accidentally or willingly access any other parts of the phone.

Is it possible on Android to have only one application autostart after booting and prevent users from accidentally (or willingly) access any other parts of the Android device?

How to&Answers:

You can autostart applications on boot by listening to the android.intent.action.BOOT_COMPLETED intent in a BroadcastReceiver and start your Activity from there. In the Activity you can register yourself as the new default homescreen[1] and handle the keys.

I think there are some instances that you can’t handle without modifying the framework (like longpress on Home to show currently active Applications) – I could also be mistaken though.

But for a prototype that could be sufficient.

Have fun tinkering!


 <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
 <category android:name="android.intent.category.HOME" />
 <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />


You could customise this (disable access to menu, limit application addition etc) to enable kiosk. http://code.google.com/p/android-launcher-plus/


In the new Android L Preview, Google has announced Task Locking, which does exactly that. It does seem to need root however.

The L Developer Preview introduces a new task locking API that lets
you temporarily restrict users from leaving your app or being
interrupted by notifications. This could be used, for example, if you
are developing an education app to support high stakes assessment
requirements on Android. Once your app activates this mode, users will
not be able to see notifications, access other apps, or return to the
Home screen, until your app exits the mode.

To prevent unauthorized usage, only authorized apps can activate task
locking. Furthermore, task locking authorization must be granted by a
specially-configured device owner app, through the
android.app.admin.DevicePolicyManager.setLockTaskComponents() method.

To set up a device owner, follow these steps:

  • Attach a device running an Android userdebug build to your development
  • Install your device owner app.
  • Create a device_owner.xml file
    and save it to the /data/system directory on the device.
$ adb root
$ adb shell stop
$ rm /tmp/device_owner.xml
$ echo "<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8' standalone='yes' ?>" >> /tmp/device_owner.xml
$ echo "&device-owner package=\"<your_device_owner_package>\" name=\"*<your_organization_name>\" />" >> /tmp/device_owner.xml
$ adb push /tmp/device_owner.xml /data/system/device_owner.xml
$ adb reboot

Before using the task locking API in your app, verify that your
activity is authorized by calling

To activate task locking, call android.app.Activity.startLockTask()
from your authorized activity.

When task locking is active, the following behavior takes effect:

  • The status bar is blank, and user notifications and status information
    is hidden.
  • The Home and Recent Apps buttons are hidden.
  • Other apps may
    not launch new activities.
  • The current app may start new activities,
    as long as doing so does not create new tasks.
  • The user remains locked
    on your app until an authorized activity calls


After searching for this for a while I’ve come up with a good solution. This only works on rooted devices though, but I guess if it’s just for this one app then rooting it shouldn’t be a problem.

Also check out http://thebitplague.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/kiosk-mode-on-the-nexus-7/ for another way


Starting your app on boot

the BEST way to accomplish this is setting your app as the launcher

<activity ...
      <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
      <category android:name="android.intent.category.HOME" />
      <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />

Locking your app

the most reliable way is to use a device with Lollipop or greater and make use of


first you must set your app as the device owner. NB your device must be unprovisioned: if you registered it you should do a factory reset and skip the account registration.

to be able to register your app you must first setup a DeviceAdminReceiver component:

package com.example.myapp;

public class MyDeviceAdminReceiver extends android.app.admin.DeviceAdminReceiver {
    public void onEnabled(Context context, Intent intent) {
        Toast.makeText(context, "Device admin permission received", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

    public CharSequence onDisableRequested(Context context, Intent intent) {
        return "are you sure?";

    public void onDisabled(Context context, Intent intent) {
        Toast.makeText(context, "Device admin permission revoked", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

    public void onLockTaskModeExiting(Context context, Intent intent) {
        // here you must re-lock your app. make your activity know of this event and make it call startLockTask again!

once you have an unprovisioned device you can launch the following command from adb (no root required)

adb shell dpm set-device-owner com.example.myapp/.MyDeviceAdminReceiver

to avoid android asking the user permissions to pin your app you must call


public void onResume(){
    DevicePolicyManager mDevicePolicyManager = (DevicePolicyManager) getSystemService(
    ComponentName mAdminComponentName = new ComponentName(getApplicationContext(), MyDeviceAdminReceiver.class);
    mDevicePolicyManager.setLockTaskPackages(mAdminComponentName, new String[]{getPackageName()});
public void finish(){


Google recently released the Android Management API which allows to easily set up kiosk mode for any Android devices running Android 5.1 or above, and also to set various other policies.


Set up Single-Purpose Devices Page of android developer have described this things you can easily get to know more things from there.

Now it is easy to configure Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later devices as corporate-owned, single-use (COSU) devices.


Found another possible technique in this forum post. Quoting that post:


Using the following methods you can build an application that will
prevent “regular” users from playing with anything other than your

The application is made of two modules. The main activity and a
service. The service is configured to start at boot. When the service
is started it checks if the activity is running or not. If it is not
running it uses a timer to start the main activity.

When the activity is paused it schedules the service to start in one
second: Code:

Sub Activity_Pause (UserClosed As Boolean)
    If kiosk Then StartServiceAt(KioskService, DateTime.Now + 1 * DateTime.TicksPerSecond, false)    
End Sub

If the user presses on the home screen, the home screen will appear
for several seconds. However your application will return to the front
after a few seconds and the user will not be able to interact with any
other applications or change the settings.

The service is set to be a foreground service. This prevents Android
from killing our service. Press on the Stop button to deactivate kiosk

There appears to be an example kiosk-mode code ZIP file available for download, too.


Xposed framework can do this. It needs root and there is a possibility that it won’t work on every and all platforms. Look for disable() method in class android.app.StatusBarManager.

Here in Android source code

Look here on how to write your own module:
Xposed development tutorial

It’s much easier than you think at first glance. Good Luck!


Along with setting up your application with a BOOT receiver, and this answer for preventing status bar expansion, this solution works on 4.4 and above as a complete kiosk app :

Place in your onCreate():

    final View view = (View) findViewById(android.R.id.content);
    if (view != null) {
        //"hides" back, home and return button on screen. 
        view.setSystemUiVisibility(View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_LOW_PROFILE |
                                   View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_HIDE_NAVIGATION |
                                   View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_IMMERSIVE |
                                   View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_IMMERSIVE_STICKY |
                (new View.OnSystemUiVisibilityChangeListener() {
                    public void onSystemUiVisibilityChange(int visibility) {
                        // Note that system bars will only be "visible" if none of the
                        // LOW_PROFILE, HIDE_NAVIGATION, or FULLSCREEN flags are set.
                        if ((visibility & View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_FULLSCREEN) == 0) {
                            view.setSystemUiVisibility(View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_LOW_PROFILE |
                                    View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_HIDE_NAVIGATION |
                                    View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_IMMERSIVE |
                                    View.SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_IMMERSIVE_STICKY |

This will completely hide the back button, apps and home button.