What does Display/Draw Over other apps Mean?

Apps that have to function over other apps require this particular permission. Even if you close these apps, they will be running in the background. For example, Facebook messenger shows a bubble chat icon when someone texts you. The bubble icon displays the message regardless of which app you’re using. This is because the messenger app has been granted to display over other apps.

What does it mean?

The permission allows an application to see every kind of activity performed on other applications.

Simply put, if enabled- the app runs on top of other apps you may interfere with and can see what you type, capture and record what you’re doing. 

Therefore, it’s so risky and should only be granted if the app is completely trusted.

But on the other hand, many apps wouldn’t do a job properly without this android permission, and will pop up an error saying “screen overlay detective.” Because of their structure and work function.

For example, streaming apps precisely need to be granted draw-over access.


Using an untrusted screen overlay could lead to that application taking control of your Android device and causing damage. Perform bank transactions, call, send texts, turn your display black, and do some malicious operations behind the scenes, for example.

Why Android shows a warning?

The reason Android warns you about overlays and forces you to disable them on new applications (or automatically disables them) during installation is to prevent them from causing trouble.

How to enable Draw over apps for an App?

open settings and select Apps & Notifications
  • To enable this permission for an app is so simple. Android versions 5, 7, and 8, automatically enable this, if the app is downloaded from the Google Play store.
select Special Access> Draw over other apps
  • For Android versions 9, and 10, ask for manually enable draw-over apps permission for an app.
  • To do this, Go to the settings> App settings> On the top-right tap on the three dots and Choose Special access. Tap “Draw over other apps” and toggle the app in the list.
Floating window permission
  • On phones running Android, Vivo, and Oppo, the permission is named Floating Window App Permission, since enabling it permits apps the same access as drawing over apps.