I can't find any application access permissions settings in Windows Phone 8, like Internet access, Gallery access, Contacts access etc. Is there any way to block their access from it. Because I suspect that applications might steal my contacts or gallery files.

3 Answers 3


There is no app permissions control in WP8.

Anyway, You don't need it due to the unique design of the security in WP8. Why is that?

  • You can explicitly stop any program from working in the back ground, hence the application will only use internet when you open it. You can block apps from working in the background by going to Settings->Application->Background Tasks
  • Gallery (or Photos app) is only accessed when you ask the application to access it, either via a button inside the app or via the Photos app itself when you click share. Apps can not control the Photos or Videos. That's why an application like WhatsApp uses its own storage space.
  • Contacts, no control over this. But Microsoft before approving any app they check this and make sure only apps that uses contacts in the right way are approved. I do not recall any report of misusing the contacts in WP8.

In general, do not compare WP8 to other OSs for mobile devices. WP8 was meant to be user friendly, the system and Microsoft are doing most of the security related issues for you.

  • About background tasks, all background tasked apps will not be in the list you said. And about Gallery I'm not much convinced. I see many apps showing our gallery within their own template. About contacts, anyone can create an app to manage contacts in Windows Phone 8 and can upload contacts to their own server and use it illegally.
    – N K
    Sep 25, 2013 at 10:50
  • 1
    @NK the APIs for managing contacts only let an app create new contacts, or retrieve information about those that are in that app's contact store; so a Twitter app couldn't read contacts from a Facebook app without bringing up the standard Contact Chooser UI (unlike some other mobile OSes). Similarly, I've not seen any apps that can read your photos without using the PhotoChooser UI.
    – Rowland Shaw
    Sep 27, 2013 at 12:09

So far no settings, but there might be a App Permissions setting in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2.

Update: Windows 10 Mobile has this feature.


The permissions that an App needs are displayed in the store when making a purchase; for example, when I go to the page for the local.angle app, I can see that this app requires:

  • location services
  • data services
  • HD720P (720x1280)
  • WVGA (480x800)
  • WXGA (768x1280)

And if I go to install, or update this app, I'm additionally prompted to say that I don't mind it using location services, and the Microsoft EULA also applies for that. When I go into the app for the first time, it also gives me the choice to enable.

Microsoft are clear to developers that they check which capabilities are actually used (and remove any that aren't needed); so you can be confident that those requirements are as stated. They have certainly acted upon feedback I've given about miscategorised apps in the past, so I expect they would treat any legal issues that might arise very seriously...

There is more technical information on the capabilities, and what they mean, on MSDN

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