Capturing a snapshot of a memorable moment, or using your smartphone’s camera to scan documents can be essential to your daily life. Unfortunately, many Android users, mostly those with Samsung smartphones, encounter the notification “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” from time to time.
This message doesn’t tell you much beyond something that’s causing your Android’s security policy to kick in. This is frustrating because it doesn’t give you a point of reference to troubleshoot, and prevents you from capturing images that matter.
In this troubleshooting guide, we’ll take a look at some possible causes behind this error message, and solutions that can get you back to snapping those shots.
What Android Models Usually Pop Up This Error Message?
While the “Security Policy Restricts Use of Camera” error message can pop up on all make and models of Android smartphones, it is most commonly associated with Samsung’s Galaxy lineup. The same goes for a few of their other mid-tier models and tablets. Users are reporting the error on S21/20/S9/10, and A10/11/20/01/50 for phones, and the Note 20 Ultra for tablets.
However, if you don’t have a Samsung flagship, and own another Android smartphone brand, the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” can still pop up on you. That is why it’s important to understand the causes behind it.
Potential Causes Behind The “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” Message
Your Android smartphone may show the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” pop-up message for several reasons. But the most common causes behind it include the following:
- Third-Party Interference: What we mean by this is that a third-party application causes interference every time you try to open up your camera app. For example, some authenticator apps like Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator may cause the camera to fail when launching if they are in use.
- The Camera was Recently Toyed With: Did you lend your phone to a niece or nephew recently and allow them to play with the camera? Sometimes messing around with the camera settings or phone settings may throw the phone “out of alignment” or get misconfigured. Something as simple as a minor setting being turned off or on can cause the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” error.
- Disabled Phone Sensors: Your Android phone camera has a sensor, and if you disabled it intentionally or accidentally lately, you might get a security policy notification when trying to take snapshots.
- Corrupt Cache Data: If the cache data gets corrupted or damaged while you’re running camera-related applications, then you would likely see the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” message pop up.
Now that you know the potential causes of the error, let’s jump into troubleshooting so that you can get back to preserving memories through stunning digital images.
9 Fixes for the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” on Android Smartphones
We explored all the tried-and-tested solutions to address said pop-up notification that prevents many Android users from using their phone’s camera. You can employ them one by one until the said issue is solved.
1. Check For A Software Update in Your Phone’s Settings
The first thing you need to check is if your phone requires a software update. If it does, you’ll want to download and install it, and then restart your phone and re-test the camera to see if the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” error persists.
To do this:
- Head into Settings and look for System.
- Click on System then select Software Update or System Update.
- Tap on the button to Check for Updates.
- Download and install updates if available.
Note: if you downloaded a software update and still receive the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” after updating, then you’ll want to use any of the other troubleshooting methods on this list.
2. Uninstall Known Third-Party Apps That Conflict
If you’ve downloaded a third-party application that is conflicting with your camera, it could also be restricting access to said phone feature. Hence, the policy notification pops up when you try using it.
To find out if this is happening:
- Head to Settings ⇒ Biometrics & Security ⇒. Other Security Settings on Samsung Phones.
- For Google Pixel phone, head into Settings ⇒ Apps ⇒ Special App Access. Then click on Device Admin Apps.
- If you see any third-party apps in here that are check-marked, turn them off.
- Common Apps include Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, Nikon Snapbridge App, and Camera Guide.
- If unlinking them doesn’t help, then try clearing out their cache/data following the steps below in solution 4.
- If clearing out the cache/data doesn’t work, then uninstall them completely.
3. Remove Your SIM/SD Card and Restart Your Phone
If any of the camera-related modules within your SD card or SIM card are corrupt or have damaged data, then your camera app may not work properly. This could prompt the “Android Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” notification.
To find out if this is the case, remove the SIM/SD card using these steps:
- Power down your phone & remove the SIM/SD gently. You may need a special tool to pop the SIM card tray out of the side of your phone.
- Place your phone on the charger and fully charge it to 100%.
- Then power the phone on without the SIM/SD card and check to see if the camera is working.
- If the camera isn’t working, then power off the phone and re-insert the SIM card only.
- Power the phone on and check the camera. If not fixed, then move on to another step in this list.
4. Clear Your Camera’s Cache/Data
The “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” notification pop-up is sometimes caused by corrupt data in your camera app’s cache. To clear the cache and fix the camera to make it usable, you must force-stop the camera and clear the data.
- Open your Settings.
- Choose Apps or Application Manager.
- If your phone shows recently used, tap on ALL apps.
- Find your camera in the list and tap on it.
- Choose to “Force Stop” it.
- Then click on Storage & Cache.
- Clear the Cache FIRST and then tap the Clear Data button.
- Relaunch the camera app and see if you still get the “Security Policy Restricts Use of Camera” message.
If you still get the notification, then go back into Apps and find your camera and disable it. Restart your phone, and re-activate the camera to see if that solves the problem.
5. Clear Your Cache/Data for Device Security
If clearing the cache and data of your camera app didn’t do the trick, then you can always try clearing the cache/data from Device Security itself to resolve the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” pop-up notification.
- Open up Settings ⇒ Apps ⇒ Click the 3 vertical dots at the top of the screen.
- Choose Show System Apps.
- Scroll until you find Device Security and click on it.
- Click into Storage and Clear Cache and then Data.
- Note: on Google Pixel Phones, look for Device Policy.
In case you are also interested to learn how to wipe cache partitions in Android to reduce the risk of file corruption and other issues that cause your phone to slow down or malfunction, just click on the link.
6. Disable Camera App in Secure Wi-Fi Feature
If you have your camera app set at Secure Wi-Fi Feature, which allows you to filter out unsecured traffic on an unsecured network, then the camera may fail to open and pops up the security policy notice.
You may want to disable the camera app from using the Secure Wi-Fi Feature in such a case.
- Head into Settings ⇒ Connections.
- Tap on your Wi-Fi Connection.
- On the top right, select the 3 dots. Choose Advanced from the list.
- Under Network Settings – Choose Secure Wi-Fi.
- Under APPS – find your camera and uncheck it.
- Restart your phone.
Please note that not all Android phones will have a Secure Wi-Fi feature. If you can’t find it, you may need to directly search for it on your phone or refer to your phone’s manual to see if you have the feature.
7. Reset Camera Settings to Default
If your camera settings are misconfigured, this could be the culprit behind the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” pop-up notification. Resetting it to default mode can help fix this.
- Launch your camera and choose the cogwheel in the top left.
- Once in the Camera Settings Window, scroll until you find Reset Settings.
- Click Reset Settings and confirm.
Note: On Pixel 7 phones, there are no reset settings for the camera – refer to solution 4 in this list.
8. Reset Phone Settings to Default
While somewhat uncommon, sometimes a slight misconfiguration of one of your phone’s settings can cause a mishap with the camera and lead to the issue of the security policy restricting access to your camera.
You can reset your phone’s settings by going to Settings ⇒ General Management ⇒ Reset ⇒ Reset Settings.
9. Put Your Android Phone Into Safe Mode & Test
Another option you can try is putting your Android smartphone into safe mode and testing the camera application to see if third-party customization is interfering with your phone’s camera modules.
A great example of this is if you’re using a non-stock launcher for your phone. This could interfere with the camera function and cause the “Security Policy Restricts Use of Camera” notification.
Testing the phone in safe mode may give you some insight into the root cause of the problem. Here’s how to do it:
- With your phone on its main home screen, press and hold the Power button.
- When the power menu opens up, press and hold the Power Off button.
- Wait until Safe Mode appears on your screen and then tap that.
- On Google Pixel 7’s, you pull down the Quick Settings Menu all the way down. Then hit the power button in the bottom right-hand corner, and press and hold power off. It will ask you if you want to reboot into Safe Mode – confirm.
Once in safe mode, check to see if your camera is working. If it allows you to open it up without giving you the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” notification, then you know that it’s a third-party module that’s causing it. You will have to go through these modules one by one and uninstall them until you find the one causing the issue.
Last Ditch Effort: Reset Your Android Smartphone to Factory Defaults.
If none of the solutions above have stopped the “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” notification from popping up every time you open your camera, then the last step you can take is to do a factory reset of your phone.
Keep in mind though, that if you do this it will erase everything on your phone and restore it to the same state it was in when you first took it out of its box. The upside to this is if it works and you no longer get the security message, it means there was a software problem causing the notification to pop up.
Important Note: Back up your Android phone before doing a factory reset.
On Samsung Android phones: head to Settings ⇒ Accounts & Backup ⇒ Backup & Restore. Then choose to either Back Up Data via your Samsung Account or click into Google Account and backup from that screen.
If you’re rocking one of the new Google Pixel phones, then head to Settings ⇒ Google ⇒ Backup and follow the on-screen instructions.
To run a factory reset, you need to go into Settings ⇒ General Management and choose Reset ⇒ Factory Data Reset.
It’s a very similar process on Google Pixel phones: Go to Settings ⇒ System ⇒ Reset Options ⇒ Factory Reset.
Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera Error, Addressed!
Were you able to resolve your “Security Policy Prevents Use of Camera” notification pop-up using our methods above? Then, please consider sharing our guide with others who have Android phones!
If by any chance you also encounter other error messages in your Android phone such as “Failed to Obtain IP Address” or perhaps a notification that says “Account Action Required”, we also have troubleshooting tutorials for these and several other issues.
If you’re still struggling with the error message we discussed here or found another solution not included on our list, then consider leaving us a comment below!