What is draw/display over other apps? How to use it?

What is draw/display over other apps? How to use it?


Draw Over Other Apps or Display Over Other Apps is an advanced feature available on Android smartphones. But what does “display over other apps” mean? It allows an application to appear on top of other apps, creating a kind of overlay. For instance, chat heads in Facebook Messenger or screen recording apps use this feature to stay visible while users interact with other applications.

Understanding ‘Display Over Other Apps’

What Does it Mean When an App is Drawing Over the Screen?

When an app is “drawing over the screen,” it means it displays or presents content in a layer over other applications. This functionality allows the app to remain visible and interactable while other apps are in use.

What is the Use of Display Over Other Apps?

The use of “display over other apps” mainly centers around allowing users to multitask and interact with multiple apps simultaneously. It helps create a multilayered user interface where apps can function and be interacted with concurrently.

What Apps are Drawing Over my Screen?

Apps that use the “display over other apps” feature typically provide real-time, quick access or multitasking functionalities. Examples include Facebook Messenger, screen recording apps, floating calculators, and certain widgets.

The Catch

While useful, the “draw over other apps” feature can sometimes cause issues like blocking access to other apps, draining battery life, or even leading to potential security concerns if misused by malicious apps.

Is it Safe to Use ‘Display Over Other Apps’?

Should I Disable Draw Over Other Apps/ Display Over Other Apps?

Disabling “draw over other apps” can help improve battery life and potentially reduce screen clutter. However, it may also limit the functionality of certain apps that rely on this feature.

Is Display Over Other Apps Safe?

“Display over other apps” is generally safe when used by reputable applications. However, it poses a security risk if allowed for unknown or malicious apps, as they could capture sensitive information from other apps.

Activating ‘Draw Over Other Apps’ on Different Devices

How to Activate Draw Over Other Apps in Android Smartphones

Step 1: Go to “Settings” on your device.

Step 2: Tap on “Apps” or “Applications.”

Step 3: Click on the cogwheel icon to access “Configure apps.”

Step 4: Select “Draw over other apps.”

Step 5: Choose the app you want to give permission to and toggle on “Permit drawing over other apps.”

The steps are similar for other devices (Samsung, Hawaii, Redmi, iPhone, Oppo, Windows), with minor differences in navigation due to different user interfaces.

Managing ‘Display Over Other Apps’

How to Enable/Disable Draw/Display Over Other Apps Permission

Step 1: Navigate to “Settings” > “Apps” > “Configure apps” > “Draw over other apps.”

Step 2: Select the app whose permission you want to change.

Step 3: Toggle on/off “Permit drawing over other apps.”

How to Turn Off Display Over Other Apps

Follow the same steps as above, but in Step 3, toggle off the permission.

How to Fix the Screen Overlay Detected Error on Android

Step 1: Navigate to “Settings” > “Apps.”

Step 2: Click on the cogwheel icon to access “Configure apps.”

Step 3: Select “Draw over other apps.”

Step 4: You’ll see a list of apps with this permission. Toggle off the apps causing issues.


In essence, “Draw Over Other Apps” or “Display Over Other Apps” is a helpful feature for multitasking and using multiple apps simultaneously. While it’s generally safe with reputable apps, caution should be exercised when granting this permission to ensure data security and smooth device operation.

Pro Tips:

  1. Review which apps have the “draw over other apps” permission to maintain optimal device performance and security.
  2. Be cautious when granting this permission to lesser-known or newly installed apps.
  3. If you face a screen overlay error, disable the draw over other apps permission for recently installed apps first.


What does it mean for an app to draw over other apps?

The app can display its content in a layer over other applications.

How does display over other apps work?

It allows an app to create a window that sits on top of all other active windows, allowing users to interact with it while using other apps.

Should I permit drawing over other apps?

Permitting drawing over other apps can improve multitasking. However, it’s best to grant this permission only to trusted apps to ensure device safety and security.

How do I allow apps to draw over other apps?

This can be done in the device settings, under “Apps” > “Configure apps” > “Draw over other apps,” where you can toggle on the permission for specific apps.

What are the advantages of the ‘display over other apps’ feature?

The feature allows better multitasking, quick access, and improved interactivity with certain apps.

What are the downsides of the ‘display over other apps’ feature?

Downsides include increased battery drain, potential security issues, and screen clutter.

How can I manage which apps can draw over others?

This feature can be managed in the device settings under the “Draw over other apps” menu.

Why do I see a ‘Screen Overlay Detected’ error?

This error occurs when an app that uses the “display over other apps” feature interferes with the operation of another app. It can be resolved by disabling the permission for the interfering app.