Screen overlay detected blocks Android permissions

This popup is caused by the manifest.PERMISSION.SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW permission declared by the manifest. The are 3 categories of permissions, that developer must be aware of.:

  1. Normal permission - do nothing with them, just declare in the Manifest
  2. Vulnerable permissions - declare in Manifest and ask for permission at first time. They can be changed through system settings
  3. Above dangerous permissions: SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW and WRITE_SETTINGS belong to this category. They must be granted, but are not visible in system settings. To request for it you don't use a standard way (int checkSelfPermission (String permission)) but you have to check Settings.canDrawOverlays() or Settings.System.canWrite() appropriately

If you don't have SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW permission:

  1. check if you have a Toast visible when interacting with the permissions popup. Though the Overlay Detected popup doesn't mention it, a Toast also counts as an overlay
  2. check if any of your dependencies require it.

If you're not sure if you're using this permission, there are a couple of test cases that you can do:

  1. Request this permission by yourself:

    public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
        public final static int REQUEST_CODE = 10101;
        protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
            if (checkDrawOverlayPermission()) {
                startService(new Intent(this, PowerButtonService.class));
        public boolean checkDrawOverlayPermission() {
            if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT < Build.VERSION_CODES.M) {
                return true;
            if (!Settings.canDrawOverlays(this)) {
                Intent intent = new Intent(Settings.ACTION_MANAGE_OVERLAY_PERMISSION,
                    Uri.parse("package:" + getPackageName()));
                startActivityForResult(intent, REQUEST_CODE);
                return false;
            } else {
                return true;
        protected void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
            if (requestCode == REQUEST_CODE) {
                if (Settings.canDrawOverlays(this)) {
                    startService(new Intent(this, PowerButtonService.class));
  2. Check if this or this is not your case

  3. Check out this post to be aware, that when installing app through Play Store this permission is automatically granted (I have not checked is, therefore cannot confirm)

The permission model can be understood, just sometimes requires more digging.

It's not an issue, You just have an overlay app installed, The most common are

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Whatsapp with Pop-up enabled
  • Seebye Chat heads
  • Viber
  • Any app that shows a menu or something on the screen is an Overlay App.

just close it, Then try.

This popup became an issue with the inclusion of the permissions manager in Android Marshmallow. If you have any apps installed on you phone that have permission to overlay on the screen there are a number of permission settings, File access included, that you can't change without disabling those screen overlay permissions first. For me, my text app and the facebook messenger app are the culprits. Every time I want to give any other app the requested permissions I have to click the Open Settings option on that popup and revoke the screen overlay access for the two aforementioned apps, then reopen the app in question to get the permission prompt again. Then I have to re-enable the overlay permissions again if I want my message popups or my chat heads. It's really annoying. I think your app is fine, android's permissions management is just a confusing mess.