I'm making an android app, which is currently showing a dialog (basically a popup window) when the app is being started, which shows the disclaimer, and the user can't skip it unless they press a button with the text "Agree".
I believe this is a good way of presenting the disclaimer to the user, but I'm also going to have a Privacy Policy and eventually a Terms of Service page in the app, and I wan't to prompt the user to agree to them to. This doesn't sound much like a problem, but Google has pretty strict design guidelines (which I find great in most cases, because they give an app with great user experience if they are followed).
These guidelines says you shouldn't put a link to another activity/page in the app from a dialog:

(From the design guidelines for dialogs)

Dialogs generally should not include more than two actions.
A third action such as “Learn more” that navigates away from
the dialog or app leaves the current task and decision in an
indeterminate state.

Another option would be to combine the Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Terms of Service texts in the same dialog, but that wouldn't look good and I believe that dialogs aren't well suited for such amounts of text.

So basically my question is, where can I put the Terms of Service, Disclaimer and Privacy Policy, to require the user to agree them when the app has just been started, before any further use of the app is possible, to give a good user experience and follow Google's design guidelines?

5 Answers 5


Nobody installs an app because they want to read the privacy policy.

Your users have goals. Help them accomplish their goals. Don't get in their way. Instead, provide a link in an unobtrusive location.

If you try to force users to stop their productive train of thought in order to read your legal text, they’ll either find a way to close it without reading, or if that isn’t possible, delete your app.

  • 1
    But before using the app, the user must agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. If I don't prompt the user to agree to them when the app is started, they technically hasn't agreed to them (or has they?), and then I'm responsible for anything that is caused by the use of the app. Aug 18, 2015 at 14:12
  • 1
    I'm not a lawyer, you're not a lawyer, and legal advice is off-topic for this site. That said, there sure are a lot of high-profile apps that don't force the user to manually agree to things before running, aren't there? If you're concerned for some reason, speak to a lawyer. Aug 18, 2015 at 23:32
  • Okay, I guess I will save this question until the time when I contact a lawyer to get help with writing the Privacy Policy itself. Until I find another answer, I will mark yours as correct. Thanks! Aug 19, 2015 at 5:02

If you're designing a system for a commercial organisation, it is likely that you will have to include a way to ensure the user accepts the terms & conditions, privacy policy, and maybe other legal stuff as well.

Depending on the director / legal advisor / whoever signs it off, the interpretation of how this should be displayed is going to differ, and that is usually an immovable decision.

If you are required to present these disclaimers in your primary interface (not in a link away) then a good way is to put it in a scrollable box, with a checkbox underneath.

enter image description here

or if you have multiple disclaimers, you might want to go for progressive disclosure:

enter image description here

Does that answer your question?


TL;DR Disregard the popup dialog. Put this somewhere in user sign-up/registration.

Just to elaborate on the idea of popping up dialog may obstruct your user's goal. This is true.

And you can handle this in two steps.

  1. You can make something like this in your "Terms & Condition":

By using this app, user agrees to all of the following:

  • blablabla
  • blablabla

Make sure you state something that's "normal" and doesn't infringe your user's privacy. Just common sense please.

  1. Then, you can put this during the sign-in/register phase. i.e:

How PayPal does it

When you click privacy, here what comes up:

enter image description here

In your Android app, when user clicks the link, you can open a new fragment (or webview) to present this tedious writings that most of your users won't care.


I disagree to a few answers here suggesting you should probably have the ToS and Privacy Policy as a separate button that opens a new activity or page for the users. Since every app is different and if your application's policy is important to know to the consumer for their knowledge and your business, it's crucial that you need to show it to them before they proceed using your application and file a case against you later on because the ToS and Privacy Policy were hidden and not clearly displayed.

The one particular way I like is how Google does it when you use happen to sign in to a new Google Account on a new phone.

They show you the entire document, as it would display natively and then to proceed, you need to tap Continue, and the page would scroll further, after 2-3 Nexts, you reach the end of the T&C and the Continue button changes to Next.


Im not sure you can do that, but can you in the appstore/play store make the user agree to the terms just by installing the application?

because reading legal text is distracting to most users because they wont read it anyways and just scroll to the accept button as fast as possible, so why even include it at the first place?

make an "about" tab where you can read about the legal information of the app

about menu in this case (ios settings app)

Inside the legal tab

  • I need to include it because I don't want to be responsible for any negative consequenses or any violation of the law caused because of the use of this app. I guess that's why most people put Terms of Service and Privacy Policies in their applications. If the user is prompted to agree to them, they have agreed to whatever they say, even if they haven't actually read it. Aug 18, 2015 at 14:19

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