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How to try out paid Android apps for free

Sterling Keys

Ever want to just try out a paid Android app first before you shell out the money for it? There’s been a few that I’ve been on the fence about spending the money, seeing as I’m unsure of whether I’ll use the app of whether it does exactly what I need it to do. Well, with a few tricks you can within a 48-hour time period. 

Google Play
Want to try out an App from the Google Play Store for free? Here's how! © Under Linux

There are actually two methods that you can use to “try out” paid apps without having to commit the charges to your credit card. The first method can be used to try out an app and then receive a refund within 15 minutes of “purchasing” the app. The second method can extend that time to about 48 hours.

Please note: these only work for apps purchased officially through the Google Play Store.

15 minutes of fame

  • Purchase an Android app through Google Play
  • Play/Use the app for less than 15 minutes..
  • Head back to Google Play.
  • Press the Menu button and choose My Apps.
  • Scroll down and select the app in question.
  • Select Uninstall and Refund. If you haven’t even installed the app yet, you’ll only get the Refund option.
 © AndroidPIT

There you go! There app will now uninstall from your device and a refund will be issued for the original amount of app. However, if you’ve accidentally gone past 15 minutes, you’ll have to try out the second method. 

48 hours

It is important to note that for this method to work, the app in question must fall under the umbrella of Section 3.4 of the Android Developer Distribution agreement:

3.4 Special Refund Requirements. The Payment Processor’s standard terms and conditions regarding refunds will apply except the following terms apply to your distribution of Products on the Market.

Products that can be previewed by the buyer (such as ringtones and wallpapers): No refund is required or allowed.

Products that cannot be previewed by the buyer (such as applications): You authorize Google to give the buyer a full refund of the Product price if the buyer requests the refund within 48 hours after purchase.

The gist of it: You can get a refund up to 48 hours after you’ve purchased an app as long it’s not something you can preview, such as a wallpaper or a ringtone.

© AndroidPIT
  • Go to your account for Google Play from your PC/Mac. (
  • Log onto your Google Account
  • Under the Options for the individual item you want refunded, click Report a problem
  • From the options presented, select I’d like to request a refund
© AndroidPIT
  • Fill out the reason that you’d like to request a refund and click Send Report

All done! Google does however note that they will be “only able to make exceptions to our refund policy in cases where there are extenuating circumstances.” And as such, we cannot guarantee that the method will work all the time. However, in all our tests, we’ve received a refund for purchased content.

Have you tried out this method? If so, let us know how it went.