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How to stop apps updating automatically in Google Play

If you've ever picked up your phone to see that Google Play is going crazy and auto-updating app after app, you might feel your stomach tightening up as you see your data allowance evaporating into thin air. Fortunately, this is easy to solve. We'll show you how to stop apps from updating automatically so that Google Play only updates when and how you want it to.

As a general rule, apps you have installed from Google Play will download updates automatically (called auto-update apps) in order to improve their performance on your tablet or smartphone. Generally speaking, this is a good thing, but it can also slow down your phone, use up your mobile data and stop you from doing other things with your device. This is where manually updating apps can be more practical.

AndroidPIT Galaxy S6 notifications app update
Generally speaking, you should keep your apps updated, but do so on your terms. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to disable auto-update apps in Google Play

1. Open Google Play and swipe out the navigation drawer. Choose Settings.

2. In the Play Store settings, tap Auto-update apps.

3. You'll see three options (which can be changed at any time): Do not auto-update apps; Auto-update apps at any time. Data charges may apply; and Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.

AndroidPIT Google Play settings auto update apps never
You'll just need to select 'Do not auto-update'.' / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Choose the first one. Note that this means you will always need to manually update all apps in the future. If you still want apps to update automatically, just not on your data connection, select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.

How to manually update apps in the Play Store

1. If you've told the Play Store not to auto-update apps, you'll have to do it manually. To manually update an app, you must go to My apps in Google Play, so open the navigation drawer and select it (from under the main Apps & games category).

AndroidPIT Google Play update my apps
Check 'My apps' for available updates and install them one at a time or all at once. / © ANDROIDPIT

2. You will be shown a tab view of your apps: the ones currently installed on your device and a master list of every app you've ever downloaded. In the Installed list, you'll see the apps are broken up into categories: Updates, Recently updated and Up-to-date. 

3. Apps with updates available are listed at the top. You can choose to install them one at a time or all of them with the Update All button at the top. 

Do you have any other tricks for managing your app updates? Share your best tips in the comments.

35 comments

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  • Tim C 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Bottom line is this... Google has a problem that Google created and Google needs to solve it. "Unfortunately, Google play services has stopped". They need to just change it to "Unfortunately, Google Play services now suck". You may wonder why... well the new update is loaded with tracking BS to sell to advertisers. Of course Google sold their soul to the devil with Google adwords but that is another topic. Looks like Microsoft is going to be in business for quite a while. The Google idiots had a chance and instead of leaving the Andriod OS intact they decided to gut it and exploit it.... so bite it Google.

  • After following the procedure to stop auto updates, the next day I find that XL and Powerpoint had been installed. It seems that the setting does not work. Is there a time delay for actioning.

  • Save internet and space, but steal to being in the latest tech world.

  • If you tap on the clear data button in settings>storage>apps>google play store , the settings" do not Auto update " will be cancelled, and app will return to default settings.
    Whatever the settings maybe, google play store and google play services update automatically.

    • Tim C 2 weeks ago Link to comment

      Exactly and why does it do that... because Google has new BS in there updates to track and sell to advertisers. They are determined to make sure that we all stay with Microsoft until a legitimate company comes along that does not employee a bunch of freaking idiots.

  • Google & Samsung do not seem to realise that some applications on Android can be battery draining applications, and so glad i turned off my updates from the Play Store, some applications you never use but are on your phone you should be allowed to uninstall it or disable it to help your battery last longer, why some applications do not offer the Exit option is totally wrong on Android

  • Dean L. 2 months ago Link to comment

    Nice to see a few extra tips. I have been manual updating apps just to keep my data in control.

  • nice tip.. but i ony want to disable auto update of 3-4 apps max - i want autoupdate on everything else..

    • Kindly go to the app(s) on playstore. Click on the three dots on your upper right corner. You will see an empty box with the option to auto-update or not. Cheers!

  • Nice tips but with my s6 the issue is it is turned off but still it automatically updates all apps when wifi is on. What to do now ?

  • Hello friend, I have a problem. my symphony phone has always sow me ' unfortunately, phone has stopped. ' please give a solution, what can I do now.

  • phil r 9 months ago Link to comment

    Just bought a galaxy s6 and been charged a fortune in my first month on data usage because of automatic updates from google play.
    when i went into settings(on google play) it appears that it is already on wifi updates only?
    This can't be the case as i have seen updates outside of wifi on my phone. Maybe it automatically chooses this option because you have gone into that section.
    i would have thought that play store automatically sets itself to wifi updates only anyway.
    confused, i have choosen the no updates at all option.

    • My experience has been that Google will.update their own apps anyway unless I disable certain ones. Google Games is one of them. Google Play is another.

  • I have a budget zeki tablet and I have picked the do not auto update and my Google chrome text to speech and other Google apps still auto update. How can I get it to stop? Every time I turn tablet off they all start updating when I turn tablet on.

  • Kris, I appreciate the information & guidance you have provided. However, I have already I followed the steps you indicated previously to stop my android phone from. I have the galaxy s5. This morning I turned my phone off and I turned it back on & Google Chrome auto updated. I went into Google Chrome deleted the update. When I shut the phone off and turned it back on it updated again. Do you know if there is any way just stop Google Chrome from auto updating. Thank you

  • Ajala, you probably only deleted the shortcut.
    Just press the apps icon. This icon is usually consisted of little grey squares. You will find your it there.

  • Pls guys, can anyone give's me the clue to regain my play store back? cause i mistakingly deleted it. Pls guys!!!

  • Amir Tory 11 months ago Link to comment

    Just delete the app and reinstall it.xd

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