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.
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.
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).
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.