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How to turn off automatic updates in the Google Play store

How to turn off automatic updates in the Google Play store

Ever picked up your phone to see that Google Play is auto-updating app after app, whilst your data allowance evaporating into thin air? We'll show you how to prevent this and allow Google Play to update apps only when you want it to.

As a general rule, apps you've 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 or stop you from doing other things on your device. This is where manually updating apps can become more practical.

How to disable auto-update apps in Google Play

1. Open the Google Play Store app and tap on the 3-bar menu icon on the top left. Then scroll down and 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 over any network (using your data) and Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.

play store turn auto update off
Just select Don't auto-update apps. / © AndroidPIT

4. Choose the bottom 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 & games in Google Play, open the navigation drawer and select it (from the 3-bar button next to the search bar).

You can manually update one app 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.

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  • Okay so on my Razer Phone 1
    I can't stop the automatic update of the google play itself to stop. I hate the new visuals and it works perfectly in the base version. I removed its updates and it WITHOUT ASKING updated back. Please fix this its the most annoying experience I've ever had.
    (16.3.36-all [0] [PR] 264275464)
    I turned off every possibility for apps to update. And it keeps updating.
    Feel free to reach me on brian.65@seznam.cz to ask me about the problem.

  • Unlimited data plans here that too on both the sims, no trouble with Auto updates. :-)

  • What do you do if some apps auto update anyway despite the setting being off?

  • Most of time the app updating notification I am get from Play store. Thanks for sharing the information I much needed this type of information.

  • Google will not allow you to turn off play store auto updating. Every time it updates itself it also resets your setting back to default. The best solution is to disable the google play store and install a different store app. there are many out there like Aptoide or Yalp store

    • eee 7 months ago Link to comment

      true it really annoys me a lot it's like they're gaining something out of it it gets me angry plus all of those updates kind of slows my phone a lot i rested it and it became like 400% faster maybe a virus dk

  • Dan S May 24, 2017 Link to comment

    How do I stop a single app from showing in the list of updates? I disable many apps installed by the carrier as soon as I setup a new phone but they still show up in google play's list of apps that have updates. I would like to be able to just hit update all and have it update all apps except the ones I disabled.

  • Zeni Apr 19, 2017 Link to comment

    I want my auto updates over Wifi to happen in the middle of the night. They currently happen from 10pm. Can I change the timing?

  • I've always manually updated. My bigger concern has been when a current version of an app in the Play Store simply doesn't work on either my old J or stupidly balky new M tablets - everything works great on L. Usually I can sideload an APK for an older version that serves the purpose but then the new version shows up in Play Store waiting to be updated, and I have to remember to avoid it. (This is true for some mainstream apps like Skype and Kindle.) I'd like to instruct - either in Play Store settings or the device App settings - to stop updates at the current version and get them out of sight.

    • Yup, totally agree. And it's annoying when it shows you all the old stuff. A filter to transfer the stuff so that it doesn't Display the old or unwanted apps would be of great service..

      Deactivated Account

    • My problem is, i turned auto update off and its still off but i wake up every morning with no space on my phone.

  • I thought most of us knew that there were these options in play settings. It's good to know that you try to bring new people along.

  • This may help. After changing the setting to "Do not auto-update", I noticed all apps were updating automatically. That is because, when the auto-update is set, as it was before you disabled it, it set all apps to update. So when google play senses the WiFi, it continues to update the apps that were previously set. Open Google Play, and "Stop" the current download. This should stop all the updates from continuing. At least, this is what happened in my case. Good Luck.

    • I noticed that too. I forget he details, but all my applications had the "auto-update" on. I just had to go in and set it off for them. I did for some but not all; when I saw something getting updated that I did not want to auto-update, I set the "auto-update" off for it. Some, such as the antivirus program, I left to "auto-update".

  • Help me guys
    I have already set the play store settings to Do not auto update apps, but still starting update once I activate the
    Wifi, what to do? i need to use the wifi without auto update apps. my cellphone is galaxy grand prime.

  • Tim C Nov 16, 2016 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 Nov 16, 2016 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • Just delete the app and reinstall it.xd

  • Interesting article but a better option is to uncheck auto-update box in app settings individually. Period
    It worked for me seamlessly.

  • Fenris Dec 14, 2015 Link to comment

    I did as these instructions advised: do not auto update but weirdly now I look at my calendar and google music, the interface has changed!! STUPID GOOG PLAY! SOMETIMES I have no time to figure out how to use the changed functions! Especially now that my calendar becomes an entire big listing instead of just 1 day's events shown at a time! Previously for those pre installed apps there's option to uninstall but now u don't offer me the chance to. HOw to bring back the option of un-updating?!!

  • I have a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. My Google Play app is set to DO NOT AUTO-UPDATE APPS, and yet my phone updates apps at will. I can't stop it from doing so and it's really starting to annoy the crap out of me. Is anyone else experiencing this issue? Does anyone know how to make the Play app stop? I've searched the internet but all the stupid articles say the same thing... put a check mark in the box next to DO NOT AUTO UPDATE APPS. Well, that's not working. Didn't have this problem on my S4. Ideas? Thanks.

    • Absolutely DOES NOT WORK. Never had so many apps updated as during the last half hour after doing that stupid procedure.

      • I finally disabled the Google Play app in Settings. Turned it off completely and only re-enable it when I need to install something or want to update the phone. Some apps still update however even with the play store disabled, like Tumblr. I hate not being in control of my own device.

    • I'm having the same problem with my new Sony Experia M4 aqua. Anytime I put the network on it starts updating and this is so crap as it does it also when I'm in roaming. I'm reluctant giving my phone to service as I'm located right now in a place where that kind of service is really unprofessional. Did you find possibly a solution?

  • i have micromax canvas A111

  • My phone is automatically installing the apps like paytm, savan, etc how can I stop this. please help me

  • My phone is automatically installing the apps like paytm, savan, etc how can I stop this please help me

  • My phone is automatically installing the apps like paytm, savan, etc how can I stop this

  • dear i need help some apps automatically installing on my phone, honor holly u-19, can u tell me the solution., thanks in advance

  • This has nothing to do with stopping apps on in your play store account from auto installing. Misleading title.

  • Den Ce Nov 27, 2013 Link to comment

    Always read new comments before you update app (note that 1st 3 comments are not last 3 added). Sometime they get it wrong.

  •   6
    Deactivated Account Nov 27, 2013 Link to comment

    Please do not forget the _main_ reason for updates; correction of bugs... I mean PC "issues". Modern software does not have bugs nor errors, only "issues". Also, note that modern software does not crash. it only exhibits FC issues. And now to that bridge I have for sale...

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