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How to turn off automatic updates in the Google Play store

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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. / © NextPit

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. / © NextPit

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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David McCourt

David McCourt

David enjoys staying abreast of the latest technology and newest Android apps. Outside of the office, he can be found playing snooker and writing bad 00s indie songs.

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  • 1
    HeyHere Aug 29, 2019 Link to comment

    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 to ask me about the problem.

  • 25
    Deactivated Account Jan 13, 2019 Link to comment

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

  • 1
    codywohlers Dec 14, 2018 Link to comment

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

  • Flor Rolf 1
    Flor Rolf Apr 20, 2018 Link to comment

    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

    • 1
      eee May 28, 2019 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

  • 1
    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.

  • 1
    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?

  • Albin Foro 30
    Albin Foro Mar 30, 2017 Link to comment

    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.

    Dean L.

    • Dean L. 34
      Dean L. Apr 1, 2017 Link to comment

      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

    • David King 1
      David King Jan 24, 2018 Link to comment

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

  • 20
    Reg Joo Mar 30, 2017 Link to comment

    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.

    Shankar Prasad NandiMr. Guider

  • Jason Erskine 1
    Jason Erskine Jan 3, 2017 Link to comment

    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.

    • 1
      SamuelCalifornia Apr 28, 2017 Link to comment

      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".

  • Thaer Aldabbagh 1
    Thaer Aldabbagh Dec 10, 2016 Link to comment

    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.

  • 3
    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.

    Shankar Prasad NandiMark TurnerJeremy Noneya

  • 2
    Kevin Sack Oct 8, 2016 Link to comment

    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.

    Jeremy Noneya

    • 1
      SamuelCalifornia Apr 28, 2017 Link to comment

      This article is incomplete. It should have explained that.

  • Gadgets Loud 1
    Gadgets Loud Sep 27, 2016 Link to comment

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

  • 10
    parayil h. Sep 25, 2016 Link to comment

    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.

    Reg JooMark TurnerTim CNext Hax

    • 3
      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.

  • 26
    Andrew Burgin Sep 24, 2016 Link to comment

    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. 34
    Dean L. Sep 24, 2016 Link to comment

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

  • Paul Creamer 2
    Paul Creamer Jun 15, 2016 Link to comment

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

    Eric Aiyidu

    • 5
      Eric Aiyidu Sep 23, 2016 Link to comment

      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!

  • Dilshan Dil 1
    Dilshan Dil Jun 2, 2016 Link to comment

    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 ?

  • Mohammad Nurul Pathan 1
    Mohammad Nurul Pathan May 21, 2016 Link to comment

    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.

  • 1
    phil r Feb 6, 2016 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.

    • Debra Casemier-Little 2
      Debra Casemier-Little May 23, 2016 Link to comment

      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.

    • Shankar Prasad Nandi 18
      Shankar Prasad Nandi Apr 1, 2017 Link to comment

      Exactly. Google is playing a stupid game by putting some devilish default settings that makes apps keep updating devilishly day in day out, eating our data as if we don't have to pay for it.

      • Julio Yarzagaray 1
        Julio Yarzagaray Mar 28, 2018 Link to comment


  • 1
    Lyn Jernigan Jan 20, 2016 Link to comment

    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.

  • 1
    Gaetano Gerbissi Jan 20, 2016 Link to comment

    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

    • Debra Casemier-Little 2
      Debra Casemier-Little May 12, 2016 Link to comment

      Same here.

    • Debra Casemier-Little 2
      Debra Casemier-Little May 23, 2016 Link to comment

      Google will update their own apps anyway. You might want to look into downloading another browser and disable Chrome.

  • 1
    Doron Ben-Ari Jan 3, 2016 Link to comment

    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.

  • 1
    ajala afeez Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

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

  • 1
    Amir Tory Dec 16, 2015 Link to comment

    Just delete the app and reinstall it.xd

  • Babar Jahangir 1
    Babar Jahangir Dec 14, 2015 Link to comment

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

    • Debra Casemier-Little 2
      Debra Casemier-Little May 23, 2016 Link to comment

      That works only for apps u downloaded. Google apps will update anyway.

  • 2
    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?!!

    Debra Casemier-Little

  • 2
    Jo Sepu Oct 7, 2015 Link to comment

    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.

    Daniel Corwin

    • 2
      Daniel Corwin Nov 27, 2015 Link to comment

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

      Jo Sepu

      • 2
        Jo Sepu Nov 27, 2015 Link to comment

        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.

    • 1
      An-droid Jan 20, 2016 Link to comment

      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?

  • Jitendra Shekhawat 1
    Jitendra Shekhawat Sep 21, 2015 Link to comment

    i have micromax canvas A111

  • Jitendra Shekhawat 1
    Jitendra Shekhawat Sep 21, 2015 Link to comment

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

  • Jitendra Shekhawat 1
    Jitendra Shekhawat Sep 21, 2015 Link to comment

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

  • 1
    Rahul Pawar Sep 8, 2015 Link to comment

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

  • 1
    Udayan Jyoti Tuljapurkar Sep 6, 2015 Link to comment

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

  • 1
    Dave Riem Apr 21, 2015 Link to comment

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

  • 6
    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...

    GT OhhRod Piercemargaret glassR-I P

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