How to Disable Automatic App Updates on Android

Having automatic app updates is a smart and convenient way to keep your device up-to-date with the latest and greatest. Not to mention there’s no need for user interaction. The only problem is not everyone wants their apps to be updated automatically, especially if you’re on a smaller mobile data plan. That and general updates can often change the entire experience of an app.

As a result, Google’s added an option to enable or disable the automatic app updates on the Google Play Store, as well as an option to only update if the user is on a WiFi connection to save their precious mobile data from a carrier like Verizon or AT&T. By default, auto updates are enabled. There’s a few different ways to disable them though, including customizing updates for individual apps, and we have the simple instructions for you below.

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Disabling Automatic App Updates

For starters you’re going to need to be inside the Google Play Store (formerly Android Market) to disable this feature. So head into your application tray and look for the white “Play Store” icon shown below. This is where we’ll start.

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Once you open the Google Play Store you’re going to head into the settings panel to make the necessary changes. This can be done by selecting the dedicated menu button on your Android device (or the 3 dots in the upper corner if you have on-screen keys) and then selecting Settings. From here you’ll want to select the third option down titled Auto-update apps, as shown in the image below for your viewing pleasure.

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Once you select the Auto-update apps from the menu shown above, you’ll be greeted with a pop-up of three different options. Those being Do Not Auto-update apps, Auto-update apps at any time. Data charges may apply, and Auto-update apps on WiFi only. This is where you’ll choose to completely stop auto-updates. Personally I have it set just to update when I’m on a WiFi network, as I’m usually home and get faster speeds from my home internet anyways.

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If you’re really picky about updates or even notifications pestering you (since I usually have a few a day) there’s conveniently an option to disable the notifications. I’d suggest you keep that checked though, as you never know when an important update might arrive for Gmail, or any other key apps on your device.

Then last but not least, you can control individual apps. If you’d like certain apps to still receive the auto-update feature but not every app, there is an option for that too. As an example to the right we’ve navigated to the Facebook app in the Play Store. Again hitting that same dedicated menu button (or 3 dots at the top) to open the settings list you’ll see an option and check box for Auto-update. This check box will enable that particular app to still update automatically. This comes in handy for things like Facebook, Gmail, or Google Search considering they’re all constantly getting improved by updates.

Once selected these apps will update on their own without any user interaction, but you’ll still get the updated notification to know what is going on with your device and applications.

Should You Use This Feature?

This is an option that completely depends on each users needs and situation. Being able to choose between when apps are automatically updated via data or WiFi is excellent. And taking that an extra step by allowing users to disable this for most apps, but not all, makes the options rather limitless for Android users.

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If you’re like me and want to wait and read reviews to make sure a recent app update didn’t break (or remove) a feature or cause issues, disabling auto-updates is probably a good move for now. As there’s no easy way to go back to the previous version. It only takes a few seconds using the details above and you’re set.

Comments

  1. drakes says

    This has really been a great help cory. I was fed up with this automatic update option of android, most of the time I finally had to uninstall the software which was being updated automatically as I could not find the option to close the automatic update option. Finally I found the solution with this update for google market downloading apps.

  2. jay says

    does not work – something in google play (or somewhere in the depths of google system hell) reverses whatever setting you do every time.

  3. Paul Rabinov says

    I’m fine with automatic updates, but it would be nice if they could be scheduled to occur at a time I’m not using my device.

  4. Eman says

    Works for everything except google maps. I’ve disabled the play stores automatic updates, and the indicidual check box too, yet it keeps updating!

  5. b says

    Google takes FAR TOO MANY ‘Secrets’ form us and is the reason I will STOP buying Android anything. I am getting tired of fighting to keep my personal info personal. It has been a long road but I am going to stop using Android. What is better ? I don’t know YET but what I do know is corp america is stealing us all blind…
    knowlwdgew is power ,,If you don’t believe that is correct..WHAT HAVE YOU PURCHASED THAT ISN’T ADVERTISED ?!!?!?!?!?!??! THE AMERICAN CONSUMER IS STUPID

  6. Inkslug says

    No good for those of us that suffer from google play re-nabling auto updates on a frequent if irregular basis. The same thing happens with a whole host of apps most of which are google linked in some way or another. I desperately need a way to PERMANENTLY disable auto updates. To PERMANENTLY freeze/lock that setting to prevent further updates. It seems that almost every time I download an app or update one Google switches auto updates back on. almos everytime I switch the phone on same thing happens. Can anybody help? The device keeps crashing when google switches it back on & begins auto dwnloading updates & I lose whatever I’m doing at that time.

  7. chelley says

    Its not working. This coco apps still dont stop from asking to be installed. I have already set up what you said but its no use. This is somewhat annoying already i cant even watch video from google chrome and this new apps coco keeps popping and automatically goes to google play. Try to do something about that apps i dont need it

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