How to disable individual Android apps from receiving automatic updates (no root required!)


Having all of your apps updated to the latest version is usually recommended as developers strive to provide a more pleasing and issue-free experience to users, but sometimes, just sometimes, there's some incentive to not update a certain app.

Maybe it's new versions bring features that actually couldn't care less, maybe the app no longer works with your device any more, or maybe it breaks your whole Substratum setup. Few, but important reasons that could easily hold you off from updating your apps.

But how do you disable app updates for a specific app only? A layman would normally struggle with the numerous settings and totally disable the Play Store's auto-update feature from fear of receiving that dreaded update for a certain app. That's only making things worse though, as regular apps go together in the pot with the app that should't get updated.

Of course, there's a built-in native way to prevent a certain app from getting updated but it's a bit hidden away from plain sight and could easily evade your grasp. We will show you ho to do just that.

Step #1


Open up the app's Play Store page. In this guide, I will be meddling with Spotify's otherwise-impeccable app updates by disabling them. No beef, Spotify, it's just business.


Step #2


Now disabling app updates is super-easy and can be done from this screen alone. Can you guess where? Of course, as most things Android, the most important options are tucked away beneath the three-dot menu in the top right corner. 


Step #3


Simply untick the default state of automatically updating the app and you're good to go. It will never update on its own again on this device without your permission. It will only do so if you choose to update it manually.

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9 Comments

1. 36thDisciple

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 21, 2014

MIND. BLOWN.

4. Lois13

Posts: 61; Member since: Nov 20, 2015

No root required!

2. AronWunarso

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

WOAH. THANKS PHONEARENA, THAT'S REALLY HELPFUL

3. lyndon420

Posts: 6723; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

This isn't common knowledge by now?? Geez...I've been doing this for almost a year already...all my apps need to be updated lol

5. wesley.

Posts: 209; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I did that with the Google app, uninstalled updates and installed the phone's default Google app, because I prefer Google Now to Google Assistant. The long press home button and select any text on screen function is gold. Then two months ago, Google overrided my settings preference and updated to Google Assistant :( If that is not evil, what is?

6. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

This is a good suggestion if you only want to disable one app. But I would suggest that disabling all auto updates provides some additional benefits if you can get in the habit of visiting the Play Store (Play Store - hamburger menu - My Apps and Games) daily. First, it shows you what apps will be updated. Second, you can click in each app to see (in most cases) whether the update is introducing new features or is just a bug fix. Third, you can close apps that you have open before running the update. Fourth, you can open each app after the update to reenter any information that's required after the update and to review/dismiss any help screens about what the update does (generally only for updates with new features).

7. k9luvr

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 17, 2016

Best advice. If you have an app that you really depend on and it works well, NEVER update it. Google apps are the exception. Doubt me? Just read the reviews on the play store.

8. lyndon420

Posts: 6723; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Agreed. I see no need for updates unless something is acting up or if the old version is no longer supported.

9. rsiders

Posts: 1934; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I actually just never paid attention to the three down menu in this particular area so this was indeed helpful.

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