How to turn off auto updates for apps and games on Android

How to turn off auto updates for apps and games on Android
Please note: this is a tutorial for inexperienced users (beginners).

Whether you have a ton of apps on your Android device, or just a small number, you might want to choose for yourself when to update them, instead of letting automatic updates do their job. Of course, disabling auto updates is an easy thing to do. But those who are new to Android may not immediately know where to begin. With the ever-growing number of Android activations, lots and lots of new users are embracing Google’s OS each day, so there are always rookies among us.

So, how do you turn off automatic updates? Well, you won’t be able to do it from your device’s settings, but via the pre-installed Google Play Store app. After you open the app, access the Play Store menu from the upper-left corner (this also works if you swipe to the right from the extreme left side of your screen). Your next stop is the Settings tab, where you’ll find an Auto-update apps option. Click it, and a pop-up window will be launched, letting you select three sub-options, with the first obviously being the one that needs to be checked: Do not auto-update apps; Auto-update apps at any time (data charges may apply); and Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only. 

And that's it! You can always come back to change the way your apps are being updated.

P.S.: our short tutorial was made on stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat, but things should be roughly the same even if you have an older (or skinned) version of Android.


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13 Comments

1. gazmatic

Posts: 807; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

Why would you want to turn off automatic updates? To save data? Just let it update on Wi-Fi only. That's what I do with my Lumia.

5. hurrycanger

Posts: 1759; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

I don't really know the point, but I disable auto-update. Once in a while I come in and pick apps to update, or I just go... update all. Again, I don't really know the point. I just like it that way, lol.

9. register unregistered

To save battery too. And sometimes updates are worse than previous versions.

12. petersteier

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 02, 2014

Because many "updates" just break the programs. One has to wait for a few days and read the recent comments in play store before updating a critical app.

2. YourNickname

Posts: 127; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Sometimes updates are worse than the previous version.(google chrome going to crappy Material Design for example, requiring an extra tap to hit refresh hurr durr hairdressers affecting technology, it's designnn hurrr) So, if you like how an app is performing, and especially if its important that it stays performing the way it does,(such as a child tracker, or lock fob) or maybe your device is soon to be unsupported, you might want to keep the apps the way the way they are. Problem is you have to manually update everything else.

4. wilsong17 unregistered

Agree I now find chrome a little bit useless but thank to android I can go back

13. petersteier

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 02, 2014

How you can go back? There is no such feature in teh Play Store. Is your phone rooted and you use Titanium backup? Do you get the old apks from inofficial sites?

3. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

If I am not mistaken, turning off auto-updating at the Play store level turns off auto-updating for ALL Play store apps. I am interested in being able to turn off auto-update for selected apps. Any way to do this without rooting the device?

8. StanleyG88

Posts: 240; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Yes, like the bloatware that my service provider insisted that I have on my phone taking up valuable storage space and that eats up valuable time and data space for upgrades to apps that I never asked for, have never opened, and never will open.

11. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Don't forget the bloatware that others have commissioned as well. Amazon comes to mind in this regard.

6. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

I love reading changelogs. :D

7. LuckyS

Posts: 154; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

PA, I am a little puzzled why this tutorial, shouldn't those things be obvious? And why would someone turn off auto updates? There is a reason (in most cases) why an app gets update. Secondly, beside what you wrote, there is a way to turn off update for individual apps, just by going to that app and pressing menu, auto update option for that app will show up.

10. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Well not everybody has unlimited data access.

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