Apps on your Android routinely receive updates pushed by the apps’ developers to improve their functionalities. They often bring stability and performance improvements as well as security updates. By default, Android apps will update themselves automatically, but many users don’t know they can exert a level of control regarding when and how this process unfolds. To that end, this article looks at how to update your apps on Android automatically to gain that control.
How to Update Apps on Android Automatically
With apps automatically updating, you won’t have to waste time checking to see whether a new version of a certain app is available. This option should be on by default, but if you want to check to be sure your Android apps update automatically, these steps show how to do so.
1. Open the Play Store app on your Android device.
2. Locate the search bar on top and tap on your profile icon on the right.
3. Select Settings.
4. Click on “Network Preferences.”
5. Go to “Auto-update apps” and select one of the three options available. Our recommendation is to choose “Over Wi-Fi only” so that the apps update only when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. Alternatively, you can opt for “Over any network,” but keep in mind that data charges may apply in this case. If you’re traveling, we suggest you abstain from updating over any network to avoid overcharging your bill.
The third option is “Don’t auto-update apps.” Select this if you’re looking to update your apps manually.
How to Update Apps on Android Manually
Updating your apps manually is the better way to go about things for several reasons. First off, you get to choose when and where you update your apps. Secondly, you may not feel the need to perform the updates all at once, so you can just go ahead and update the one app you need to use at that time.
To learn how to update your Android apps manually, follow the steps outlined above, then select the “Don’t auto-update apps” option. Next, check which apps need updating.
1. In the Google Play Store app, tap on your profile picture again.
2. Select “Manage apps and device.”
3. Tap on the “Updates available” option to see details regarding the apps.
4. From here you can update each app manually by pressing the Update button.
5. Alternatively, you can use the “Update all” button and update all apps in one go. Depending on how many apps you have pending, this may take a while, so buckle up.
Alternatively, you can check whether a new update is available for a specific app by visiting its dedicated page in the Play Store. Simply use the search bar to look for that app and go to its page. If you see the green “Update” button, it means an update is available for the app. You can hit the button to update the app on the spot.
If you want to make sure only a particular app gets auto updated, simply tap the three dots in the upper-right corner of the display on the app page and select the “Enable auto update” option.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What do I do if my installed apps are not showing in the Play Store?
If you can’t see your installed apps, the first thing to try is restarting your phone. Alternatively, you may not have realized that Google has changed their locations. Previously, you could have accessed your apps by tapping on the three-bar icon in the Play Store. If it’s not there, tap on the profile icon at the top-right corner of the Play Store. Go to “Manage apps & devices.” From there you can switch between an “Overview” and “Manage.”
Alternatively, the issue may be caused by a bug with the Play Store. To fix it, you should try and update the Play Store. This can be done in the app by going to “Settings -> About.” Scroll down and tap on the Play Store version once. If an update is available, the Play Store will start the process on its own.
2. Can I uninstall updates for Google Play Store?
Yes, you can. While with a malfunctioning app you’d normally just uninstall by long-pressing on it before reinstalling it, with the Play Store things are a bit different, since this is a system app on your Android device. Follow the steps here to uninstall and reinstall the Google Play Store.
3. How do I fix issues like “Error checking for updates” or “Download pending in Play Store”?
If you’re getting an error like these, you may need to clear the cache and storage from the Play Store. On Android you can do so by opening “Settings -> App & notifications -> Storage & Cache -> Google Play Store -> Storage & cache -> Clear cache and storage.” You can get up to speed with additional fixes in our previous article dealing with similar issues plaguing the Play Store.
Updating your apps is one way to fix Android apps not working properly on your device. If you’re dealing with similar issues, read what other solutions you have at your disposal. Alternatively, learn how you can install apps on Android without the Google Play Store.