How to switch off app auto-updates in Google Play Store

Posted in Applications -

Auto-updates from Google's Play Store can be a quick way to fill up internal phone storage on an Android phone when you don't have much. This post looks at an issue I had with an older phone with little internal storage and how to disable auto-updates in the Play Store.

Background story

I have an Android Phone that's a couple of years old, running Android 2.2.1. It has very little internal memory so storage space is at a premium* and I don't want it to update apps that a) I don't use and b) can only be stored in the internal phone storage.

(* Yes, I have a decent sized SD card on board, but the factory installed apps won't let me move them off the phone memory onto the SD card).

The other day, I reinstalled an app that I use every day (it was misbehaving and the uninstall and reinstall seemed to fix it) and ticked the box to allow automatic updating in Google's Play Store. I thought this meant it would only automatically update this particular app, but apparently it meant that all apps would auto update.

This morning my phone decided to update all of its apps which, as you can guess, meant my phone ran out of internal storage. I don't use most of the factory installed apps and there doesn't seem to be any way to remove them, but it's possible to uninstall updates made to them to free up some space. The only catch is they'd auto update again in the future.

How to switch off app auto-updates

1. Start up Google's Play Store

2. Hit the menu button

3. Select Settings

4. Uncheck the auto-update apps option

Done!



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