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How to Update Apps on Android: The Ultimate Guide for Android Users

According to the latest statistics, we’re using apps 90% of the time we spend on smartphones. Since we’re using them so much, we need them to run properly. Google keeps releasing new versions of Android, adding new features, and fixing problems. However, these apps need to be updated regularly, as well. That’s the only way to get the best experience and ensure we don’t fall victims to unexpected exploits and cyberattacks.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with detailed instructions on how to update apps on Android and keep your device running smoothly. In addition, we’ll explain how to use the auto-update feature for selected apps and perform manual updates if you don’t feel like waiting for your phone to do it automatically.

How to Update All Apps on Android Automatically

Let’s start with the simples and the most common option. For many users, automated updates are the first choice. Device presets usually enable automatic updates for Android automatically and ensure that all apps are kept updated at all times. Regardless of the Android device you have, you can set up  Android to automatically update apps and just forget about it. Your device will take care of it.

When you turn on a new Android device for the first time, there’s a good chance that all of this will already be set up and that automated Android app updates will be enabled. If they’re not, you can do it on your own by following a few simple steps:

  • Launch Play Store
  • Tap your Google account icon that’s in the top right corner of the screen
  • Go to “Settings” and choose “General”
  • From the dropdown menu, choose the “Auto-update apps” option
  • You can choose between two options – you can update apps only via Wi-Fi or over any network
  • Tap “Done”

Once you turn on the auto-update option, your apps will automatically update when the new version arrives or when there are code changes. When choosing the update options, you’ll see that a Wi-Fi connection is recommended for apps updates for Android. That’s because some updates are very large, and you can incur significant charges if you download them over a metered network. Wi-Fi usually doesn’t have this problem, and you can update apps whenever you want.

If you prefer to update Android apps manually, you can simply switch off the auto-update option. You need to repeat previous steps and go to the Auto-update apps. Instead of choosing some of the two options to turn on updates, you should click on the “Don’t auto-update apps” and confirm the change with “Done.”

How to Update Apps on Android – Limited Automatic Updates

If you don’t want to use the auto-update feature for all apps, you can choose automated updates for the selected apps only. This option is especially convenient if you run out of storage space. In this case, you can select the apps you use most often and turn on auto-updates for them.

The process is simple and straightforward, but first, you need to turn off auto-update apps on Android for all apps. The procedure for disabling an automated apps update for Android is already explained above. Once you choose the “Don’t auto-update apps” option, you can enable automatic app updates for selected apps by following these steps::

  • Go to Play Store
  • Type the name of the app you want in the search bar
  • Tap the “More” button in the top right corner
  • Select the “Enable auto update” option

Remember that you need to repeat this procedure for all apps that you want to be updated. This is a bit time-consuming, but if you need to save space on your phone, selecting a limited number of apps for automatic updates is a good choice.

How to Update Android Apps Manually

If you selected automated updates for all installed apps, you probably don’t need to update Android apps manually. But, in some situations, manual updates can be useful. For example, if you think that your phone didn’t install the app’s newest version, you can try installing it manually.

Also, some users prefer manual updates because that gives them more control over their apps and phone’s storage. Here’s what you need to do to update apps on Android manually:

  • Launch Google Play and go to “My apps and games”
  • The app will display available updates
  • Tap the “Update” button next to the app icon and name to install the newest version of the app

If all of your apps are already updated, you’ll see “Open” instead of “Update” next to the app. The update section also shows recent updates, what exactly the update did, and the latest security and protection checks. New smartphones have updated protection features, but you can also install additional antivirus protection for Android.

What to Check Before Updating Apps on Android

To update Android apps properly, you should check if the Android version on your device supports the app you want to update. You need to go to the phone “Settings” and choose the “About phone” section. Here, you’ll find out if your system is ready to update apps.

The next thing you should check is the internet connection. You need to make sure that it’s stable and fast enough before starting any updates. If you use a VPN, choose a reputable VPN provider with services that won’t slow down your connection.

To complete app updates on Android, you need enough free space on your phone. If your phone is loaded with too many apps, you might have to uninstall some before starting the update process. It’s usually a good idea to perform regular space management and delete the apps that you don’t use anymore.

What Can You Do If the Apps Won’t Update?

Android has a market share of 74.13% of the mobile operating system market. That’s why Google constantly works on improving its services. When it comes to updating apps, Google Play has a simple set of instructions that you can follow and avoid any problems with app updates. We listed them in this how to update apps on Android guide, but here are some tips in case Android apps just won’t update:

  • Check your internet connection
  • Clear the cache memory
  • Restart your Android device

Now you should be able to update your Android apps.

Further reading:


How do I update my Android apps from Google Play?

Updating apps on your phone is a simple and straightforward procedure, usually involving just a few taps on the screen. Whether you want to update all apps from Android at once, select the apps for automated updates, or manually update all of them, you can read our guide to find more about Android updates.

How to update apps on an Android tablet?

The process of updating apps on your tablet is identical to updating apps on your phone. However, most tablets only support Wi-Fi connectivity. If you want to update apps on your Android tablet, you can simply follow the steps outlined in this guide. Just make sure to check the internet connectivity options and pick the right procedure.

Why are my Android apps not updating?

If your apps won’t update, there might be several reasons for that. We explained them all in our how to update apps on Android guide. For example, maybe you don’t have enough space on your phone to run updates, or your internet connection is poor. Alternatively, you might have an outdated version of Android, or there’s a compatibility issue with your device.

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