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How to stop automatic app updates on your Android device

Stopping All Apps from Updating

If you want to stop all apps from automatically updating themselves, follow these steps.

First, go to the Google Play store. Beside the search bar on the left you’ll see an icon which consists of three lines, one on top of the other. Touch this, and then touch the “Settings” option.

You’ll have a selection of options. Press the one that says “Auto-Update Apps” – it should be right at the top of the Settings options.

Once done, you’re presented with a selection of different options for auto-updating apps. You can either have auto-updates run as normal, disable them, or have apps auto-update only when you’re on WiFi. The latter will be especially useful for people with a fragile phone data plan but a wholesome (if not infinite) data cap on their home Internet.

Now that you’ve disabled automatic updates for all apps, how do they update? When an app wants to download an update, it now has to ask you first. You’ll know when an app wants to update when a Google Play icon appears in your notification bar. Tap this notification to see what apps want updating, and manually approve each one (or all at once).


How Do I Stop Automatic Updates on Samsung?

If you have a Samsung smartphone, the process for disabling system updates is slightly different. Here's what to do. 

The process for disabling app updates remains the same as above.

  1. On your Samsung phone, tap Settings.

  2. Tap Software update.

  3. Toggle Auto download over Wi-Fi to off.

How to Update Android OS Manually?

The latest updates carry bug fixes and security updates which are essential for the safety of your phone. If you decide to disable the “Automatic system updates”, it is advised to manually update the system regularly. The following is the procedure.

  • Open “Settings” and tap on “System” in the menu.
  • Select “System update” in the following menu.
  • The next screen will show the status of your system. It will show the current version of your Android. If it is already updated, it will display “Your system is up to date”. There is a blue button “Check for update” to check if any new update is available for your system. If an update is available, it will display, and you can update the system.
Update Android OS Manually
Update Android OS Manually

How to manually update apps in the Play Store

1. If you’ve told the Play Store not to auto-update apps, you’ll have to do it manually. To manually update an app, you must go to My apps & games in Google Play, open the navigation drawer and select it (from the 3-bar button next to the search bar).

 You can manually update one app at a time or all
You can manually update one app at a time or all at once. / © NextPit

2. You will be shown a tab view of your apps: the ones currently installed on your device and a master list of every app you’ve ever downloaded. In the Installed list, you’ll see the apps are broken up into categories: Updates, Recently updated and Up-to-date. 

3. Apps with updates available are listed at the top. You can choose to install them one at a time or all of them with the Update All button at the top. 

Do you have any other tricks for managing your app updates? Share your best tips in the comments.

Block automatic updates in macOS

Anyone administrating a Mac computer can prevent macOS updates from Apple from automatically downloading and installing to your Mac devices by disabling the option in Mac System Preferences.

  1. Tap on the Apple menu > Select System Preferences.
  2. Click on Software updates from the System Preferences.
  3. Untick the box Automatically keep my Mac up to date > Click OK.

Prevent automatic downloads using a configuration profile

Mac administrators can use a Configuration profile to block system updates from automatically downloading to their mac devices. In the com.apple.SoftwareUpdate domain set the AutomaticDownload key to False and push this configuration profile to the Mac devices on which the automatic software updates are to be blocked.

Block automatic updates in Mac using a Terminal command

The Mac terminal allows the system administrators to block automatic updates using the following command:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate AutomaticDownload -boolean FALSE 1 sudo defaults write / Library / Preferences / com . apple . SoftwareUpdate AutomaticDownload – boolean FALSE

Schedule macOS updates using MDM

For Mac devices enrolled via Apple’s Device Enrollment Program, there are options to schedule macOS updates to be only downloaded but installed manually at a later time.Schedule OS Updates policy for macOS

Schedule OS Updates policy for macOS

Disable software update notifications using MDM

On devices running macOS 10.10+, MDM restriction can be pushed to disable software update notifications on devices.Software update notification restriction

Software update notification restriction

Disable Automatic Updates for OS

  • Touch on “Developer options” to see its menu.
  • Scroll through the list and find “Automatic system updates”.
  • If it is enabled, turn it off.
  • If it is disabled, keep it intact.
Disable Automatic Updates OS
Disable Automatic Updates OS

Anytime you can toggle the setting back to enable automatic OS update again.

Related: How to disable automatic Google Chrome update in Windows 11 and macOS?

When to Update your Cell Phone’s Apps and Software

You can decide the best time to update your software. Some things to consider are data usage and convenience.

Save data – Update your apps when you’re connected to WiFi

If data use is a concern of yours, you can set your phone to only update when you’re connected to WiFi. This will ensure you don’t dip into your data plan to update your apps and software. It will also help speed up the updating process.

To only allow your phone to update when you’re connected to WiFi:

  1. Swipe down from the top edge of your screen to reveal the quick settings menu
  2. Tap the cog (also called ‘gear’) icon, which is usually in the upper right corner
  3. Tap “Software Update”
  4. Toggle “Auto download over WiFi” to On

To only allow apps to update when you are connected to WiFi:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app
  2. On the upper left side of the screen,  tap the menu icon
  3. Select “Settings”
  4. Select Auto-update apps
  5. Select “Over WiFi only”
  6. Tap “Done”

Tip: In some cases, you may need to restart your device to update an app.

Block Automatic Updates in Android

There do not seem to have an effective workaround here. Since we don’t have another choice, try this method:

    1. Go to Settings > Apps.
    2. Navigate to Manage Apps > All Apps.
    3. Find an app called Software Update, System Updates or anything similar, since different device manufacturers have named it different.
    4. To disable system update, try any of these two methods, the first one being recommended:
      • Tap Turn Off or Disable button and then OK.
      • In case this button is grayed out, tap on Force Stop > OK to turn the process off temporarily. In such case, there is a possibility that the app may turn on automatically after some time. The app will surely be turned on again after the system reboot or if you check for updates manually.

Android update

Android update
  1. Disable any update notifications by unchecking “Show Notifications” checkbox in supported devices.

Block automatic updates in Android using the Developer options

There is another setting in Android hidden deep inside the developer options, which can be toggled to disable automatic system updates.

  1. Go to Settings > About phone.
  2. Tap on Software Information > Build Number.Tap Build number to enable developer mode
    Tap Build number to enable developer mode
  3. Tap on Build Number seven times until you’re notified that the Developer mode is enabled. You may have to re-enter your device passcode if asked.
  4. Head back to the Settings, where you see the Developer options section under System > Advanced (varies according to your device model).Developer options
    Developer options
  5. Go to Developer option > Disable Automatic system updates option.Block automatic system updates
    Block automatic system updates

Postpone Android updates using MDM

Schedule OS update policy for Android allows admins to configure system update settings for Android Enterprise device owner devices. Choosing the Postpone update option helps in delaying the OS updates to up to 30 days.

Schedule OS Updates policy for Android

How to Turn Off Auto Updates for Specific Apps?

Another potential problem you might have is that you already have an auto-update setting for apps but you wish to disable it for one app specifically.

Apps such as Instagram and Chrome are often large, and it’s understandable that you want to approve it first. This is something you can do via the Play Store. Follow these steps to learn how to do it:

  1. Launch the Play Store app on your Android device.Search for the specific app in the search bar.
  2. Search for the specific app in the search bar.Once you find it, tap on the three vertical dots i
  3. Once you find it, tap on the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen.Make sure to uncheck the auto-update box from the
  4. Make sure to uncheck the auto-update box from the list of options.

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