How to Update Apps on Android

What to Know

  • Open the Play Store, and then tap your profile image to update apps manually or set up automatic updates.
  • Manual updates: Manage apps & device > See details, then Update all, or Update to pick and choose.
  • Automatic: Settings > Network preferences > Auto-update apps, then Over any network or Over Wi-Fi only.

This article explains how to update all your Android apps in one tap and also how to update just one app at a time. It also covers how to set up automatic app updates to avoid these directions in the future. These steps apply specifically to Android 13, but older Android versions work similarly.



How to Update Apps on Android

You can update all Android apps at once or manually install each update on a per-app basis. Either way, head to the Play Store to do it.


  1. Open the Play Store, and tap your profile image at the top right.


  2. Choose Manage apps & device.


  3. Tap See details to view pending downloads.

    If you instead see a link that says See recent updates, then the Play Store thinks everything is up-to-date. You can trigger a manual check by selecting All apps up to date (not pictured here), followed by Check for updates.

  4. Tap Update all to update all your Android app at once, or choose Update next to any app to update just that one.

    After triggering an update, you’ll see a status message for each app, changing from Pending to Installing, before disappearing entirely from the list.

How to Set Up Automatic Android App Updates

If you like for your apps to always be fresh with the latest updates, you can set up your phone to automatically install app updates as they become available. You can do this globally, for all your apps, or individually for specific apps.


Auto-Update All Apps

The Play Store settings has an option to turn on automatic app updates.


  1. From the Play Store, tap your profile image at the top right to open the menu.


  2. Choose Settings.


  3. Tap Network preference.


  4. Select Auto-update apps.


  5. Pick one of the update options: Over any network or Over Wi-Fi only.


  6. Tap DONE to save.


Auto-Update Specific Apps Only

The Play Store includes an automatic update option for every single app, so you can pick which ones you want to always keep updated automatically, while other apps can still be updated manually.


To do this, open the app’s page in Play Store (just search for the app to find it). To confirm you’re at the right screen, you should see a button called Uninstall and another called Open or Play. From there, tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner, and then select Enable auto update, followed by Turn on.



Updating Apps Not Installed Through Play Store

If you download your apps through the Play Store (most people do), then there’s also where you go to update those apps. However, Android also supports installing apps from outside the official app store (via an APK file), so updating those apps is a little different.


The best way to update an app installed via an APK file is to first delete the app and then install the updated APK file. Since you can get APK files anywhere, there isn’t a single download center we can recommend. For example, if a developer is having you test an app, download the updated version from them.


There are, however, third-party app stores that are similar to Play Store—APKPure, F-Droid, and Aptoide are a few examples. Those apps have a built-in updater for downloading and installing new versions of the apps you installed in those stores.


Some of those unofficial app stores even let you “update” an app to an older version. If a freshly updated app has too many unresolved bugs, or it removed features you liked in an earlier version, that’s how you can downgrade the app.



FAQ

  • How do I delete pre-installed apps on Android?

    Go to Settings > General > Apps and Notifications > select app name > Uninstall. Some apps can’t be uninstalled but, instead, disabled. We go into more detail in our How to Delete Pre-Installed Apps on Android article.

  • How do I delete other apps on Android?

    Typically you’ll swipe up from the home screen > tap and hold the app > Uninstall > OK. You can also delete apps from inside the Settings app. We’ll show you how to do that in our How to Delete Apps on an Android Phone article.


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