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Android Automatic App Updates

Phil asks:

I get tired of the constant app update reminders on my Android phone. I know that which does not kill me is supposed to make me stronger, but this repeated annoyance only makes me angrier. Can apps be set to update automatically?

Phil, I feel your pain. However, since manually installing Android app updates is a good way to track what’s being updated, and how often, I continue to allow those pesky reminders. There’s good news for you though, since either selected individual apps–or all apps–can be set to update automatically. In addition, in order to conserve data usage, when updating all apps, there’s an option to update over Wi-Fi only.

To set up automatic updates for all apps, launch the Android Market (now Google play [1]) from the home screen and—if you haven’t done this already–after accepting yet another Google agreement…


…head over to Google play. Once there, press the menu button (displayed in Android 4.0 below), and select Settings.


In Settings, check the Auto-update apps box. Below that, is the option to Update over Wi-Fi only.


If you only want to auto-update specific apps, select My Apps from the menu and choose one from the list.



If you’re not using the automatic update feature and miss an update notification, My apps is also where you can go to check which updates are currently available. In the list above, 38 apps are up-to-date and only one (Google Play Movies), requires an update.

Once the selected app is open, check Allow automatic updating.


Thanks for the question, Phil. Now that this problem is solved, you can return to being annoyed by coworkers, politicians, and plumbing–like the rest of us.