Android Won't Update Apps: Possible Fixes

As great as Android is, there are sometimes moments when something doesn’t work the way it should.

One of such moments is when Android won’t update apps even when you want it to.

You probably know that one of the most important security measures is to keep your Android  device and its apps always up to date.

In this short tutorial I will show you what to do if  Android doesn’t update apps on your device. Let’s start!

Why You Should Make Sure Android Always Updates Apps

Keeping your device and apps installed up to date is extremely important. Android apps and Android OS regularly receive updates to fix bugs and any vulnerabilities.

If you update your device, you ensure it has at least the basic level of protection against malicious software. Remember that your device contains probably the biggest amount of your personal information (and data) and updating it should be your top priority.

Let’s move now to the possible reasons why Android won’t update apps and how to fix this problem.

Android Won’t Update Apps: Reasons & Possible Fixes

Below there are four most common scenarios why Android won’t update apps on your device.

You don’t have auto-update apps enabled

Trivially, one of the most common reasons why Android doesn’t update apps is that the auto-update apps feature is disabled!

Here is what you need to do to make sure it’s enabled and working properly:

  • Open Play Store on your Android device and go to its settings.
  • Under General you will see the option called Auto-update apps. Click on it and choose to either update it at any time or only over Wi-Fi.

TIP: If you have an unlimited data plan (which more and more people have), you should choose the option to update apps at any time. This way you ensure that apps will be updated once any update is available for them (not only when you connect to a Wi-Fi network).

You don’t have the Internet connection.

You won’t believe how many people became mad with their phone  that  they cannot download something only to learn that they don’t have the Internet connection.

If any apps or feature that requires the Internet connection doesn’t work properly, the first thing you should do is check if your device is really online.  Here is how you do it:

Make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network

  • Access quick settings and notifications in your device (in most devices you have to swipe down from the top of the screen).
  • Make sure that you have Wi-Fi turned on.
Here Wi-Fi is turned on and it’s scanning. It’s not connected to any network yet.
  • If you use only Wi-Fi, make sure that you are really connected to some Wi-Fi network. Only turning this feature on doesn’t mean you are connected to the Internet. If you are connected to the network, you will usually also see its name displayed in quick settings and the Wi-Fi icon in the top bar.
Here you can see that my device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
The Wi-Fi icon shows you that you are online.
  • To make sure you are really connected, go to Wi-Fi settings and check if you are connected to one of the networks.

Make sure your mobile data is turned on and working properly

  • Access quick settings and notifications in your device (in most devices you have to swipe down from the top of the screen).
  • Make sure that mobile data is active (depending on the phone it may be white, green, red or any, practically, color).
Here you can see that mobile data is turned on.
  • Make sure that your mobile data is working properly. If it is, you should see either H or LTE near the signal strength icon in the top bar.
LTE shows that my device is online.

If you don’t see any such icon, you probably don’t have this set up properly, so you should contact your network carrier to send you the configuration message for the Internet connection.

Make sure your auto-update apps configuration matches how you are connected to the Internet

You probably remember that you have two different options of auto-updating apps (either only via Wi-Fi or over both Wi-Fi and mobile data).

Make sure that you aren’t trying to update apps over mobile network when you set it to auto-update only over Wi-Fi.

You are already up to date

One of the reasons why Android won’t update apps is that they are all already up to date.

To check if you apps are really out to date:

  • Open Play Store and click on the four stripes in the search bar to access settings.Click on My apps & games.

You will now see the list of all the apps installed on your device. If some of them are out of date, you will see the option of updating them as well as the option of Update all. If all of the apps are up to date, you will only see the list of Recently updated. If that’s the case, you are good!

Your phone simply needs a restart.

If your Android device is always turned on and you never turn it off (like I do), it may sometimes go wild. If some feature or app isn’t behaving properly, the first piece of advice is always to restart your phone.

To restart your phone, simply hold the power button for a few seconds and when a menu pops up choose Restart.

If it doesn’t solve the problem (and it usually does), then you should look for other fixes.

Did I manage to help you? Do you have any questions or other problems? Feel free to leave me your comments in the comment box below!


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