How to Update Apps on Android

Apps on Android usually update in the background, but if there’s a problem, this doesn’t always work. Here are a few ways to update apps on Android.

Like apps on iPhone, Android apps typically update in the background, bringing you to get the latest features and bug fixes straight to your phone.

That doesn’t mean that app updates always work properly. From time to time, you may need to force through an Android app update manually. It’s a good idea to do this if an app is out of date, isn’t working properly, or you just want to access the latest features.

If you don’t think your apps are getting updates or it seems to be missing features, you can manually update apps on Android using our step-by-step instructions below.

How to Manually Update Apps on Android

Unfortunately, not every Android device is the same. This makes creating a one-size-fits-all guide for updating apps on Android a little tricky.

We’re using a OnePlus and Samsung Galaxy phone for this article, but your experience may vary on other Android devices.

To update your Android apps manually:

  1. Open the Google Play Store from your device’s home screen.Google Play Store how to update apps on Android
  2. Tap your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Manage apps & Device from the menu.how to update apps on android
  4. On the following menu, tap Updates available. You’ll also see pending updates here.how to update apps on android
  5. In the Pending downloads menu, you can see which apps require an update, as well as the pending update’s size.
  6. Tap the Update button next to the app(s) you want to update.
  7. To update them in one fell swoop, tap the Update all button.Pending downloads
  8. While an app is updating, you’ll see a circular progress bar. You can stop an individual app update by tapping the X or tapping the Cancel all button at the top.how to update apps on android

How to Enable Automatic Updates on Android

Your apps should be updated in the background by default. However, there could be phone settings that prevent it. It’s a good idea to double-check that auto-updates are enabled for your Android app.

To enable automatic app updates on Android:

  1. Launch the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap your profile icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap Settings when the menu comes up.settings android
  4. When Settings opens, expand the Network preferences section and tap Auto-update apps.network preferences
  5. Select from one of the three listed options:
    • Over Wi-Fi only: download and update apps when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
    • Over any network: download and install app updates over Wi-Fi and cellular. You may not want this if you’re on a limited data plan.
    • Don’t auto-update apps: disable automatic updates and only download and install app updates manually.how to update apps on Android
  6. Tap Done to save the changes.

How to Enable Automatic Updates on Individual Android Apps

If you’d prefer to only allow specific Android apps to auto-update, you can. You just need to make a change to your settings in the Google Play Store first.

To enable auto-update for individual apps on Android:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your phone.
  2. Tap your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select Manage apps & device from the menu that appears.how to update apps on android
  4. Tap the Manage option.
  5. Select the app you want to enable or disable auto-updates for.manage apps auto-update
  6. Tap the three-dot button in the top-right corner of the screen and check or uncheck the Enable auto update option.how to update apps on android

How to Fix Apps Not Updating on Android

If an app isn’t updating, you can try one of these potential fixes below.

Check Your Wi-Fi Settings

If you’re on Wi-Fi and an app isn’t updating, ensure your connection to the Wi-Fi network is working properly.

  1. To check your Wi-Fi settings, open Settings and check to see that Wi-Fi is enabled.wi-fi network
  2. If it still doesn’t connect, toggle off the Wi-Fi switch and toggle it back on to establish a connection.
  3. If it’s still not connecting, try a different available Wi-Fi network—just make sure you have the password.

Restart Your Android Phone

If your connection to Wi-Fi seems good to go, you might want to restart your phone. Don’t worry about the phone deleting any of your apps—Google keeps track of what you buy in the Play Store.

Each Android phone handles a restart differently. However, you’ll usually need to hold the Power button and one of the Volume buttons (either up or down). In some instances, it only takes holding the Power button down for a couple of seconds. If you’re unsure how to restart your phone, consult the device manufacturer’s support documentation.

Once you see a screen like one of the examples below, tap the Restart button, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and power it back on.

restart Android oneplus samsung galaxy

Reinstall the App

If there is a particular app that’s giving you a problem and not updating, try reinstalling it.

To reinstall an Android app:

  1. Tap and hold the app’s icon on your phone.
  2. When the pop-up menu appears, tap Uninstall.uninstall app android
  3. Tap OK when the verification message appears—it will uninstall from your phone.Verify app uninstall android

Afterward, head back to the Google Play Store and install your app again. It will install the latest version with all updates, so everything should be working again.

Updating Apps on Android

The steps above should help you to update apps on Android. You can do this manually or if you’d prefer, make sure to set your device to update Android apps automatically.

If you’re on a limited data plan, some apps (especially games) eat up a lot of data. In that case, you’ll want to make apps only update over Wi-Fi, as shown above. Just make sure that you free up Android storage space to make room for the updates.

Android has a vast number of apps to choose from, but not every app is available in the Google Play Store. If you want to install other third-party apps, you’ll need to know how to install an APK file on Android.

Leave a Comment