I had an issue with an travel now. I turned off sync on my android device and urned on data while roaming.

I expected that no sync would occur while in this setting, but suddenly the automatic marketing updates turned in and before I could turn it off it had downloaded a large number of MB's of automatic upgraded apps at a ridiculous rate.

I find it terrible hard to believe that Google has let this issue slip? Is this a known issue with Android or a bug?

3 Answers 3


I'd say that automatic updating isn't syncing, and not a bug. You can turn off auto-update in the settings for the Market.

If you don't want to use data while roaming, shut it off while roaming or turn off data roaming.

If you occasionally want to browse or something without running the risk of having anything else use data, use something like DroidWall (requires root). You could configure it to only allow the browser, for example.

  • 1
    I disagree with you here. From a users perspective, turning off sync could also mean the automatic update. From a technical perspective you are probably right.
    – grm
    Jul 7, 2011 at 21:23
  • Excellent. That is exactly what I was searching for! I would not get fussy about data use when using home network, but in roaming networks with data usage 50 cents for Mb and higher you need to limit your applications data use. A must have for traveller Nov 2, 2012 at 12:55

The Sync feature is for the accounts which are connected to your phone and not the market.

If you want to disable the auto-updating of new versions of the apps follow the following steps :

  • Open market. Click menu and select My Apps.
  • Select the app which updates itself. After the description of the app there checkbox, disable it.

If you want to disable account synchronizing follow these steps :

  • Open Settings > Accounts & Sync and uncheck the 'Background Data' and 'Auto Sync options'.

Alternatively you can just disable the packet data by going to Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile network settings, and uncheck 'Use packet data' option.

Hope this helps

  • I suppose this is one good reason for not turning on the auto-update feature. I'm very rarely data roaming, but even so, I only have a few apps set to auto-update.
    – ale
    Jul 8, 2011 at 18:37
  • Yes it allows us full control of which apps should auto update and which should not. Jul 9, 2011 at 13:00
  • Not full. Google can push or pull apps whenever they want. The prominent example is web interface to Android Market which can be used on your computer to manage apps. On the next "sync" the new applications will be pushed to your device. Google also pulled (removed without asking) applications from user's devices via Market application functionality. And installed special programs (but with permission). To date all that was for fighting malware, but nothing can prevent Google from doing whatever they want. Market application updates itself without asking and newer versions can have anything. Jul 31, 2011 at 1:07

The Android Market's automatic update of apps feature is not connected to Google Sync as nothing is actually being 'synced' but only updated.

Best thing to do is to turn off data or get an app that creates a firewall that blocks this (this will probably require root access by the way)

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