I have a single app (ES File Explorer) that I want to prevent from updating and I don't quite understand what is happening.

  1. Removed the app from My Apps in the Play Store
  2. Turned off my network connection
  3. Uninstalled the new version
  4. Side loaded the old version
  5. Immediately unchecked the auto update within the app (maybe about 30 sec later)
  6. Turned my network back on

If I now check My Apps, there is an update for the app waiting and if I turn auto update back on, it will update to the new version.

If the app is not listed on My Apps - All (and I rechecked) and auto update is turned off within the app, what is causing this app to update and how do I prevent it?

  • By "auto update within the app", did you mean the one on ES File Explorer? Have you also unchecked the auto-update on Play Store? (From Play Store, go to ES File Explorer's page, open the overflow menu (3-dot) on the upper right) – Andrew T. Jan 17 '17 at 14:47
  • Please see this new article 2017/02/10 10 most useless apps and games for Android. Most prominent, but specifically named in the list: ES File Explorer (along with quote-Booster apps, Anti-Virus apps, and Task Killers-unquote) – wbogacz Feb 12 '17 at 2:56
  • @wbogacz That's why they want to prevent it from updating – endolith Oct 27 '20 at 21:19
  • I've tried using Titanium Backup "Detach from Market" but it still shows up again later. Re-signing the package is supposed to work, but when I tried that, the app broke. android.gadgethacks.com/how-to/… – endolith Oct 27 '20 at 21:20

If you search the app on Play Store and open the app detail page you'll see three dots on upper-left corner (overflow menu).

Click on it. Then uncheck 'Auto-update'

Play store screenshot

Click image for larger version

  • 2
    This setting is updated along with global Play Store auto-update setting, so it's no use, it cannot be regulated individually. – Suncatcher Mar 30 '18 at 6:14

Self sign the application that you don't want to be updated. If the signatures are different then for security reasons the app will never be updated.

Check this article to know how you can perform this within your smartphone.

  • 1
    1) Get the apk of the app you want to resign 2) Resign the apk via an app e.g apk-signer (This app has an option to do steps 1 and 2 in one go by selecting sign an app - but I didn't try it since I already had the apk). 3) Uninstall the original app 4) install the newly signed app via the new apk 5) Completely close Google play store and open it again it should no longer offer to update the app at all. – Mark Mar 21 at 12:44
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    This really should be the accepted answer good job @Sparkzz – Mark Mar 21 at 12:45

Initially I unchecked auto update both within the app and in the Play Store. I still got the update. I then removed the app form MyApps, uninstalled, reinstalled the APK, quickly unchecked the auto update box. I can no longer uncheck it in the Play Store as I have removed the app from the list. I do not get an auto update but there is an update waiting for me to click on the update button. Since I removed it from the Play Store and uninstalled the app from my device and reinstalled the old APK from a flash drive, how does google know to send me an update? I am afraid that at some point I will forget and click on the update all button.

  • Play Store regularly scans all apps (by comparing the package name) on the device, including one that is installed from APK. – Andrew T. Apr 15 '20 at 9:08

Well, turning auto update off shall prevent the update. Though there is another way of doing it:

  1. Uninstall the app.
  2. Download and install the apk from any website other than playstore.
  3. Now you are good to go!

Playstore now shouldn't list your app under the installed app section. So, no more updates!

Hope it helps.

  • 1
    Afraid ~24h later Playstore picks it up again and the update will be back. Doesn't matter you've installed it from a different source, it does so even with pre-installed apps. – Izzy Jan 17 '17 at 17:04

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