I'm in the process of moving to a new Google account. Most of the free apps I have, I've already uninstalled and re-installed. However, the purchased apps I'll have to take little by little, because I have some expensive ones, and my budget isn't big enough to do them all at once.

So basically if I log out of the old account, or even delete it, what will happen to the non-free apps? Will they continue to function as long as I do not uninstall them, or will they stop working altogether? I'm assuming I won't receive any updates until I re-purchase them with the new account, I'm fine with that.

I'm eager to delete the old account, but some of the more expensive apps are important to me, so I need to make an educated decision on how to proceed. I'm doing this because I recently changed my surname, and the old Google account is the last remnant of my old name.

  • 3
    Even if something goes wrong after removing the account, you can always add it back and all should be good
    – aBochur
    Dec 27, 2017 at 5:27
  • @Abochur Thanks. I'm aware of that. And I just did a test with one of the low-low price apps, and as it turned out I had to remove the account from the phone to be able to re-purchase it with the new account, and the re-add the old account to keep the not-yet-transferred apps working. It may be that this is the case with free apps as well, so I may actually have to redo all the uninstall/reinstall I'd already done. What a hassle. Anyway, what I actually mean by delete was to delete the account completely, i.e. not just from my phone, but from the servers as well. And that'll have to wait.
    – user207189
    Dec 27, 2017 at 5:50
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    I realised that moving the free apps isn't as simple as deinstalling and reinstalling with the new account set as default. It seems Google Play reinstalls using the account from which the app was previously installed if that account exists on the phone. I found a workaround though. Log in to play.google.com with the new accounts and trigger installation from there. This also has the advantage that it works without first deinstalling, and the apps don't have their settings reset. I'm hoping this will work equally smoothly with paid apps, once I start re-purchasing them.
    – user207189
    Dec 27, 2017 at 8:35
  • You could try lucky patcher if you are using it for legitimate purposes since you did actually pay for the apps. Do you have a phone with root? Dec 27, 2017 at 14:27
  • @LateralTerminal Yes, I'm rooted. However, I don't really want to remove license verification. Ideally I'd like to transfer it to my new account, and as beeshyams suggested, some devs might be willing to help with that. Failing that, I'd rather re-purchase than tamper with the apks. And don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of the technical implications, I just don't want to. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    – user207189
    Dec 27, 2017 at 14:38

1 Answer 1

  • When you sign out of the account from which you purchased apps , they will stop working as licencing checks are carried out in the background. Thanks to Izzy who pointed out in comments that this valid only for apps having vending.CHECK_LICENSE active and running. Apparently , all purchased apps don't have this permission running

  • I have not personally tried this but you may like to give it a shot. Set up a family account . Instructions here. I don't know if you need different billing address / payment method

  • Another alternative is to add the new Google account to your phone and only use that for mail, Calendar etc. In this case the apps would continue to work but not be updated as explained in Google help

  • Thanks. Unfortunately family libraries don't seem to be available in Sweden. I'll just keep the old account around until I've had the chance to re-purchase all the ones I can't live without.
    – user207189
    Dec 27, 2017 at 5:03
  • @beeshyams your first bullet point isn't always valid. Only for those apps requiring the vending.CHECK_LICENSE permission and using it. I've got a bunch of apps I've bought, and they work fine on my devices even without a Google account altogether. Unfortunately I also have one with that permission and checking daily – which is the only reason I still have one device with GApps …
    – Izzy
    Dec 27, 2017 at 9:38
  • @Izzy What happened if I remove that permission in .XML file of that APK?
    – user248200
    Jan 4, 2018 at 6:34
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    @Biswa I'm not a dev, but I can make a good guess: the app would crash when trying to invoke the corresponding function – as it can no longer access that API (lacking permission) and is not expecting that; if it was expecting failure, it probably would do a "clean exit" remarking it cannot check its license. Depends on the dev; some might allow for a few days without check. Apart from that, if you modify the APK the signature will be "broken", so you couldn't install updates anymore (without modifying them, too).
    – Izzy
    Jan 4, 2018 at 9:17

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