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I wonder why my apps won't update by themselves.

The phone is Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Android OS and the Play store have been updated to the latest version as of March 30, 2023.

In the Google Play setting, the App download preference is 'over any network', and the 'Auto-update apps' is 'over any network'. So I expected all apps to be updated automatically, but 16 updates are pending now.

It has happened since I first bought this device, so I should have to select 'update all' manually every time.

Is there a fix for this?

Play store updates pending Play store setting

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  • Does this happen for all apps, or only the first time each app gets an update? Have you tried to clear app data of PlayStore app?
    – Robert
    Mar 30, 2023 at 7:35
  • Just in case, have you checked the "Manage" tab and confirmed that no apps had been auto-updated? As mentioned in the answer, the current Play Store update mechanism is considerably quiet/stealthy that the user may never realize it. On the other hand, modern apps got updated so quickly that the Play Store prefers not to auto-update them without proper scheduling to reserve battery usage.
    – Andrew T.
    Mar 30, 2023 at 13:55

1 Answer 1

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According to the Play Store Support page, the most you can do is enable the "Over any network" settings you've specified. Although not controllable by you, there are details on the Support page for Managed Google Play accounts (accounts that are managed through your work or school) that says app updates are queued and can take up to 48 hours to update after being added:

It can take up to 24 hours for an app update to be added to the update queue. After an app is added to the queue, it will be updated automatically the next time the device is in the maintenance window, if the network constraint is met. As a result, it can take up to 48 hours for an app to update after you set a maintenance window.

This page also specifies that the device waits until certain conditions are met:

  • The device is connected to a Wi-Fi network. (or meets the setting for network requirements)
  • The device is charging.
  • The device is idle (not actively used).
  • The app to be updated is not running in the foreground.

So if you have a managed account on your phone, it's possible your organization is setting this window to be longer. Otherwise, it could be that your phone is not being deemed "idle" by Google Play. A restart may help, as well as a look at any apps that are running frequently in the background and may be preventing the phone from appearing "idle."

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