Can I prevent automatic update(system and app updates) downloads on Android ICS in order to reduce the bandwidth usage while using volume based internet data packages?

  • Hummm... volume based internet data packages as in using mobile data? Why not use Wifi?
    – t0mm13b
    Oct 12, 2012 at 14:27
  • Well, I want to update only when wifi connection is available. Wifi connection may not be available everywhere, so i have to use volume based data packages. Oct 12, 2012 at 14:33

3 Answers 3


You can disable Automatic updates from Google Play Store app. Head over to Settings → Auto-update apps.

You can also set it to Update over Wi-Fi only, from the same settings page

  • But, this is not preventing system/security updates (such as Jelly Bean 4.2 system update). Dec 3, 2012 at 7:04

To prevent app updates over your data plan, go to the Google Play app > Settings > Auto-update apps > Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.

To prevent system updates over your data plan, go to your phone's Settings > Connections > Data usage > select Google Play Services from the list of apps > check "Restrict background data".

By doing both of these, you will still be able to get app and system updates over wifi (when connected) and you will save a lot on your volume based internet data packages.

  • @wbogacz That's not quite true. The stuff about Google Play Services is only in this answer. It's a good addition.
    – Dan Hulme
    Oct 9, 2014 at 20:04
  • 1
    No one fully answered how to prevent "system AND app updates". This answers the question completely.
    – guttermonk
    Oct 10, 2014 at 20:01

There's two ways to deal with this:

  • Try Droidwall to block outgoing connections on 3G data, in that way, if in the vicinity of the wifi network, Droidwall will allow data over Wifi.
  • The other way is to go into Settings > More... Tap on that, Mobile Networks > uncheck Data enabled to prevent 3G data in and out.

Only caveat emptor with Droidwall, it requires rooted handset.

  • method 2 will prevent accessing internet from any apps (that are using low bandwidth, like messenger), right? Oct 12, 2012 at 14:56
  • yes that's correct - cannot have it both ways :)
    – t0mm13b
    Oct 12, 2012 at 15:08
  • you can, actually. Oct 12, 2012 at 15:25
  • my bad, completely forgot about that setting in the play store... :)
    – t0mm13b
    Oct 12, 2012 at 15:34

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