Whenever I need to install a bunch of updates, I find myself sitting next to the phone/tablet and tapping the screen every 20 seconds, else the updates never complete.

There must be a better way! Right?

What I've got:

  • Sony Xperia Arc S, with 4.0 - pretty sure the updates stop when the screen goes out.
  • ASUS Transformer Pad, with 4.1 - will have to re-check whether the updates stop now that you guys mention they are expected to carry on.

How I'm connecting: Wi-Fi.

  • 2
    You mean the updates stop when the screen goes off? Dec 10, 2012 at 11:40
  • 1
    What phone have you got, what OS version is running on it, and how are you connecting to the internet at the time (wifi, 3G, etc)? That's not how it should work, the updates should carry on downloading and installing regardless of whether the screen is on or off.
    – GAThrawn
    Dec 10, 2012 at 12:01
  • 3
    Just increase the screen out time. In ICS, it's settings>display>sleep. Maximum is 30 mins. Hopefully updating will be done before then
    – Sid
    Dec 10, 2012 at 12:41
  • @romkyns How are you connecting to the internet when you're updating, if wifi we have a lot of previous questions about wifi disconnecting when the screen goes off, that could be the problem that you're having? See How do I keep my wi-fi on in sleep mode
    – GAThrawn
    Dec 10, 2012 at 17:49
  • The fix that I found satisfactory in the end was to set the sleep timer to 10 minutes, as suggested by @Sid. I'm the type of person who likes to manually turn off my phone anyways, since otherwise random things get activated in the pocket.
    – RomanSt
    Jul 31, 2014 at 23:27

4 Answers 4


There an app developed to deal with that issue, Smart Timeout Keep Screen On by guidology available from Google Play Store:

Smart Timeout allows you to specify apps that will keep the screen / display on. Once there are no specified apps visible on the screen the normal screen timeout is enabled.
Works great while reading articles in web browsers, email, or any app you specify. You'll no longer need to worry about touching the screen to prevent the screen from sleeping, dimming or timing out.

Printscreen 01 Printscreen 02

Ain't free, costs 0,76€, but "saves" you from the described annoying situation :)


Though I don't know about any "official way" (did I miss some option in the playstore app?), I can think of a work-around using Tasker (or a similar automation app). As a long-term Tasker user, I can best describe it for this app, which is the most feature-filled and complete automation solution for Android (but for sure not the cheapest and easiest one). You might be able to adapt that to a different tool.

Tasker combines "conditions" with "tasks" to so-called "profiles" -- so let's create a profile "AppUpdates":

Condition: App (select the playstore or whatever market app you use)
Task: Display (disable timeout)

That should do it: As long as one of the selected apps (you can select multiple entries there) is running in the foreground, the display will be kept alive -- and thus the device from going to sleep. Mission accomplished.


If you are connected to wifi, then it may be set to turn off when the screen is turned off.

You can use the video linked below to explain how to do it, in essense:

  1. Go to the System Settings
  2. Select WiFi
  3. Press the menu key
  4. Select advanced
  5. Change Wi-Fi sleep policy to 'Always'


  • 1
    You mean to "Always", I think, looking at how it's phrased. Mine was set to "Never".
    – RomanSt
    Dec 10, 2012 at 18:58
  • Yes, that is what I meant. Thanks :) If it was set to never, that would most likely be the cause if you used WiFi :)
    – Liam W
    Dec 10, 2012 at 19:48
  • Hm. That doesn't work for me. I have "always" but it still stops downloading updates :-(
    – zerkms
    Mar 6, 2013 at 8:06
  • For the record, this didn't work for me either, not really sure why.
    – RomanSt
    Jul 31, 2014 at 23:25

I saw this issue on my Moto X. I also had the WiFi sleep policy to always and the download would freeze once the phone went to standby.

I found that if I put the Play Store in the background, it will continue to download and install.

  • Wow, so simple. This is counterintuitive and I would have never thought to try it. Thank you! Works on Galaxy Nexus (Verizon) w/ CyanogenMod 11.2 (Android 4.4.4). Aug 22, 2014 at 22:17
  • It works on a galaxy S4, android 5.0.1. Thanks!
    – Thomas
    Apr 18, 2017 at 20:54

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