Is it possible to disable updates to Google Play and Google Play Services?

I have automatic updates switched off, but this 2 Google apps are upgrading itself without my permission, and I can only helplessly watch how the free space is decreasing to the amount, my Gmail synchronization is not working anymore (related to Does the gmail app stop syncing once the "Low on space" message appears?).

I know I should root my phone to move apps to SD completely, but I don't want to do that before the end of summer, to not risk not having mobile internet in case something goes wrong.


Device is a HTC Desire A8181, aka HTC Bravo.

1 Answer 1


The Google Play and Google Play Services, yes, they have increased in size, due to ever-evolving updates to Android. The only way you can stop this from happening is to have no Google related apps on the device.

Why do you not want to root it, in order to put apps on the SDCard?

Rooting does not interfere with the Mobile internet, and furthermore, Play store and play services, cannot be moved to SDCard anyway, so if that is what you thought of there, it will not work.

What device are you using in order to enable a better answer..?

If you were rooted, then you could remount the /system as re-writeable, and remove the app called Vending.apk and reboot, which is responsible for pushing app updates via Google Play Store.

Amendment: Cheers @Izzy for pointing out about MarketUpdater.apk also, note from the comment below, Izzy suggested "freezing" the apps, by freezing, it means to stop the service and effectively disable it, Titanium Backup can do this for you but does necessitate the need for root.

  • I'm using HTC Desire A8181. I know that theoretically rooting shouldn't break anything, but in case of PC I know practically how to boot it from CD or USB stick in case of emergency, but in case of Smartphone - no idea. I just want to wait until the end of travel season.
    – user10447
    Jul 17, 2013 at 21:14
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    @t0mm13b Just being curious: What happened to the MarketUpdater.apk? I couldn't find it on my Optimus, but remember from previous version that freezing that one disabled the Playstore app from updating. Not sure it that's still valid.
    – Izzy
    Jul 17, 2013 at 22:35
  • @Izzy :) Yes, freezing that requires a root/Titanium Backup - not that I know of a way to do it without root If you do, please do share!. good point about MarketUpdater.apk... forgot about that one. :) Yes, that as well, seems Google are being smart cookies - updating and bringing out standalone APKs found in JB out to the market...
    – t0mm13b
    Jul 17, 2013 at 23:20
  • @Izzy btw, is marketupdater that is pre-ICS is it not? .. checking... Oh, its not on JB 4.2.2... guess it got dropped in place of the Google Settings app that made its way into the app drawer when it got updated a while ago I guess
    – t0mm13b
    Jul 17, 2013 at 23:25
  • Yeah, I guess that's it. I just was unsure as I didn't find it anymore on my ICS/JB devices. So fact seems to be that's no longer there -- but whether that's due to ICS/JB or PlayServices is a different issue. Nevermind: It's no longer there, so this no longer works. But if it's because of PS, maybe there's some intent one could disable (which of course would require root)? I could not see anything obvious.
    – Izzy
    Jul 18, 2013 at 6:42

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