I've got multiple Android devices and have a plethora of apps.

I've just done a factory reset on one in order to use it for development purposes only, however there are a couple of apps that I need that I've already paid for.

If I attach my Google account to this device, by default, the device will begin downloading all of my apps.. and while this is a good feature for some, I don't want all that crap on this device.

How can I prevent my device from automatically downloading apps when I attach my play account?

  • I've often wondered about this and believed this to be the way it should work. However, when I got my Nexus 4 and connected with the same account I had used on my tablet for a while and installed many apps from Google Play, nothing was downloaded and installed automatically to my phone?!
    – MrWhite
    Apr 9, 2014 at 21:38

3 Answers 3


The best way I know (using CM11 as a reference) is to go to Settings -> Backup & Reset and removing the checkmark next to Auto Restore. It may be under another heading on different ROMS so you may need to look around for it. It is best to do this before you do the factory reset.

  • It would appear that by un-checking "Backup my data", it automatically grayed out (and therefore prevented) "Automatic Restore"... even thought the automatic restore checkbox is checked in it's grayed out state. note: this is a Nexus 4 Apr 9, 2014 at 16:46
  • But this happens not only after reset, but after delete and then create my Google account... Jun 28, 2014 at 15:12
  • When creating your account, you also can change this setting right in the beginning. If doint that, no backups should be restored.
    – Izzy
    Dec 25, 2014 at 15:54

If you've already allowed Google Backup to backup your apps, then changing settings before you do the factory reset won't make any difference.

After the factory reset, when you next start the device, it'll go through the first-time setup steps again: where it guides you through connecting to a Wi-Fi network and signing into a Google account. On the screen where you sign into your Google account, there's a checkbox there to automatically restore your apps and data onto this device (I forget the exact wording).

Uncheck the checkbox at this point, and no apps or data will be restored to your device. You'll still be able to install any paid apps you previously bought. If you later turn on Google Backup on this device, it'll start a fresh set of backup data. Once it has backed up to this fresh set, next time you factory-reset this device, the restore will be from this fresh set. (If you factory-reset again before making any changes, or before it's had a chance to back up, you'll still get the old set.)

  • But this happens not only after reset, but after delete and then create my Google account... Jun 28, 2014 at 15:12
  • 2
    What does "data" mean, like it won't restore contacts?
    – Nick T
    Jun 28, 2014 at 15:33
  • Yes, if you uncheck the checkbox, it won't restore anything. Contacts that were synced to Gmail (or some other contact syncing thing) will still sync like they used to.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jun 28, 2014 at 18:35
  • @DanHulme Is there some way to restore contacts without restoring apps (or somehow wiping out all the apps that are 'backed up' so that only contacts are restored)?
    – n00b
    Feb 4, 2016 at 3:58
  • @n00b If you have a new question, click the "Ask Question" button and ask it. If you put a question in the comments it's a good way of making sure it won't be answered, because most other people won't see it.
    – Dan Hulme
    Feb 4, 2016 at 9:03


This is the exact link to where you can go down the rabbit hole to delete google android play store restore data.

  • Thanks for the link. I hate how the 'Delete backup data' seems to be all-or-nothing though.
    – zelanix
    Jan 31, 2015 at 18:43
  • 3
    I don't see a "Delete backup data" link there. Jun 28, 2015 at 14:02

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