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Even though I have set the option not to update apps on mobile connection, it still updates them and Google Play app is the number one in my mobile connection usage. How to fix it?

  • I've seen plenty of apps suck data after turning the "Restrict app background data" on for those apps. I'm beginning to wonder is this feature is actually just vaporware. Using a Moto-G. – Scott Biggs Jun 7 '16 at 3:23
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AFAIR that setting is only applied to apps installed thereafter, so you've got to disable it for each app separately in addition. I've made that back then right when the autoupdate feature was introduced, so I don't remember anymore where exactly this has to be done (Playstore app or playstore website).

Doing a little Google Search brings up e.g. this article: How to Disable Automatic App Updates on Android, which in short describes the required procedure as follows:

  1. Globally disable/enable auto-updates (applies as default to apps installed after changing this setting):
    1. Open the Google Playstore app
    2. Head to Menu→Settings
    3. Toogle the Auto-Update Apps setting to the wanted value
  2. Adjust it for apps already installed:
    1. Open the Google Playstore app
    2. Head to the list of your installed apps ("My Apps")
    3. Open each app separately, hit the Menu again, and toggle the Auto-Update checkbox
  3. Restricting Google Play to WiFi: (also see my answer here, with screenshots)
    1. From your homescreen, go to Settings→Data Usage
    2. Enable a "global limit" (can be pretty fake, e.g. "5 TB" – it just needs any value, which one doesn't matter for this case)
    3. In the list of apps below, scroll to the Google Play Store app
    4. Open its entry, scroll to the end of the page
    5. tick the checkbox to "restrict background data"

Above order (1 & 2) applies to "I want auto-updates globally, just not for certain apps". If I understood correctly, the "Auto-Update" checkbox on the apps' pages only becomes visible when auto-updates are enabled globally. So if you want to deactivate that for all apps, you might have to reverse this order:

  1. Enable auto-updates globally
  2. Disable it for each installed app separately
  3. Disable it again in the global settings (so it will automatically be applied to apps you install from now on)

Not very user-friendly, especially with many apps installed – but it at least should work.

Item #3 will stop Google Play Store from working while on mobile data. While usually, this just affects background data, Play Store will most likely refuse to work altogether, as it relies on GCM (Google Cloud Messaging), which relies on background data to receive messages.


More references:

There are many more links, not all fitting in this answer :)

  • 1
    In case someone wondering where exactly the Play Store is keeping this info for each app, I was digging around the db's and found it's inside: "/data/data/com.android.vending/databases/localappstate.db" inside table: "appstate" The field name is: "auto_update" with default value = 1, means do auto-update, and = 2, for don't. Interestingly, if you copy that db file and open it it has "com.google.android.gms" (GP Services) listed as one of the packages. But if you open that file live, it's not there. – Emil Sep 14 '17 at 19:54

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