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Google Play Store Isn’t Auto-Updating Apps? Try These Fixes

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Updating your device is essential for keeping it safe from malware and threats. Every update comes with new features and fixes most of the existing bugs. By keeping the settings for auto-updating apps enabled, every app should be updated automatically each time an update kicks in.

Some apps fail to update despite auto-update settings being enabled. To fix this issue, you could go into the Google Play Store and manually update them, but that would be time-consuming.

Let's take a look at a few of the possible fixes you can try to restore Google Play Store auto-updating apps.

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1. Check Your Internet Connection

Lack of a strong Wi-Fi connection could be the first cause of the Google Play Store not auto-updating your apps. Turn your Wi-Fi on and off to be sure there is no connectivity issue.

After confirming that the internet isn’t the culprit, check the Play Store's in-app settings. When you set your network preference for auto-updates to only Wi-Fi, the Play Store can only update when a Wi-Fi connection is available, not any other network connection.

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Here's how you can check and change your network preferences for auto-updating apps.

  1. Tap on the account icon in the top right corner of the Google Play store.
  2. From the menu, go to Settings.
  3. Navigate to Network Preferences > Auto-update apps.
  4. To allow the Play Store to update whenever a new update is available, select Over any network.
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If this option is already enabled, turn it off, wait a moment, then turn it back on. It gives the settings a fresh start that may fix the problem. If you subscribe to a limited capped data plan, Over any network isn't preferred.

2. Check the Date and Time

It is equally important to make sure your phone's date and time is correct. Should it be incorrect, let alone auto-update, even the Google Play Store itself may not open.

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Incorrect date and time settings make it difficult for Google's servers to sync with your device. If you don't want your Play Store to act up again in the future, change the settings to automatic.

  1. Go to your phone’s settings.
  2. Go to Additional settings > Date & time.
  3. If the time is incorrect, reset it.
  4. Afterwards, turn on the toggle for Network-provided time.
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RELATED: How to Write and Edit Reviews on the Google Play Store

3. Clear the Cache

The Play Store stores cached data to notify you of new updates, load pages faster, and streamline processing. However, it can also do the opposite.

Cached data keeps piling up and adversely affects Play Store performance when not cleared. If the Play Store isn't notifying you about updates or updating the apps despite your auto-update settings being on, simply clear the cache once.

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  1. Navigate to your phone's settings.
  2. Go to App management > App list. (Your Android may have a different name for these options.)
  3. Tap on Google Play Store from the list of apps.
  4. Then click on Storage Usage.
  5. Tap on Clear cache and Clear data.

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4. Uninstall and Re-Install Google Play Store Updates

The Play Store is an integral part of your Android operating system, so uninstalling it isn’t possible. You can still uninstall its updates, however.

If you have not had success with the above fixes, uninstall Play Store updates. Then you can reinstall updates that may help fix the problem right away.

  1. Navigate to your phone's settings.
  2. Go to App management > App list.
  3. Tap on Google Play Store from the list of apps.
  4. Tap on the vertical dots icon at the top right corner.
  5. Uninstall updates by tapping Uninstall updates.
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As a result, the Google Play Store will be reset to its factory settings but it'll also erase all users' information.

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5. Clear Some Storage Space in Your Phone

While every update requires a solid internet connection, it also takes up some space on your phone. Consequently, if your phone doesn't have enough storage space, the Play Store may not auto-update your apps.

Your phone will notify you when your storage space is low, but you can also check it manually.

  1. Go to Settings on your device.
  2. Tap on Additional settings after scrolling down.
  3. Click on Storage.
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You can check the free space available here and delete a few files if it's too low. To free up some space, delete old photos that you don't plan to use, and offload apps you rarely use.

Again, the menu options on your phone may look different. You can also do this with a file manager like Files by Google.

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6. Sign Out and Sign-In to the Play Store

Your Google account may restrict the Play Store from auto-updating apps. Try removing the Google account once to see if the problem goes away. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Navigate to your phone's settings.
  2. Go to Users and accounts.
  3. Tap on Google to see a list of all the accounts you've used on your mobile device.
  4. Select the account you're currently using.
  5. Tap on the vertical dots and then Remove account.

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Restart your device after removing your account and then re-add it. If the problem persists, try another account. If changing the account doesn't work, move on to the next fix.

7. Turn Off Battery Optimization

If you enable battery optimization on your Android device, it will consume power more efficiently, allowing it to operate longer. However, power-saving also limits background activity, which is necessary for services like the Google Play Store to update apps.

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To disable battery optimization (power saving mode), follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your phone's settings.
  2. Navigate to the Battery settings.
  3. If it's on, tap on Power saving mode and turn it off.
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In addition to turning off the power saving mode, you should also turn on the background activity for the Play Store.

  1. In the battery settings, tap on App battery management.
  2. Go to the Google Play Store's settings.
  3. Turn on the Allow background activity toggle if it is already off.

8. Check for Android Updates

Every new update fixes known issues and improves your system’s stability. The Play Store may not update your apps if your phone does not have the most recent Android version.

Navigate to your phone’s Settings > Software update. Download the new update if it’s available. It’ll automatically be installed on your phone if there is enough storage available.

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9. Factory Reset Your Phone

If none of the above fixes has worked, it's time to factory reset your phone. It will wipe your device clean and restore it to factory settings.

This is a tedious process and wipes out all data from the device. However, it gives your phone a fresh start, which may not only solve the auto-updating app problem but also all other issues you might be facing.

RELATED: How to Factory Reset Your Android Phone

Help Google Play Store Auto-Update Apps

You may find the listed fixes helpful, but they may not solve the issue at all. In such a case, you should have your device checked by a technician.

If you have recently moved or plan to move to another country, change the default country in the Play Store. Even if not, you can change it as the last attempt and the Play Store may start updating the apps.

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