Android apps don't update – the reasons

Updated: May 09, 2023
6 min read
Android apps don't update – the reasons
by Oleksandra Melnychuk
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Android smartphones are powerful gadgets that are easily extended with apps downloaded from Google Play. They are constantly being improved and updated, with bugs being fixed. Thus, even the simplest Instagram has undergone many changes since its appearance. But what to do if the applications do not want to update, and you are using outdated versions? Let's look at the main causes of this problem.

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Automatic update disabled

If you do not update applications in automatic mode, the first thing to do is to check the appropriate settings in the gadget and Play Market. In the first case, you need to go to "Settings – Apps – Automatic update" and allow the smartphone to check and download new versions of programs without user intervention.

Next, launch the Google app store, swipe to the right or press the menu button in the upper left corner of the screen, and select "Auto-update apps." Here we will have three options: never, always, and only through Wi-Fi. Choose the option "Always." But note that the smartphone will try to download updates even via mobile Internet, and in the absence of an appropriate tariff, you can remain without money on the account, so it is recommended to set the item "Only via Wi-Fi."

Updating via Wi-Fi only

This item derives directly from the previous one. By default, the manufacturers set the ability to update apps only through the wireless Internet, but if you want programs to be updated on any connection, then in the settings of the Play Store, put the item "Always".

Not enough memory on the smartphone

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Some applications are unable to update due to a lack of memory. The fact is that each mobile device has separate storage space for program data and user files. If you are almost out of space for applications, then you need to delete old programs or check Android for debris. You can do this with the help of special utilities, one of which is CCleaner.

If your smartphone can transfer applications to the memory card, use this function and you will free up enough space to install new programs. By the way, in the settings of the gadget, you can pre-set the place where application data are saved. Feel free to choose the memory card.

Wrong Android version

This point mainly concerns owners of older gadgets, running on Android 4.4 and below. Since version 5 of the OS, the concept of devices has changed a lot and some applications will not want to update because your Android is outdated.

There are two ways to solve this problem:

  • Buy a smartphone or tablet with newer versions of Android – the way is expensive, but you will forget about the problems with updating applications for a long time;
  • Search the manufacturer's website for firmware updates – a cost-effective solution to the problem, but will require you to have knowledge of the device's firmware, or to pay for the services of a service center.

Play Market errors

In some cases, Play Market may malfunction, affecting the performance and ability to update applications. The easiest way to solve this problem is to roll back the store from Google to its original form. This is done as follows:

  1. Go to the smartphone settings, select "Applications" and go to the "All" tab.
  2. Find Google Play in the list of applications and click on it.
  3. In the menu that appears, look for the "Delete Updates" button, click it, and wait for the procedure to complete.

After the next launch, Google Play will offer to update, and you should accept it.

If at one point you stop updating applications – do not despair; just check the settings of your smartphone and Google Play. Perhaps the whole problem is in them, and if not, then maybe you should seriously think about buying a more modern gadget. Obviously, over time there will be more and more programs with which your favorite gadget is simply incompatible.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Android problem


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I'm still having trouble updating my android after reading this article
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It's not the safest decision
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Is it safe to download APK files to update my Android apps?
Celeste Eclipse
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if your Wi-Fi is slow, it could cause issues with updates
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Sweet! This article was super helpful! 🤘
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Yes, a slow internet connection can cause issues
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Can a slow internet connection cause issues with Android app updates?

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