How to update Android apps

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Quick steps

  • Open up the Play Store
  • Press your profile icon and select 'Manage apps and device'
  • In 'Overview' select 'Update all' or 'See details' to pick which apps to update

Sometimes you'll try to open a much-used Android app and find that it needs to be updated to run. Maybe this will be an online game, or a streaming service, or just a social media platform.

In this case you'll want to update your Android apps to make sure you're on the newest version - in this guide, we'll run you through how to do that, as well as how to set this up to happen automatically.

Tools and Requirements

  • An Android phone
  • A reliable internet connection
  • Apps which need updating


  • It's worth pointing out that you'll need a reliable internet connection to update Android apps.
  • Firstly, open the Play Store on your phone - this is the app that you use to download more apps, and its icon is a blue, green, red and yellow right-facing arrow on a white background.
  • Next, to the right of the search bar, find your Google account icon and select it. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Manage apps and device.
  • The following menu has two tabs - you'll start on Overview, which is the right one. You'll be able to see here the Updates available tab (if you have updates available, of course), which will give you two options. Update all will simply queue up updates for all the apps that need updates, while See details will show you a list of these apps.
  • In See details, you can see which apps need updates, and select them to be queued individually, and also check out what the updates bring.

Want to get apps to automatically update? Here's how.

  • Follow the above steps but don't press Manage apps and device. Instead, on this drop-down menu, select Settings.
  • In the resulting menu, find Network preferences and here select Auto-update apps.
  • Now you'll get a choice of how apps auto-update - you can get them to do so over any network (including cell), just over Wi-Fi (which we'd recommend) or not auto-updating at all.

Final thoughts

Updating your Android apps can be an important task, that lets you access new features for the apps you use every day.

Not only that, but some apps, especially ones that require you to be online, make you update before you use them - so this is a really important tool for some.

We'd definitely recommend you set your Android apps to auto-update, saving you the hassle of doing it manually, but if you prefer to know everything that's going on with your mobile, maybe you'll want to enable updates yourself.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.