Google Play Store

Take control of the installed apps on your devices

Android Central UniversityGoogle Play has made some serious usability improvements since it launched to replace the now-ancient-sounding Android Market, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still have a few tricks up its sleeves. One of the best features of the Play Store is its ability to keep track of every app you have installed, or did have installed in the past. And with the crazy number of apps available, we wouldn't blame you if you had trouble keeping track of them. The "My Apps" section of the Play Store app is the powerful portal to these app listings, and we're going to show you how to take advantage of its capabilities.

Google Play Store

Swiping in from the left edge of the main Play Store screen reveals a panel that will take you right to the My Apps section — just tap it and you'll be taken to a new screen where you can manage everything. This page is divided into two distinct areas — the "installed" section and the "all" section, with the former showing what apps are currently calling your device home, and the latter showing every app you've ever clicked the install button on on any device tied to your Google Account.

Under the Installed tab, you'll see apps bunched together into three groups — "Updates," "Recently updated' and "Up to date" from top to bottom. The groupings are pretty self-explanatory, with the Updates section showing all apps that have new content available, with recently-updated apps under that and the rest of your apps continuing to the end of the list. When updates are available, you can hit the "Update All" button in the upper-right hand corner to install all the updates, or select apps individually to update one at a time.

Google Play Store

Swiping (or tapping) over to the All tab will show all apps you've ever installed with your Google Account, regardless if they're currently (or were ever) on that device to begin with. There are two big things you can do here — remove items from this list, and batch-install apps on your current device.

Though the layout has changed a bit, the current version of the Play Store lets you hit the small "x" in the top-right corner of each app listing to remove it from the "All" tab. There's no way to multi-select and remove multiple apps, which is a downer, but you can at least get rid of some bothersome apps you have no intent of re-adding to new devices. On the other side of things, you can batch-install apps by long-pressing on one, then selecting the apps you'd like to install. Hit the "install" button in the top bar and all of the selected apps will be downloaded. This is extremely useful on new devices that you chose not to restore completely from your Google Account.

Whether you want to keep your currently-installed apps up to date, check on some app listings or install a bunch of apps on a new device, the My Apps section of the Google Play Store is the place to do it. Hopefully these quick tips have you on your way to mastering installed apps on your devices.

 

Reader comments

'My Apps': What is it, and what can you do with it?

45 Comments

I still don't know why they removed the ability to batch delete apps when they added the ability to batch install. I try quite a few apps every now and then and like to keep My Apps with those that I plan to install on another device and when doing a device reset.

Yeah no joke. It's also annoying as hell that when i do go through and delete them one by one they magically reappear again

Kinda like Google Chat got changed to Hangouts. I've hated that since the beginning. Chat is easy to use as verb and noun, but you can't say "Hey I Hangoutted you last night, where were you?"

I wish there was a way to skip an update that is know to be buggy. I read all the recent reviews and when they say that the new version of the app is broken or wonky or whatever, I wish I could tell the play store to skip that update and only when the next version is available, notify me again. I seriously have about 15 apps that are always in my update section that I would just love to skip. Am I crazy and alone in wanting a feature like this?

Or just a way to temporarily remove an app from "update" list, for this exact situation. Then you could add it back once a non-buggy version comes out. I agree, it's a big pain whenever a buggy app comes out and now you either have to manually update each of the good apps or hit update all and then quickly cancel the bad app from updating.

F-Droid has this: "Ignore This Update", "Ignore All Updates" for each app. It also tells you what your currently installed version is.

Posted via Android Central App on my HP TouchPad (Schizoid PAC-ROM 4.2.2)

the "knowledge" provided in this article is so painfully obvious that even Android beginners that read it are insulted.

I think you are very wrong about that. People coming from years of iOS to Android or never owning a smartphone at all before are trying to read a different language.

I like the way things used to be on a browser. You could look by device or all thru chrome. Shame that went away.

Posted via Android Central App

Many people own more than one Android device and upgrade their phones every 16 to 18 months, so the "All" tab of My Apps is a perfect place to go to manage apps. Unfortunately it has very limited functionality. The "All" tab of My Apps would be greatly improved with a few tweaks:

- option to filter All by paid/free
- option to filter All by installed/not installed (ie, hide the installed apps when looking at All, so you can see apps you've used before that are not currently on this device)
- bulk hide, to remove apps you no longer care about

I would be happy with just a filter for paid/free...

So you can show off to your friends about how you're so rich and you buy so many paid apps.

I kid, I kid.

Posted via my M9, X+1, N910, G906, D6653, G4, or G Pro 3

When I upgrade my devices i install almost all of my apps on my tablet, but I am more selective on what I install on my phone so I use My Apps to browse my full list and pick and choose what to re-install. Being able to zero in on the apps I paid for would just make it so much easier, as more than likely those are some of the apps I want to re-install...

They still need a option that shows just purchased apps instead of the current every single app ever installed method.

Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

On top of all these, what I'd want with these is an activity log. I have automatic updates enabled. The "recently updated" section doesn't last long enough for me to go through all of them and read the change logs. Or at least sort my apps chronologically by the time it was updated. Windows Phone 8.1 has this and it's really helpful in tracking when and what was updated.

Posted via Android Central App

I have the opposite issue.. the "recently updated" section doesn't clear itself (or have a Clear button) once I've seen it... so the next time I install updates, I see the new updated stuff and the old updated stuff all in the "recently updated" section.

Manual updates + My Apps are a great way to avoid updates you don't want. I haven't updated my phone's Facebook since the Top Stories debacle and won't until they fix it or I upgrade my phone.

Posted via Android Central App

Got my hopes up reading the title, still waiting on batch remove, then it might actually one day be worth using the "restore my apps" function on a new phone.

Posted via Android Central App

There is also a "Subscription" tab if you have purchased an in-app subscription. I noticed this when I tried the 30-Day Endomondo Premium from the Pro version. It shows up on the left of the tabs. I would show you, but I don't see how to upload a pic to the comments like in the forum section.

Wish I had known the batch install trick this week when reinstalling apps after recovering from a soft brick.

In this way it's a little easier for iOS users than first time Android users, but I'm sure that tomorrow will bring significant updates.

Posted via Android Central App

I wish I could classify the apps so that I could flag them for device type. For example, there are some apps I only want on my tablet and some I only want on my phone.

Still in need of a tab for paid apps, filter/suggest apps by device, better comment filter and advanced search options.