Google Play password

Money doesn't grow on trees. Take a few steps to password protect your Google Play purchases.

When it comes to things that cost real money, people tend to become a little more cautious. Nobody wants their child or kid brother accidentally buying a bunch of apps or in-app purchases from Google Play while they are supposed to be playing Angry Birds, and it's easy enough to do with just a few taps -- unless you've password protected your Google Play app.

With the password enabled, every time you try to spend money in Google Play, whether it be buying an app or book, renting a movie, or adding coins to your favorite game you'll need to enter your Google credentials to finalize the purchase. It's a great option, and one I suggest everyone enable. Luckily, it's easy to enable. Follow past the break to see how.

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Google Play password  Google Play password

Open the Google Play app on your phone or tablet, and go to the Settings menu by pressing the overflow button (those three dots in the upper right) or tapping the menu button if your phone has one. In the settings, scroll down about three-quarters of the page and you'll see a line item that says "Use password to restrict purchases",  with a checkbox to the right.

You can probably guess what to do next -- check the box. You'll be presented with a pop up asking you to confirm your password. You Google account password goes in that field, the same one you use for Gmail and when you first set up your phone. Once you press the OK button, you'll have password protection enabled.

You'll use that same Google account password each time you try to buy something on Google Play, so there is no worry that pesky "accidental" purchases can happen. For security reasons, you'll also need to enter the password to change the setting -- nobody can disable it unless they know your account login.

There is a lot of great content on Google Play, and plenty of it is well worth spending a dollar or two on. Do it the safe way and protect yourself.

There are 26 comments

coraphise says:

I'm glad that option is there, but is that going to trigger the password prompt each time you want to "buy" a book, song or game that's free also?

Nope, just paid content.

coraphise says:

Good, thanks for confirming that. :)

bmg1001 says:

Money doesn't grow on trees!? Money comes from paper, paper comes from trees. Technically, it grows on trees.

blackbyrd says:

Technically, U.S. bills are made of cotton, not wood pulp, so no, money does NOT grow on trees.

godsgeek says:

Cotton grows on bushes, therefore money grows on bushes. Much easier to pick, then.

ConTejas says:

Tell that to...

Nope, too soon?!

en28so says:

I know who thinks money grows on trees : welfare baby makers!

dbareis says:

Its definitely a good idea to enable but its annoying that they removed the PIN option which was much easier. My phone is password protected to not just anyone will get that far and if they did they wouldn't want to buy anything as me.

NoreenD says:

I also used the former method of PIN number locking preference to keep unauthorized paid app purchases from occurring. I liked it that way. I was surprised when it asked me for my gmail account password. After successful transactions without any problems, I'd come to realize that this was now the normal procedure, instead.

Either way, I'm glad that we have security with password lock protection.

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NoreenD says:

You know what, I'd just come to realize something...There doesn't seem to be a password lock protection setting in the Google app ONE Today. It allows you to pay & finalize without a password! (I've just tried it...)

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NoreenD says:

And that's why it's also important to use Screen lock security, right from the start!

Alright, I've said enough...

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ChromeJob says:

It caught me off-guard, too. But the Apple app store does this, so I didn't notice much. (I have an iPod, not iPhone. ;-)) I preferred the PIN though.....

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l00natic71 says:

That option has been enabled by default for me. I found it buying music and the app asked for my password. Not everyone got it enabled by default?

neu smurph says:

I don't understand why they removed the protect purchase with a PIN option a few Play Store updates ago. Password protected purchases is a massive pain in the butt when your Gmail password is long, random and changed frequently.

Unibrow says:

The problem with pin was that you could clear app data and have at it with purchasing things, not really that secure. What would be nice is if there was no pin it fell back on having to put a password in.

Unfortunately, it's still easy to circumvent this all. Just uninstall the play app and it will forget about the password prompt. Even after it upgrades itself.

Devlyn16 says:

Question: If you enable password protection on one device will it automatically enable it on all other devices? I'd check myself but my son is on my Nexus 10 and I'd hate to disturb his gaming experience ;)

BobJones19 says:

Yeah I screen lock all my device and have App purchases require password, it is wise that everyone does this, especially if the device gets lost/stolen

This is something that should have been managed on the Play store as opposed to the device.

ChromeJob says:

You and Andrew seem to be neck and neck for really helpful, five minute reads. Race on!

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ChromeJob says:

Afterthought : now if they would just fix the big that auto-adds home screen widgets even if you disable that option. :-(

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qbngator says:

Useless feature, since you don't need a password or pin to turn off the password requirement for purchases.

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NiuginiNexus says:

The Play Store is protected all right but my young daughter still managed to inadvertently do an in-app purchase in Talking Tom. A my additional settings to prevent this in the future?

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Russ Groves says:

it doesnt actually work, i still have the problem that apple users complained about, if i buy an app then, my daughter for instance can still immediately spend bet part of £40 on purchases

Yuni Asnidar says:

i forgot my password, how can i fix it? i really couldn't remember that thing. please