How to update your Google Play Store app without sideloading like a savage

Oh, Google. You and your little tricks. Dunno how old this is (Update: Ah, since March or so. Cool.), but apparently there's a neat little trick to forcing your Google Play Store app to check for an update. No installing apk files from who knows where. No waiting like a peasant.

Just a couple taps of a button.

Are you ready? Here it is.

  1. Open the settings menu in the Google Play Store app.
  2. Scroll all the way down.
  3. Tap on the Build Version section.

How about that.

We presume there's a little more back-end magic to it, but whatever. We now have a "check for updates" button, and we're going to mash the hell out of it.

Props to +Phil Edge for pointing it out and for having an awesome name. And props to +Russell Holly for the act of headline savagery. And props to Google for remembering to have fun with its operating system.

108 Comments
  • Nice tip, thanks! Posted via Android Central App
  • Except it doesn't always work, and I wonder if its a rolling update like the other google apps. Because with the most recent play store release I remembered androidpolice mentioning this exact method and pressed it and DID NOT get the message Phil is showing, so I proceeded to sideload as usual.
    I'll try again next update and test.
  • Props and props.
  • Wait how long has this been there?!
  • For everyone wondering how long it's been there, since 4.6: http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/03/13/download-latest-google-play-stor...
  • Spoiler alert: It was March.
  • Gotta love people who give links for a simple question. Especially links to other, competing websites...
  • Was back with this version
    http://www.androidcentral.com/google-play-store-4616-now-rolling-out-new... Whats funny is that since that time i have been sideloading apks completely forgetting that this existed.
  • I think they put it in back in March http://www.androidcentral.com/google-play-store-4616-now-rolling-out-new...
  • I actually seen this before I read it here lol but nothing has changed. Edit: it worked...
  • now you're bringing me some value!
  • Great! Now it's your turn. ;)
  • Lol
  • Get some!!
  • not working always. today i tried that. only worked on my nexus 4, but not on nexus 7. but after a few hours, worked on nexus 7 too. the point is, all they this button was useless. but still better, than just waiting... :)
  • *all day
  • Just updated. Went from version 4.6.17 to version 4.8.20. Nice tip!
  • Very easy...awesome Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 5 or LG G2
  • Now if it where this easy for the other Google apps.
  • Cool. Had to restart the app to see the change in version number
  • Works, Love it.
  • Can we please have this option for Android itself? Just tap the build # and BAM!
  • YES PLEASE
  • Works on Nexus 7 and Galaxy S5
  • Ugh, I need to hurry up and get another Android device. I'm starting to go through withdrawals, lol. Hopefully, some more 4G tablets are released soon.
  • Why do you "need" another one? Isn't one enough?
  • No, multiple devices is how I multitask on android ;) Posted via Android Central App
  • Niceeeee Posted via Android Central App
  • This is insulting to savages.
  • +Stick
  • I hate to burst people's bubbles but you're still subjected to Google's stage rollouts. You may mash the hell out of that Build Version section and you'll keep seeing that Google Play is up to date until Google decides you're deserving of the update.
  • I Agree, that's what I keep getting too. I have a LG G2,
  • I get "A new version of Google Play Store will be downloaded and installed" I hit Ok but nothing happens. Weird.
  • After hitting OK, you need to exit the Play Store and restart it.
  • I exited and restarted my Play Store, still on 4.6.17, do I need to force close it in settings?
  • Exit and leave it 5 minutes. Then restart - give it a chance! -------------------------------------------------------
    Shared from my HTC One
  • Yeah, I'm too impatient, I checked it now after waiting from my comment 30 minutes ago and it's 4.8.20. :-)
  • My note3 got the update but my tab pro 8.4 did not (as of last night) I haven't tried yet today.
  • same not sure what's going on here
  • I have been doing this since 4.8 came out but it has never worked for me.
  • Like a savage or a pleasant? I think Jerry is rubbing off on Phil. I like it :-) Posted via Android Central App
  • It worked, but in the background, without showing any progress or notification after the fact. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's how Play Store updates are designed to download. Just tap the build number, close the Play Store, wait a few minutes and then load it back up.
  • This is awesome Posted via Android Central App
  • Worked on my Galaxy Mega.
  • Huh...pushing the button...waiting...waiting...waiting...nothing is happening here...
  • Same.
  • Sweet! Worked like a charm.
  • So, is 4.8.20 the current version, as of 6/4/2014?
  • Doesn't work for me. It says it's gonna download a new version, but then it just sits there doing nothing.
  • Mine was already updated. It's apparent that I'm better than all of you Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3
  • That is sooooooo coooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Phil
  • Instructions not clear, phone is bricked.
  • lol
  • Ok I tried it and exited then waited 4 hours then went back in tried it two more times then didn't exit because I was going to force close then I get my Antivirus scanning Google play store so I went back in and saw it was updated. I don't know what's new about it though. Posted via Android Central App
  • This is why I love android. Thanks for the tip.
  • Mine auto updated. 4.8.20 is the last one, right? Cause it says it is updated :O
  • Yeah, my Nexus devices already have 4.8.20... what is the purpose of the update button??
  • That's right, you have the latest version.
  • Did it. Updated from 4.6 to 4.8. Now, what does that do for me?
  • Now if only there was a way to do that with a OTA update short of flashing the OTA manually.
  • Unfortunately they took the ability to use emojis in the reviews. So no more using thumbs down pics for sucky apps and vice versa. Like they went backwards with that stuff Posted via Ash William's Boomstick
  • It might have been a situation where some people got a little "carried away" with the feature, so they took it out to keep the reviews looking professional. Giving user's too much "do whatever you want" power can be dangerous. MySpace, anyone?
  • This has been present since last version but it has never worked. I've tried it on 3 different devices, (nexus 7 2012 and 2013 + sgsIII) and it hasn't worked on any. I've sideloaded on the n7 2013 and the s3 but not on the n7 2012 just to see how long it actually can take and it still hasn't updated and doing this force update trick still says up to date. Last google play store has been out 3 weeks. Googles update schedule is really random. Posted via Android Central App
  • Sideloading like a savage is freakin' funny. Posted via Android Central App
  • I tried mirror apks but glitches, thanks. Posted via Android Central App
  • You should add that people need to restart their devices to complete the process.
  • I didn't have to restart the device. Just closed the Play Store and relaunched it a few minutes later.
  • Woah. that was absurdly easy... "slaps my own head and drinks milk"
  • Thanks for the tip. When I checked my moto X was already on that version 4.8.20.
  • Not working on my AT&T One X
  • Great tip.
  • Thanks for the tip... good to know things like this. Posted via Android Central App
  • This is so funny. I'm still laughing...Without sideloading like a savage...No waiting like a peasant. Great.
  • Works, have to restart the device after exiting the store. Good looking out AC.
  • This isn't working for me. I have a Verizon Galaxy S3 UPDATE: It finally worked!
  • Even this doesn't work, I been using this method even for the version before this was released which was like 2 weeks ago and never got it. You still have to wait till the stage effin rollouts reaches you. Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)
  • Thank you Posted via Android Central App
  • What's all the fuzz about? Go to settings in Google Play. Check for updates. Update if there are any updates. End of story. Absolutely no news here.
  • that we know we cant entre play store and login is also problem give solution
  • Has anyone got the update that was released today?
  • for me it still says that its up-to-date !!!!!
  • Thanks, couldn't be easier.
  • I got a notification saying I need to update google play
    But it keeps saying its up to date
  • If you guys need the apk file, I got mine here. http://www.youmobile.org/blogs/entry/Google-Play-Store-Update-v5-0-32-wi...
  • Dear All, I am using Samsung Galaxy pocket, and by mistaken I have deleted all apk files and even Google play store too. Now it shows me a Play Shop instead of play store. I am not able to update the same. It shows me build version of 3.4.7. Kindly guide me for the same.
  • Hi Mayur,
    There is nothing to worry... You can still download the latest version of Google Play Store and install it manually. You can check this blog - http://justclickin.com/install-google-play-store-manually/ with details on downloading and installing it.
    Do let me know if you have any query about the same.
    Good Luck
  • i cant enter in play store its ask login when i login ,it shows there is a problem in google server try later , itryed but not
  • Mine doesn't do this! My Play Store is on version 5.3 on my Nexus 6 and for a long time, I thought that was the latest build. Now we're apparently on build 5.4.11 and I still haven't gotten the latest version, even after doing this "trick" :(
  • I know this 'trick' since last year (that tapping on the build number does anything) but it never worked… It always says that the Play Store is up to date. I think it's useless…
    EDIT: apparently I didn't notice that this article itself is one year old… SORRY :D (but in 5.3 it still doesn't seem to work…)
  • It's a nice feature; but, of questionable utility. My experience with my phone company is that I can not update until I receive notification from it; and, that as such, I will be total that the version I have is up to date even though I know that it is not. My previous smart phone (Samsung Note) had a Ginger Bread build. The current version was Jelly Bean. I checked more than once to update and was told that I had the current version, even though the current version. Apparently current version is not necessarily the same as latest version. I could not update until my cell phone company advised that it was time to do so. From what I've read, my phone company is not atypical.
  • Duh! But I really did not know that. Tnx Phil.
    I recently down loaded an APK with the latest update and the app was VERY slow, I suspect it's because I'm still on Android 5.02.
    I reloaded the Play store and needed to confirm if it was the latest version.
  • My problem is that whe I click the build version nothing happens :'( help me please
  • Can't update Google play store
  • About my apps can't update
  • About my app can't use
  • please helm me guys i cant download any app from my google play store, and i did a blunder i unstall my google play store up date , now how can i recover it and please inform me how can i resolve this downloading problem . i will be thank full to you.
  • please helm me guys i cant download any app from my google play store, and i did a blunder i unstall my google play store up date , now how can i recover it and please inform me how can i resolve this downloading problem . i will be thank full to you
  • My version is 5.7.10. It must be auto-updating b/c I didn't do it.
  • My Play Store version is 5.7.10 as of July 30th, 2015. It must be auto-updating itself because I'm not.
  • I accidentally deleted my google playstore...
    What should i do??
  • Well all I was going to say was just go ahead and cry hahaha there's no fixing i you are totally ****** hahaja...
  • The only problem is, google play crashes force close
  • Help me to fix my Google
  • My play store is not allowing me to update so there for i cannot get in
  • I'm unable to update my play store
  • Hello. This doesn't work for me.
    Clicking on the build number tells me mine is up to date,
    But when I try to do anything that requires Google Play Store it tells me I can't because Play Store is outdated... Should we all get iPhones instead?
  • I have a Maxwest Nitro 5 android phone. I can't access the playstore. I keep getting an error that says "Can't communicate with Google servers." How can I fix this please? And Thank-You.