For many, using the Google Play Store is limited to searching for apps or tapping the Install button. But the Play Store includes a bunch of lesser-known features to help you optimize the experience.
Whether you’re a new Play Store user or you’re looking to get the most out of this app, here’s a list of useful tips and tricks you should definitely try out.
Use parental controls
If you have children in your home, you might want to restrict them from downloading and installing apps/games that are not meant for them.
It’s quite easy to set a filter in the Google Play Store. Go to Settings>User Controls>Turn on Parental Controls>Set the restrictions.
Once in place, your child will have to enter your PIN each time he or she tries to download something inappropriate.
Prevent other people from buying on your account
Many people share a phone with someone else in the household, including kids. So if you linked your credit card to the Play Store, chances are high they will end up making a purchase without your permission.
To prevent this, restrict app purchases by enabling authentication from the Play Store. Go to Settings>Require authentication for purchases>For all purchases through Google Play on this device.
Also, if you’re smartphone has a fingerprint scanner you can also turn on the Fingerprint authentication options under User controls.
Get a refund
If the inevitable happs, you should know you can request a refund. But you need to act fast. A Refund option should appear next to the Install and Open buttons. You can tap refund within two hours of your purchase and get your money back no questions asked.
If the 2-hour window has passed, open a browser on a computer and type in this address: https://play.google.com/store/account. Scroll down to view your order history. Find the app in question and click on the three dots on the right. Select Request a refund. Complete the form and submit it. You should get an answer within 15 minutes.
Install an app on your smartphone directly your computer
You’re browsing on your desktop and stumble upon an app that you find interesting. But you’re too lazy to go in search of your phone.
No worries, you can install the app directly from your desktop. Visit Google Play on your computer’s web browser, authenticate with your Google account, chose which device you want the app to be installed to. And click Install.
The desired app will download and install automatically on your phone. Easy, breezy!
Search apps by developer
Are you a super big Candy Crush fan? See what else King has to offer. An easy way to do so is to use pub:developer name when you’re searching for apps.
This will filter the results and only show you apps that were developed by a particular game studio.
Stop apps from updating automatically
It’s so annoying when the Google Play Store starts updating exactly the app you want to use right now. To stop this from happening, simply go to Settings>General>Auto-update-apps>Do not auto-update apps.
The Play Store also allows you to disable auto-updates selectively. Go on the app’s page in the Play Store, tap on the menu button at the top-right and uncheck Auto-update.
Update all your Android apps in bulk
Once you decide not to let your apps update automatically, you’ll need to manually do so. Fortunately, you don’t have to update each at a time.
The Google Play Store lets you update your apps in bulk. Simply tap on the hamburger menu in the left top corner (or swipe from left to right), then tap on My apps & games. From there, tap on the Update all button.