How to Check for App Updates on Android

Android is arguably one of the most flexible operating systems for smartphones and other mobile devices. It gives users the freedom of tweaking several settings and customization features. However, because of the sheer flexibility Android offers, some simple tasks such as updating apps can be a complicated and tedious task. The level of difficulty even increases depending on the device and carrier you are using.

Update key

Also, with constant updates from Android, these tasks even become more confusing and challenging. You may be well versed in doing tasks such as checking for app updates for this particular Android Version, but as soon as the new Android updates start rolling out, the steps may significantly be different.

Thankfully, recent versions of Android allow users to check for updates for their application conveniently. In this article, we will teach you how to check for app updates on Android. The process significantly improved in terms of ease and convenience. Moreover, the task has become quicker to accomplish without having to deal with complicated procedures. So without further ado, let’s get into the steps.

How to Check for App Updates

The first thing you need to do is to open the settings menu by clicking on the gear icon, which is usually placed on the top right portion of the notification drawer. You can also look for it on the app drawer. The location might vary from one device to another, but the gear icon remains the same for most Android devices, be it a smartphone, tablet, or hybrid mobile devices.

Once already in the settings menu, navigate through the, and look for the System Settings which is usually located on the bottom portion of the Settings Menu. With this, tap on  “System Updates.”  In here, you will see if there are recent updates for installed apps on your phone. There should be an option that says, “Check For Updates.” Once you click on it, a window will pop up and reveal the applications that need an update. Click on the apps that you want to update, and the system will proceed to the process.

It is worth noting that some manufacturers approach the process differently. Samsung particularly has a different way of checking for updates for applications. If you own a Samsung mobile device, you can follow these instructions.

You need first to open the settings menu of your Samsung device. Once there, navigate through the list and look for the download updates to monitor the applications that needed an update.

The “Check for Updates” feature on Android devices is a way for the operating system to determine that the user has mediated the action. Whenever you are tapping on the function, the system automatically notifies the user that an update is available and that a newer version of the application is up for grabs. Before the realization of this feature, impatient users tend to resort for the update of applications in the background. But because of this new Android update, this background updating is no longer necessary.

How to Update Applications

Now that you are already made aware of how to check for updates of applications, it is high time for us to discuss the process of updating these applications.

1. Updating Manually

To update apps manually, you need to be connected first to the internet, via WIFI or mobile data. However, most apps prefer to update via WIFI as it is more stable. Also, the update entails a large amount of data which is easily accessed via WIFI compared to mobile data.

Go to Play Store and tap on the Menu icon, which is usually indicated by the three horizontal bars. After doing this, tap on “My Apps.”  You will then be prompted to a window that reveals all the apps installed on your device. It also shows applications that have available new versions. With this, you need to click on the “Update” button to start the process. You can update all the apps, or you can also choose which apps you want to update. Update all the applications by tapping on “Update All.”

Accept the terms for the update and then finish the process. After the update is finished, you can now use the new and updated version of the applications. You can also monitor the progress of the update.

2. Updating via Notification Bar

You can also conveniently update apps via the notification bar. To do this, you first need to connect to the WIFI network. After connecting to the internet, swipe the finger down from the top of the screen to access the notification bar. There, you can see a rectangle that has an arrow inside. This icon is used to indicate that there are applications that need to be updated. After this, you need to tap on the apps that need to be updated. You will then be prompted to Play Store to finish the updating process.

You can manually choose which apps you want to update, or you can also tap on “Update All” to update all the applications that require it. Approve the terms as mentioned above and then proceed with the updating process.

3. Update Apps Automatically

The last method is the most convenient one. You can automatically update apps whenever it becomes available. To do this, you need to first open Play Store. There, you should navigate through the menu and then look for the settings that display All Apps.

There, you can select which apps you want to be updated automatically. Click on “Auto-Update,” this then triggers the system to update the app whenever it reaches over the air automatically. Through this, you need not go through the Settings Menu and go through every application and trigger the update process to commence. This is a more convenient and straightforward way of updating the apps.


So there you have it, those are the steps on how to check for updates for applications on Android. Also, we also have laid out the steps you need to do to proceed with the update for the applications. These steps aren’t rocketed science, and for sure, anyone, regardless of whether they have the technical skills, can accomplish the task.