How to Permanently Stop an Android App from Updating

Srivishnu Ramakrishnan

There are many apps on Google Play Store but some apps are nice and also love to use them but because after getting a faulty update it gets slower, ads, and lags. Some changes range from including adware bundled or simply saying the app turns into a malware. For example – QuickPic, an app that was once praised for being a lightweight app with a brilliant UI, was bought by Cheetah Mobile and slowly started to include advertisements for other applications.

We can stop the automatic updating of an app by simply going into Google Play Store settings but sometimes by mistake we click on the update section and the app is updated. We can revert back to its previous update by downloading the apk file of the previous version and installing it. Can’t we stop the updating of app permanently? The answer is yes we can do it by using the keytool application of Android Studio and stop the updating of an app permanently. Follow the steps to do so.

Steps to Permanently Stop an Android App From Updating

Step 1. Find the keytool application in the Android studio folder. On my PC its in  C:Program FilesAndroidAndroid Studiojrebin and open command window as an administrator in this folder.

Step 2. Now we will make use of keytool to generate a keystore for re-signing your APK. just type the following command in the command prompt

keytool -genkey -v -keystore C:my-release-key.keystore -alias alias_name -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000

Replace the names of “my-release-key” and “alias_name” with the names of your choice. A window will be prompted to enter a username and password fill those and follow the next step.

Step 3. Now copy the application you want to sign and paste it to the folder which you found keytool. (Do not close the command prompt yet)

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Step 4. Open the apk with any zip viewer as an archive (apps like 7zip). Now you see “META-INF” folder delete that folder. After deleting the folder copy the APK to the folder containing jarsigner too if you want for ease of use.

Step 5. To re-sign your apk, type the command as

jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore C:my-release-key.keystore my_application.apk alias_name

Replace the names “my-release-key”, “my_application” and “alias_name” with the details of your own application. You will be asked for the keystore password. Enter the password and you will see the file has been signed.

Step 6. Once, the above process is done copy the apk file to your device and install it. To check if the work is done or not go to Google Play Store and open the app and you will be able to see that the Google Play Store is not detecting the update.

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Stopped updating app 01 • How to Permanently Stop an Android App from Updating
There is no update option.

Congratulations! You have successfully stopped the updating of the app.

You all might be wondering:

What does the META-INF contain? META-INF contains the key signing files.

What is Jasrsigner? Jarsigner is used to re-sign your APK.

Android has a developed a security system in the form of APK signatures which means that applications on your device will have a special key held only by the developer in order for it to accept an update to the same app. This means if somebody modifies your APK and attempts to trick users into thinking it is a new update, a simple key verification can show this is not a legitimate update and then Android actually blocks the update entirely. This is a security feature we have modified to use it for our benefits.

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