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How to turn off automatic system updates on Android

turn off automatic system updates android

There are days when all Android enthusiasts eagerly await major system updates, looking forward to a new set of features or better performance. And, as the polar opposite, there are days when we avoid updates like a plague because of the known bugs and nerve-wracking issues. No paying customer likes to be a beta tester unwillingly. Luckily, you can turn off automatic system updates on Android and wait until the storm passes.

How to stop the system update on Android

You can usually stop system updates on Android by pausing updates in Settings > Software update, disabling the auto-download option under the same settings, or disabling auto-updates in Developer options. Learn the details below.

1. Pause downloaded updates

If your device is already in the process of downloading updates, you can pause the download. It won’t start until you manually resume it. You’ll get that annoying permanent notification but that’s the only option if the download already started. You can even hide the notification by tweaking notification settings.

Of course, we’re referring here to standard OTA (over-the-air) updates provided directly by OEM. If you use Odin/ADB/Custom recoveries to force firmware updates or meddle with the bootloader or something like that, well, then you probably know what are you doing and these instructions are not intended for you.

Go to Settings > Software Update (or System > Software Update) > Download and pause the download.

2. Disable the auto-download option

To turn off system updates on your Android, you can disable the Auto-download option. Updates are usually downloaded automatically on Wi-Fi but you can disable this option in Software Update settings.

Once you disable this setting, you don’t need to worry about OTA updates downloading in the background. However, don’t neglect updates completely. Security patches and feature updates are important so install them manually when others confirm that the latest release is not bug-ridden.

This is handy if you know about a certain update that’s plagued with major bugs and you want to skip it until the OEM provides a less worrisome update. Or if you don’t want to waste a limited data cap.

Here’s how to disable the auto-download option for system updates on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Software Update. On some devices, open System > Advanced > Software update.
  3. Disable the “Auto download over Wi-Fi” option.turn off automatic system updates android

On the other hand, if you want to disable system updates completely, you’ll need to enable Developer settings first.

3. Disable auto-updates in Developer options

Developer options offer a lot of hidden settings. Some of them are useful to regular users, although the majority are intended for Android app developers. In this case, we’re looking to turn off Automatic system updates on your Android. What you want to do is disable this option. By doing so, you’ll prevent OEM from forcing updates on your device after a restart.

Here’s how to enable Developer options and disable Automatic system updates:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select About phone.
  3. Look for the build number. If you don’t see it, open Software information.
  4. Tap on the build number 7 times to enable the Developer options. If the system requires your PIN (or password or pattern), enter it.
  5. After that, get back to Settings. You should see Developer options at the bottom of the main settings menu. If it’s not there, open System > Advanced > Developer options.
  6. Look for Automatic system updates or “Auto update system“.
  7. Disable this option.turn off automatic system updates android

You can also set your Wi-Fi network as metered (as a network with a limited data cap) in Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > your network.

And that’s it. All 3 (or rather 4) actions should turn off automatic system updates on Android. Again, avoiding updates long-term kind of neglects the value of software support. Even if your Android works perfectly in its current state, security updates are important. You can check for updates manually in Settings > Software update or Settings > System > Software update.

That’s it. Don’t forget to tell us if these instructions were helpful in the comments section below. We always look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for reading.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in February 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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