Windows Phone Store Apps Automatically Updated

Do you automatically update your apps on Windows Phone 8.1?

Cortana and the new Notification center seem to steal the headlines when it comes to new features in Windows Phone 8.1. However, there are so many small and subtle changes throughout the update that make it a delight to use. One of those changes is the ability for apps to automatically update in the background. Do you use it?

There are numerous improvements made to the Windows Phone Store in Windows Phone 8.1. We love them all from design changes to the layout to reinstalling apps & games to changelog support and more. Though it’s the ability to automatically update apps that will make consumers and developers swoon.

When you upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1 you’ll see that the Windows Phone Store is automatically set to update apps automatically and to do so over Wi-Fi. Gone are the days where you walk into a retail store to see a poor Windows Phone device on demo with dozens and dozens of apps that aren’t updated.

How to automatically update your apps on Windows Phone 8.1

Automatically Update Apps

Having your apps update automatically is really easy. Just make sure the a few toggles are switched on and your phone will automatically update apps for you. Head to Settings > Applications > Store > App updates and you’ll either switch on (or off) ‘update apps automatically’ and ‘only get updates over’. Again, by default this should be how your phone is set up with Windows Phone 8.1. Follow those steps and deselect the options if you don’t want apps automatically updated.

Do you update apps automatically on Windows Phone 8.1?

Apps by default are set to automatically update in the background, which is really a good thing for most consumers. However, we bet there’s a handful of you out there who’ve disabled this feature. Why? Maybe you like to control when an app is updated. Maybe you read about an app update on Windows Phone Central that breaks certain functionality and you’d rather keep the old version until a fix is implement. Whatever the reason, we want to know why you do or don’t have apps automatically updating. Take our poll below and head to the comments to voice your opinion!

Reading this in our mobile apps? Then you’ll want to head to Internet Explorer to see the poll and participate. Here’s the mobile version: 


Reader comments

Do you automatically update your apps on Windows Phone 8.1?



I like to check daily for app updates and then sit at the downloads page to see what pops up and starts to download. From there I will read the change log of each app. :) love WP

I agree.  Nothing worse than a new 'feature' that you don't want or not knowing something updated and finally delivers something you've been waiting for.

Same here, basically for 3 reasons-
1) *Sometimes* updates make it worse so its better to read reviews before updating apps and wait until such issues are fixed
2) I need to have a control over my data usage and save them when on mobile data (Data sense doesn't seem to satisfy me in the way I want).
3) WP8.1 came up with a lot of battery drain-ers already, I mean from Cortana to other background services. Yes they can be disabled and enabled as per the user's choice but I don't want to add to the pain anyway

I think I've seen the same post here before. Is it a repetition? Anyway, auto app updates have taken over my life.

I prefer auto however I wish there were a few changes on the way this works. First I should be able to say check and install on every sunday @ midnight or once a month. This will help on battery and you can still manually check and install. Even better wait for reviews after update and only update if newest 10 reviews average to 3,4,or 5 stars. Because I allready had an update on a few apps wp (cough) central (cough) app that was not stable. Last but not least set up manually update to an individual app so that it never updates unless you manualy do it. Why? example youtube app I had the one that could download videos and forgot about it and now it's gone :-( after update.

Thanks for the heads up, I think I'll just enable auto update and do a random history check. Awesome!

It also tells you in the notification center when apps have updated! If not for this, I probably would do it manually.

I updated them all the time typically, so the automated way has been great, however I wish there was a way I could make exceptions. Like in the app list, if I could hold down and then have one of the options be to manually update.

Yes, I automatically update, but when I get the notification I go into the Store and check the changelog to see what's new. Sometimes when you guys post about an update, I also go into the Store and manually check for updates.

I used to think the same thing.  But the last WPCentral update just ruined the tile experience.  It doesn't update.  It doesn't maintain the article photo.  Now it is a hit or miss if it even shows the number of unread articles.  I wish I could go back to the previous version.  :/

EDIT:  I am still using 8.0.  :)   I used to just let the updates sit in the que for a couple of weeks just to read feedback.  I think I need to go back to that train of thought.

Same. Not sure if its just WPCentral keeping me closer in the loop than the auto-update, but it feels like I always have to kick-start the updates manually anyway.

I think automatic updates are one of my favorite features of 8.1. It's not an issue to see what updated because I have store notifications on.

I like that we have the option now but I still prefer to update mine on my own. Although I do use the "check for updates" constantly now lol. Definitely a great feature all in all.

I have it set to automatic, but I never get any updates, even when I know there is an update. So I still have to go into the settings and manually check for updates

For the most part, No. Updates usually never show up till after 4PM and I would only find out earlier about an update from you guys. Manual Update check is great.

On most of my phones yes, apps automatically get updated. My Lumia 1520 is the device I use to review and check most apps out, that device I update apps manually. This way I can compare old versions of apps with new versions if the dev left out a changelog.

I like to read changelogs and nothing like the thrill of your live tile counter shot up after a manual check. :D
Plus the WPCentral guys like you are a semi automatic update in themselves. So there's that.

If you don't read the change logs, how will you know about cool feature X that was just implemented?

I also get a sort of orgasmic pleasure from applying updates. "Yes! 6 updates today! I'm gonna download you so hard when I get WiFi".

Similarly, I have manual update for one of my windows PCs (apps and windows update), but for the other 4 I leave it automated- updates are only fun the first time.

First, auto update can be set to only use WiFi to download. Second, you can still check the change logs. Auto update notifies you when apps have been updated. You just go into the store and see the history. Couldn't be any easier.

Absolutely. However, I'd be less likely to do it w/o the notification center.  That's a nice warm and fuzzy.

I actually like the best of both worlds. I leave my phone to automatically update, but I like to keep an eye out for new updates and get them manually, especially if I hear about a great new feature.

I do automatically, and its great. But I do not like the store at all and I'm not inclined to go there to browse. It just doesn't feel good to the eyes.

I do automatic. I love to know what's being updated and why via manual, but with the action/notification center in 8.1, it alerts me when an app has been updated, and I can tap on the notification to take me to the store to see what the changes are, so it works out well. 

No. I prefer to manually update because I actually like to read the changelogs. Which is why it annoys me a bit when developers don't include one.

Not really.. I luv the feature though.. Especially since we can check for updates in the store settings

Yes. That's one feature I was expecting to use though sometimes I have to manually update my apps. I also have notifications for the store turned on so I get notified when my apps are updated.

I've reluctantly turned it on. I usually try to keep tabs on the changelog, if a developer posts it. Since the updates are sorted chronologically, I try to read up on what changed after the update happened. Android apps on the other hand, are hard to check up on because it is not sorted chronologically.

Well i want to know what is new on the updated app and which one is updated before downloading it, so one time a day i go tap on the "check for updates" in the setting store, i do the same on windows 8.... In fact i do this since windows xp

While the option to automatically update is wonderful, my personal preference is to do it manually because I like reading up on the changes in an app.

I was really sad the day Betamax died.

Did you hear Atari is back in business now all the lost game carts have been recovered!!

Yes I do do automatic updates but doesn't work all the time. Just like today. Had fb update but it didn't detect. Did it manually.

Just did a manual update right now and got two of them: Handyscan and wpc. Why doesn't auto update work?

I keep it off, and I don't plan on turning it on anytime soon. Ever since Microsoft had to gimp their YouTube app, I'm always concerned features would be removed or ads would be inserted into the app. I still have the old YouTube app that Microsoft made, never updated it, and I find myself showing it to new WP converts to prove that the current app wasn't always like that.

A big no on auto-updates for me. I prefer to see if the updates are causing problems or remove/change/add features that I may not like. I'm perfectly happy checking manually and deciding if the update is better/worse for me to install.

Yes and I enjoy not having to manage them anymore. Also before the live tile would stop working any I wouldn't be any to update unless going directly to the app.

No I like to see what is getting updated and I know I could just use the history and maybe down the line I will let it do it automatically 

This is one of the best feature of Windows phone 8.1 for me. As I was tired of updating every app manually.

I'm already headlong into wp8.1 as a beta, might as well throw the oar in the lake and go for auto updates. The only thing that I've modified extensively is what apps are allowed to use battery in the background. I think I've found my sweet spot on my L1520 concerning the battery drainage. I've gotten it to go a full work day and then some.

No way. If you play Xbox games on your phone it is stupid to have auto update. All to often updates either mess up achievements or ruin the game to screw gamers. Examples...tetris blitz updates reset the achievement progress for the mindless 50 hour grindfest achievement. Asphalt 7 update made two achievements unobtainable. Throne together update made the game way more annoyingly freemium to extract money from gamers to be dicks

I prefer to do it manually so I know an app was updated. If a notification was put into the notification center and told me an app was updated like Android, I would have it do it automatically.

I prefer to update it manually , as we can come to know about the changelogs from it and get an fair idea to update or not , similarly manual check for updates is very good as we can check for updates whenever required

Hope that the next update for Windows makes it more like Windows Phone. I like the auto update but have a hard time telling what was updated on Windows. On WP I like how you can after what was updated.

the thing is, when things get updated automatically, notifications still come up daily in your action center/ toast notifications if u allow them. and once u tap that u'll go to your download history section and you still can see what's updated.. also, i put only dl with wifi so i dont lose much data when a big update happens.. 

Yes, I love the new automatic app updating and the notifications that tell me what has been updated...Beats manual updating.. Why miss out on new updates that you aren't even aware of?...It's a no brainer!

Yes I do. And its rare that you tell me of an update before it has been done. Very convenient and helpful.

I prefer manually. It's my morning ritual to check for updates. I like seeing if there's a surprise.

Only manually. I'm addicted to look for new versions of my installed apps and see the change log. I want to know what changes to my system. I wrote it before, I'm addicted to that habbit!

There is so much more information now in the update process. I would say it is a combination, as I have also searched for updates and applied them. I love that the All apps list shows newly updated or installed items. As well, clicking on the app in the list gets you reviews, overview and can take you directly to the installed app. Before, after an update, I sometimes forgot and had to search for something in the apps list, games hub or in the store.

I prefer manual. Sometimes an app has an update that completely ruins the functionality, or kills my battery, or some other unwanted feature.

I typically wait a few days to read reviews, or wait until you guys make a post about it.

I like to read changelogs and nothing like the thrill of your live tile counter shot up after a manual check. :D
Plus the WPCentral guys are a semi automatic update in themselves. So there's that.

I don't. I want to see what is updated and the changelog. I check for updates every day though and install all of them.

I like being on the cutting edge so... Yeah automatic updates FTW!!!
I mean I know that being on the cutting edge is dangerous cause it can be buggy and stuff. But still, I'm using WP 8.1 so worth being on the cutting edge ;)

Yep! I dont worry about bandwidth due to my grandfathered unlimited data (thanks at&t). I just check my history to see what has been updated.

I like manual better. I like the old version of eBay better, it was perfect for me and I like the dark background

No. I like seeing the list and reading the change logs when they are provided. How ever I do have my sons and roommates set to auto update.

I like auto update. However, when I get the notification that my apps have been updated, I want to check the changelog, if the devs actually put one...

NO. I like to know what's been updated. Although I would to have to the option to update or decline update.

I would prefer to have the option that it automatically checks for updates and notifies me.
Then I can decide if I want to do an update or not.

Manually because I can :)
Auto reminds me to much of Android and the feeling "What the duck just happened?"
And that messy feeling is the main reason I switched.

I love the new auto update! And i like that it gets places in the update history for users who like to review changes.

Yup.....I prefer auto updates...... Makes life easier by a bit....n also I don't really kheti to many apps... So the ones that updates are good

I do not have experience with windows phone 8, only windows phone 7.x. But even in this OS there have been times for which it wasn't wise to update. Two concrete examples were a downgrading update to the official YouTube app for windows phone and an update to whatsapp that caused the app to become even more buggier. So not every update is a good one per se. As long as things aren't smooth on the update department with regard to reliability and stability issues, I want to curate my own updates and only use an app that's stable, reliable, works as advertised and has no bugs.

Automatic works for me. Still read WPCentral to learn about updates and often update from article links, but it's nice to know my phone is taking care of itself when I'm otherwise busy.

I normally prefer manual update but I must admit the auto update is quite slick... However I would prefer if we could set it to to update once a week or a month and when checking what apps have been updated we can see what are the improvement..

What are you talking about.. I waited sooo long to be able to force check for updates.. And looking at what updates I got, reading through their change logs is part of the joy. Never auto.

Yeah, I'm enjoying having everything kept up to date and the morning notification of what's new... I wish full Windows had such a history function too! The"What's new" part of the details screen for each app is nice now too, if devs take full advantage of it

I have it set to auto, but was wondering if say for instance I'm currently installing an enormous app and leave the house half way, does it continue to download via my carrier data or pause til I return to a WiFi spot?

If you set "Only get updates over WiFi" then it will pause and will continue when you get connected to WiFi again.

No I get almost a kiddish smile when I see a update available. I enjoy going into the app area and manually updating and watching the bar move to completion. I have no clue why I enjoy this but I do.