Prompt users to update to your latest app version

You can use Play Console's recovery tools to prompt users running an outdated or broken version of your app to update to the latest available compatible version. Keeping users on the latest version of your app can help improve your app's user experience and security.
Tip: You can also prompt users to update to your latest app version using the Google Play Developer Publishing API, which enables you to target whole ranges of app versions as well as individual app versions.

Overview

If users are running an outdated or broken version of your app, you can use Play Console to prompt them to update. This recovery tool can be particularly helpful if you've discovered a problem with a previous app version, such as a security vulnerability.

You can start the process by selecting the app bundle version you want to upgrade users from. You can then choose your targeting criteria. You can target: 

  • all users on the selected app version;
  • by country/region; or
  • by Android version.

The next time targeted users open your app, they will see a full-screen prompt saying the app needs to be updated. Users can then choose to update or dismiss. If they dismiss, they will see the dialog after every cold restart of the app. Otherwise, upon acceptance, the app will be updated to the latest available compatible version.

Here's an example of how the prompt to update may look to your users:

Note: Images are examples and subject to change

Prompt users to update

Here are some important things to note before you begin to prompt users to update in Play Console:

  • There must be a new version for users to move to in all tracks containing the app version you want users to update from.
  • You can cancel this recovery action at any time. Canceling an update will only affect users who have not yet updated.
  • You can expand your targeting criteria at any time.

Prerequisites:

To prompt users running an outdated or broken version of your app to update to the latest available compatible version.

To prompt users to update:

  1. Open Play Console and go to the App bundle explorer page (Release > App bundle explorer).
    • Note: You can also start recovery from the Release overview page (Release > Releases overview). Under "Latest releases," click the right arrow next to the release you want users to update from. This opens the Release details page.
  2. On the top-right of the page, click Recovery tools and select Prompt users to update in the dropdown.
  3. Under "Choose a bundle," choose the app bundle(s) that you want to prompt users to update from.
    • Note: Some tracks with app bundles might not have newer releases available. If applicable, these tracks are listed under "Unavailable." You can click on an app bundle listed here to view which tracks it's unavailable on.
  4. After you've chosen your app bundle(s), click Next.
  5. Optional: You can click Show instructions to expand the on-screen steps to test your prompt.
  6. Choose your targeting criteria. You can target:
    • all users on the selected app version;
    • by country/region; or
    • by Android version.

Note the following:

  • If you select Android version, you must also select which Android versions you want to include (you can also select all Android versions).
  • If you select country/region, you must also select which countries/regions you want to include (you can also select all countries/regions).

You can view the number of users that will be prompted to update based on your chosen targeting criteria.

  1. Click Initiate prompt to begin prompting users to update.

Manage your update

After prompting users to update, you can use Play Console's recovery tools to edit your update configuration, view its progress, or cancel the recovery action. Click on a section below to expand or collapse it.

View recovery progress

You can view recovery progress at any time. To view progress:

  1. Open Play Console and go to the App bundle explorer page (Release > App bundle explorer).
  2. In the table of app versions, select the right arrow for the version you want to view.
  3. Select the Recovery tab.
  4. View progress via the "Recovery progress" bar. You can view the total number of users targeted for recovery, what percentage of updates is complete and what percentage is still in progress.
Edit update

To edit an ongoing recovery action:

  1. Open Play Console and go to the App bundle explorer page (Release > App bundle explorer).
  2. In the table of app versions, select the right arrow for the version you want to view.
  3. Select the Recovery tab.
  4. Click Manage update prompt and select Edit from the dropdown.
  5. Make the necessary changes to your update. You can adjust the targeting criteria you selected when you created the update prompt.
  6. Save your changes.

Note: Editing an update will only affect users who have not yet updated.

Note: Recovery tools are currently not available for apps using Code Transparency, Play Automatic Integrity Protections, or Key Upgrade.
Additionally, once you upgrade your signing key, you won't be able to initiate new recovery actions, but will still be able to edit and cancel the existing ones. We are working on making recovery tools available for these kinds of apps in the future.

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