Publish an app with timed publishing

You can use timed publishing to make changes to your app and have them reviewed and processed without going live immediately. After the changes are approved, you can control when they go live on Google Play.

Timed publishing can be particularly useful for apps that are subject to extended review times, such as apps submitted by new developer accounts or by developers participating in the Designed for Families (DFF) program. It also makes it easier to publish an app update at a specific time. This can be helpful when coordinating an ad campaign, launch event or a new APK release with changes to your app’s store listing or distribution.

Important notes about timed publishing

  • Timed publishing is only available for updates, not when publishing an app for the first time. Your app must already be available to use timed publishing.
  • If you want to use timed publishing for your production launch, we strongly recommend publishing your app to a closed testing track first.
  • When you select timed publishing, your update needs to be processed before it can go live. Processing can take a few hours or up to 7 days or longer in exceptional cases, as it depends on the review time that your app is subject to.
    • Tip: We recommend that you adjust your planning to include a buffer period of at least a week between submitting your app and going live.
  • You can't revert changes made in timed publishing mode, but any new changes you make will overwrite pending changes.
  • All other updates, including updates submitted using the Google Play Developer API, changes to your store listing page, distribution to a new country/region, and binary releases, will be published only after you click Go live.
  • You can not turn timed publishing on or off while your app is being processed.
  • Timed publishing is not available if you already have a submission pending review.
  • Most of the changes you make will remain behind the timed publishing wall, but there are some exceptions, which include but are not limited to:
    • Changes to your app’s 'In-app products' page
    • Price updates
    • Adding release notes to your app’s 'What’s new in this release?' section
    • Changes to device exclusion rules
    • Managing testers
    • Unpublishing your app

Publish an app update with timed publishing

Step 1: Turn on timed publishing

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. On the left menu, select Store presence.
    • Note: You can turn on timed publishing from several pages in this section, including Store listing and Pricing & distribution.
  4. At the bottom of your screen, turn on timed publishing by clicking on the Timed publishing switch. The switch turns blue when timed publishing is active.
  5. Review details in the ‘Timed publishing’ dialog, then click Turn on.

Step 2: Make updates to your app

  1. After you've made your update(s), go to the bottom right of your screen and click Submit update.

    • Note: Processing your update can take a few hours or up to 7 days or longer in exceptional cases, as it depends on the review time that your app is subject to.

  2. To review your updates, click View change log.

Step 3: Publish your app updates

  1. Once your update has been processed and you're ready to publish, look for the 'Timed publishing' header at the top of any page. Go live, on the right side of the header, won’t be enabled until your app has been reviewed and approved.

  2. After your app has been approved, review the change log and select Go live. Your update will be live on Google Play within a few minutes.

Frequently asked questions

Some actions are not appearing in the change log. Will timed publishing work correctly?

Some actions are covered by timed publishing but do not appear in the change log. To check whether a release has been covered by timed publishing or not, compare the roll-out date and time (visible when managing your app on the App release page) against the timed publish enabled date and time (visible in the Timed publishing change log).

Will submitting additional changes to my app lead to longer review times?

The SLA for review time is counted from the last submitted change to an app. This means that if you submit a change after enabling Go live, your app may be pushed to the back of the app review queue. If this happens, Go live will be disabled until the app review is complete.

How does timed publishing work with internal testing? Will the update be covered by timed publishing?

Internal test tracks are not covered by timed publishing. In most cases, if you upload an APK to an internal test track, changes will become available immediately after. App updates on internal test tracks are not subject to reviews, but may be subject to retroactive reviews after going live on the Play store.

There are two caveats to note regarding reviews and internal test tracks:

  • If your app's first release roll-out is on an internal test track, the submission must be reviewed before it can go live. Reviews can take a few hours or up to 7 days or longer in exceptional cases, as it depends on the review time that your app is subject to.
  • If your previous submission has been rejected, the next submission must be reviewed before it can go live. In this case, if you upload an APK to an internal test track, changes will not become available until the review is complete and approved.
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