Update or unpublish your app

When you're ready to make changes to your app, this article describes what you need to do to make sure that existing users receive your update.

Prepare your updates

  • The package name of the updated Android App Bundle must be the same as the current version.
  • The version code must be greater than the current version. Go to the Android developer site to learn more about versioning your app.
  • The updated app bundle must be signed with the same signature as the current version.
Confirm an app bundle's certification
To confirm that your app bundle is using the same certification as the previous version, you can run the following command on both versions and compare the results:

$ jarsigner -verify -verbose -certs my_application.aab

If the results are identical, you’re using the same upload key and are ready to continue. If the results are different, you will need to re-sign the app bundle with the correct upload key.

Learn more about signing your app.

Tip: Use the App bundle explorer to manage your app bundles easily in one place.

Upload your app bundle 

Once your updated artifact is ready, you can create a new release.

Delivery of updates

After you’ve submitted an update to an app, you’ll see 'In review' near the top right of your app’s Play Console pages. Once the update is published, your update will start being distributed to existing users.

Once your update is available, users can download the update on your app’s Store Listing page or from their My apps page on the Play Store app. If a user has turned on automatic updates for your app, the update will be downloaded and installed automatically.

Note that app updates can take some time to be delivered to existing users.

Unpublish an app

When you unpublish an app, existing users can still use your app and receive app updates. Your app won’t be available for new users to find and download on Google Play.

Prerequisites: Before you can unpublish an app, you must ensure that:

To unpublish your app:

  1. Open Play Console.
  2. Select an app.
  3. Go to Release > Setup > Advanced settings.
  4. On the App availability tab, select Unpublish.

Updating system apps

Users will see system apps (including any pre-loaded apps) in the My apps section of the Google Play Store as soon as an application with the same package name is uploaded to Play Console (even if the application is unpublished).

Google Play can manage updates to preloaded applications, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The preloaded app needs to be in the system partition
  • The preloaded app needs to be free
  • The preloaded app needs to be signed with the same signature as the app published in Google Play
  • The package name of the preloaded and updated app needs to be the same
  • The version code of the updated app needs to be greater than that of the preloaded app

Tip: Use the Play developer API to download system APKs generated from app bundles that you upload to Google Play.

If you need to upload a system application and encounter an error message when doing so, please contact us.

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