Manage account and app syncing

You can manage how apps connected to your Google Account are synced on your mobile device. Keep them all automatically up to date or just sync specific apps. You can also manually sync your data only when you need to.

If you're using a tablet with multiple users, keep in mind that each user account has its own sync settings. Get help switching users if you need to manage another user's sync settings.

When you change your sync settings, you'll see some of the following icons:

  • Sync is on or syncing is currently happening: Some or all of your account’s information is set to sync automatically or an app is currently syncing (if your device is running Android 4.4 or below, you'll see this icon ).
  • Sync is off: None of your account’s information is set to sync automatically (if your device is running Android 4.4 or below, you'll see this icon ).

Turn auto-sync on or off for your Google Account

You can have all your apps automatically stay up to date with any changes you make in these apps on other devices you're signed in to with your account. Just turn on auto-sync for that Google Account on your device.

If you turn off auto-sync, your apps won't automatically refresh with recent information and you won't get notifications about updates.

On devices running Android 5.0 and up
  1. On your mobile device, open Settings .
  2. Under "Personal," touch Accounts.
  3. In the top-right corner, touch menu Menu.
  4. Check or uncheck Auto-sync data.
On devices running Android 4.4. and below
  1. On your mobile device, open Settings .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," touch Data usage.
  3. In the top-right corner, touch menu Menu.
  4. Check or uncheck Auto-sync data.
 

Tip: Turning auto-sync off can help you save battery life, but make sure to turn it back on when your battery is recharged.

Turn sync on or off for specific apps

If you have auto-sync for your account turned off, you can still make sure that specific apps stay synced. For example, you can choose to have only your Gmail app stay up to date across all the places where you're signed in with your Google Account.

How to manage sync for apps on your device
  1. On your mobile device, open Settings .
  2. Under "Personal," touch Accounts. If your device is running Android 4.4. or below, look under "Accounts."
  3. Touch your account. If you have a Google account on your device, touch Google, then your account.
  4. Touch the account whose sync settings you want to change. You'll see a list of apps and data that this account can sync with and when they last synced.
  5. Switch on (or check) items you want to keep synced and switch off (or uncheck) items you don't want to automatically sync. When you turn on sync for an app, you'll see the sync icon while the app syncs.
 

Note: Turning off sync for an app doesn't remove the app from your device — it simply stops it from being kept up to date with changes you make in the app on other devices you're signed in to.

Manually sync your account

If you have auto-sync turned off, you can choose when you want to sync to collect messages, email, and other recent information.

  1. On your mobile device, open Settings  > Accounts > Google.
  2. Touch the account whose data you want to sync.
  3. In the top-right corner, touch menu Menu > Sync now.

Kit is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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