How to undo updates on Android apps: no need to root your device

If an app update has annoyed you because of changes to the interface, removed certain features or is full of bugs, you probably want to go back to the previous version. Here are a couple of different ways you can undo an Android app update and revert back to a previous version.

Unless you’ve already installed some backup software which keeps copies of each version of an app (see Automatically backup app versions below), undoing an update isn’t straightforward. Android doesn’t have a handy ‘roll back’ button.

You could factory reset your smartphone or tablet to go back to the original system apps, but that won’t help you for other apps you’ve installed as they will be completely removed and your only option is to reinstall the latest version.

Undo an Android app update: Find the APK file

One way you can go back to a previous version of an app is to find the installation file for that version. Android uses APK files for apps, so called because of their .apk file ending.

As long as you know which version number you need, you can search the web for the app name, version number and APK. For example, if you wanted to find version 1.5 of BBC iPlayer, you’d search for BBC iPlayer 1.5 APK.

Be careful where you download files, as you could inadvertently download an app riddled with malware.

Undo Android App updates

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