How to Stop Unwanted App Purchases – Google Play

Stop Unwanted App Purchases Google Play

How to Add Password Protection to Google Play to Stop Unwanted Purchases

Adding password protection on Google Play can prevent unwanted purchases from the Play Store. It can also stop you or your kids from making in-app purchases from inside games or other apps. It’s easy to rack up charges with all the pop-ups, advertisements, and upgrade suggestions that you are peppered with while using free apps and playing games.

Always Download from Official App Stores

You should always download games and apps to Android devices from the official Google Play Store. If you’re using an Apple device then download your apps only from iTunes. Although it’s no guarantee that the app will be free of malware or be from a credible developer, it’s safer than downloading apps from sketchy websites or from within other apps. Never download another app from within an app either. For example, I play Words with Friends all the time and the game constantly suggests other games that I should try. Although it would be acceptable for the advertisement to direct me to Google Play to download the new game, I wouldn’t want to download anything from within an app. The likelihood that the new game comes bundled with malware or adware is higher than if it was downloaded from a trusted source.

To further protect mobile devices, use a reputable antivirus app that is kept up-to-date. Any new apps or updates to existing apps will get a quick scan to check for any Trojans, malware, ransomware, spyware, or adware bundled with the downloader. A good antivirus app can a mobile device or laptop on a regular schedule to check for any malware, new downloads, or unwanted apps. It’s not possible to stop a device from making purchases, but it is possible to protect your money by requiring a password. This is especially useful if you share your phone with anyone, including kids. You can require password protection so no one can make any purchases without your knowledge.

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You can also choose to never require passwords at all. That works well if you never share your phone and never accidentally hit the buy button.

How to Stop Google Play Purchases – Require a Password

Android users cannot turn off Play Store purchases completely, but they can require a password to stop accidental in-app purchases or the purchase of music, books, apps, or more games from any device that uses their Google Play account. Security settings can be changed to require a password for every single purchase or authentication settings can be set to require a password every 30 minutes.
Android users can also use fingerprint authentication if they have that setup. This may be less cumbersome than entering a password for every purchase or every 30 minutes.

Set Up Password Requirement for In-App Purchases

  • Open the Google Play App
  • Tap the hamburger menu (three lines) in the upper right corner of the app
  • Select Settings
  • Select Require authentication for purchases
  • Choose to require authentication for every purchase or every 30 minutes

Stop Kids from Making Purchases – Google Play

In the Google Play Store apps and games listed in the Family section automatically request authentication before buying. However, kids or anyone else using your device can make unwanted purchases from Google Play or while using an app in other categories. To stop them from buying anything with your Google payment methods, set up parental controls and a password on Google Play.

Set up Parental Controls Google Play Store

  • Tap the hamburger menu (three lines) in the upper right corner of the app
  • Select Settings
  • Select Parental Controls
  • Slide the Parental Controls switch to On
  • Enter a PIN if you are using this for the first time
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Screenshot Password Google Play Store
Screenshot Password Google Play Store

Set Up Google App Passwords

App passwords can also stop unwanted in-app purchases and Google Play purchases. App passwords let you sign in to a Google Account from apps on devices that don’t support 2-Step Authentication (2FA). An app password can also stop someone from accessing your Google calendar your YouTube account or Gmail.

To Add an App Password

  • Go to your App Passwords page in a web browser at https://myaccount.google.com/apppasswords
  • Sign-in to your Google account
  • If you have any App Passwords set up, you will see them on this page along with which device they were created for
  • New App Passwords can be added to stop in -app purchases

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