If you’re having a problem with a recent update to the Play Store on your Android device, and if your device is rooted, you can use this trick to prevent it from updating itself after uninstalling all updates or installing the apk for an older version.

Last week I was having problems with the more recent versions of the Play Store on my Android phone (a Nexus 5). After one update, it would force close anytime I tried to install a new app or update an existing one. There seemed to be another update that fixed one of those problems (I could update apps) but not the other (still force closed when I tried installing a new one). When I went into settings->apps, and uninstalled updates for the Play Store, everything worked fine, until the Play Store updated itself like it does.

You can also install an older version of the Play Store, going back to the last version that worked for you. This XDA page has a link to previous APKs.

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So after a little searching I found this helpful trick on XDA forums, from poster halnovemila. It requires a file explorer app, and root access My recommendation is ES File Explorer, but Root Explorer is another good one.

The trick, as listed on the forum post:

In /data/app folder make a new folder with name com.android.vending-1.apk

If you use this, please be sure to go to the link above and hit the “Thank You” button (you’ll need to be signed in to see it). After that, the Play Store won’t automatically update itself anymore, presumably until you remove the folder you added.

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