How to Remove or Unpublish an Android App From the Google Play Store?

Android, Android Apps

Are you looking to remove or unpublish an Android app from the Google Play Store? Whether you want to take down an outdated app, address a bug, or simply retire an app, this tutorial will guide you through the process step by step.

Before You Begin

Before you remove your app from the Google Play Store, keep in mind that:

  • Your app will no longer be available for download or updates.
  • Users who have already installed your app will still be able to use it.
  • If your app was paid, users will still be able to install it on new devices if they previously purchased it.
  • If your app has in-app purchases, users can still make those purchases.

Step 1: Log in to the Google Play Console

To begin, log in to the Google Play Console using your developer account credentials. Once logged in, you’ll see a list of all your published apps.

Step 2: Select Your App

In the left-hand menu, click on “All apps” and select the app you want to remove from the list.

Step 3: Navigate to Store Presence

In the left-hand menu again, scroll down and click on “Store presence” and then “Pricing & distribution”. This is where you control how your app is distributed on the Google Play Store.

Step 4: Unpublish Your App

To unpublish your app, scroll down until you find the “App Availability” section. Click on the “Unpublish” button.

Note: If you want to temporarily remove your app but keep it available for existing users, you can choose the “Unpublish” option instead.

Step 5: Confirm Unpublishing

A confirmation dialog will appear. Read through it carefully and ensure that you understand the implications of unpublishing your app. Once you are ready, click on the “OK” button.

Step 6: App Status

After confirming, your app’s status will change to “Unpublished”. Your app will no longer be available for new downloads or updates from the Google Play Store.

Optional Step: Retire Your App

If you want to retire your app completely and remove it from users’ devices, there is an additional step you can take.

Note: This step should only be taken if absolutely necessary, as removing an app from users’ devices may result in a negative user experience.

Create an Update with a Blank APK

To retire your app completely, create an update with a blank APK file. This will effectively replace the existing version of your app on users’ devices with an empty package.

  • Create a new release in the Google Play Console for your app.
  • Upload a new APK file that contains no code or resources. This can be an empty ZIP file renamed with the .apk extension.
  • Submit the update for review and roll it out to all users.

Note: Keep in mind that this option should only be used in exceptional circumstances, as it may result in a negative impact on your app’s reputation and user trust.

Conclusion

Removing or unpublishing an Android app from the Google Play Store is a straightforward process that can be done through the Google Play Console. Remember to carefully consider the implications of unpublishing or retiring your app before proceeding.

By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can effectively remove your app from the Google Play Store and manage its availability for both new and existing users.