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How to Password Protect Your New Google Play App to Prevent Unwanted Purchases

Posted by on April 21, 2014

Google Play Store, or previously known as the Android Market, is the official app store for Android device that contains both free and paid applications. If you have linked up your credit card or Google Wallet to your Google play then you can easily purchase apps or in-app purchases within no time. But this might be a downside if your children gets hang of your phone and purchases any applications without your knowledge.

Fortunately, Google has a hidden setting to enable password protection and prevent accidental or unwanted purchases from the Google Play Store.

Previously, the app could only be set to require the password after a 30-minute window expired. But after being sued by a mother in New York whose child spent $65.95 in in-app purchases from an Android game without her permission, Google has pushed out an update to the Play Store that prompts for a password every time a purchase or in-app purchase is made.

So here is how to configure the new feature. Please note that you need to have Google Play Store version 4.6.16 or above for that. If you do not have it yet, you can update it by tapping the Build version in the app’s Settings.

  • Open the Play Store app.
  • Tap the Play Store icon -> Settings.
  • google play settings

  • Under “User controls” section, you’ll find the “require password for purchases” option which is set to 30 minutes by default.
  • google play store settings menu

  • Tap on the option, and select “For all purchases through Google Play on this device”.
  • Enter your password when prompted
  • That’s it!
  • Now, whenever anyone tries to purchase an app, book or movie from your Google Play Store, they’ll need to enter this password. This also includes in-app purchases as well.

If you want to turn off password protection on your device, just follow the same steps above but this time choose ‘Never’ in the “require password for purchases” option.