How To Reinstall An Older Version Of An Android App

There are times when you would like to revert a specific app back to an earlier version.

Maybe the newest OS update broke it, or parts of it's functionality don't work anymore. Maybe the developer removed a feature that you cannot live without.

Fret not, it's actually surprisingly easy to downgrade to an earlier app version on android.

This process bears no security risks, if you download the older version from a trusted source. We will list a couple of sources that are trustworthy at the end of this guide.

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How To Reinstall An Older Version Of An Android App

How To Reinstall An Older Version Of An Android App authorMarc

First things first, to be able to downgrade to an older version the app in question, we'll have to uninstall the current one first.

For third-party apps, this is a very straight-forward process (i.e: any app that doesn't come pre-installed).

If you want to downgrade a system app, things get more complicated. But also this is possible, we will explain how to do this for both cases separate.

How To Uninstall An App

You need to open the settings app on your device and browse to the installed app overview. The location of the app list varies with your Android version.

For Android < Oreo you have to look for a menu item titled "Apps", for later versions you'll find it under "Apps & notifications".

Android Oreo or above menu

Android menu item for versions below 8.0

If you can't see a full list of all your apps yet, you might need to make one more tap on a link named something like "See all (XY) Apps" where (XY) stands for the total number of apps you have installed.

Now that you have the menu open we can proceed to uninstall the app you'd like to downgrade. 

Simply scroll through the list and tap on the app. Now you'll see the overview of this app with all of it's permissions and details.

Again depending on which Android version you're running, this might look a bit different but you get the gist. 

Uninstall Third-Party App

For third-party apps, you can now just tap the button labelled "Uninstall", alternatively you can force stop it first. This is usually not needed, but definitely can't hurt.

Tab the "Uninstall" button

You'll most likely get a pop-up window asking you if you really want to uninstall this app.

Click "OK" here and the app will be removed from your device.

Uninstall System App

Now, as already mentioned in the beginning uninstalling system apps is a tad harder.

On the same screen, locate the "three dot" menu, you'll find it at the top right-hand side.

Tap it and you see a small menu popping out that has an item labelled "Uninstall Updates".

Uninstall Updates Menu

Once you selected "Uninstall Updates" you'll see a notification that informs you that now the factory version of the app will be installed.

Select "OK" and let your device reset the app to it's factory version which is the lowest version at the time of device production.

Now you are ready to roll back to the earlier version of the app.

Install The Older App Version

Sadly, or should I say luckily, Google Play always only offers the most up-to-date version of an app.

So downloading the older version from there is not an option. As I've mentioned in the beginning, we will have to download any older app versions from a trusted source.

Be careful at this step that you don't download it from a random website you find on first Google search.

Some malicious websites place viruses, ads or other malicious code in the .apk installers.

As long as you get your old app from a trusted source there is no risk involved.

Here are a couple of trusted sources where you can download any APK without worrying:

All that's left to do now, is to go to one of those stores above and search for the version of the app you want to downgrade.

Simply download it, and if asked you might have to grant additional permissions such as "Install from unknown source" as pictured below.

Tap on "Settings" if you encounter this message

Tap "Allow from this source" and make sure the button is highlighted blue, which means enabled.

Disable Updates

Now as a final, and optional step you can disable updates for this app. That way you lock the app to never be updated and you won't ever lose your beloved functionality ever again.

You can either disable auto-updates globally in your settings (Which, of course, is not recommended). Or on the same screen you used for uninstalling. There you can just tap on "disable auto-updates" and prevent this app from updating again to the newer version which you uninstalled in the first place.