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Google Fixes “Purchased App” Issue for Sideloaded or Third Party Installed Apps


For a while now, Android users have complained of an issue in the Google Play Store that showed sideloaded apps or those installed from a 3rd party market as “Purchased” when clearly they had not been. Well, they may have been from another store, but since they were not purchased from Google, this was causing issues. If a user decided that they wanted to purchase or update some of these apps through Google Play, they were not able to since they were installed through other means. This issue, has apparently been fixed now that the Store is up to version 3.5+.

To test it it, I installed apps from the newest Humble Bundle, then cruised into the Play Store and noticed that none of the apps were showing as installed on my phone. I could also choose to purchase them even though they were already installed.

It’s an issue that I had never noticed before, but clearly it affected many of you. 

Here is the email that Google is sending out:

Hi there,

Thanks again for contacting us and for your patience while we’ve been working on a resolution to the issue you reported.

We’ve recently rolled out some changes to the newest version of the Google Play Store app (version 3.5 and higher) that should fix the issue you reported. Once you’re running version 3.5 or higher of Google Play, you should be able to update apps if you were having trouble, or if your apps were incorrectly listed as “Purchased” on Google Play, this status should be cleared, allowing you to buy those apps.

Please note that the “Purchase” status is cleared because the app(s) in question were never bought on Google Play in the first place, which is why you’ll be asked to buy the app again. To confirm the app(s) were never purchased on Google Play, you can visit wallet.google.com/manage to see a complete purchase history.

If you have version 3.5 or higher of the Google Play Store app and you’re still experiencing issues with a “Download declined” error, please let me know, and I’m happy to investigate further.

Not sure what version of Google Play you’re running? Launch Google Play on your device, tap Menu > Settings > Build version.
Kind regards,

The Google Play Support Team

More info:  Code Forums | Mobile Help Forum

Cheers Shane, Daniel and petrochemicals!

  • George264


  • Tom Burke

    All of them are gone on mine, except for one and I don’t know why it just left one. Ugh

  • Joe12304

    THANK YOU GOOGLE! So damn annoying to buy sn app from Amazon, then be unable to rebuy it for newer versions from Play. Wasn’t even possible from a PC browser. Only fix was to dl an old Market .apk and buy through it.

  • TheOiulkj

    Sweet, just in time for me to take advantage of a sale for one of the apps that was affected by this issue.

  • DeeMat

    Finally! This used to bug me since I have several Amazon appstore apps.

  • Caleb Martin

    I noticed that this morning when I had app updates and it no longer listed Osmos (which I got from the Humble Bundle) as having an update. It was getting annoying to receive update notifications for apps that couldn’t be updated through the store.

  • Bret

    Not quite fixed!  I got TuneIn Radio Pro from an Amazon Free app of the day, and its always telling me it needs to be updated through the play store (and the previous store name too).  I’m on version 3.5.15 and TuneIn Radio Pro is listed as needing an update.

  • Now if only there were a way to be able to get the updates for apps from the Google Play Store that are newer for apps that we downloaded from the Amazon App store. 

  • Yay! I have like 50 apps purchased from the Amazon Appstore from the free app of the day. Had this same issue from the Android Market at the time and Play Store as of current. But now with this fix, it’s all good! I can now manage them from the Play Store finally!

  • Bigsike

    I got an email from the this morning saying this is now fixed it really the only thing bugging me in my life lol

  • You really never noticed this issue before?

    It would be nice if Play would still tell me if the app was installed even though I didn’t purchase it. That way I don’t accidentally purchase two of them. I suppose I’d still have the issue if I purchased the app from someone else but didn’t happen to have it installed… but now I might download a free app from Amazon, decide I’m marginally interested in it and so I leave it on my phone, then decide later I want it and forget it’s already there and buy it from Google even though I didn’t need to.

    It’s just as frustrating when Play Music tries to sell me music that I’ve uploaded but not purchased from them. It won’t let me double buy a track, but it will let me buy a track that will generate a duplicate in my library. They might argue that it’s difficult to know whether the track I uploaded was of the same quality or shape as the version I would get from them, but they could at least give me a flag saying there’s a chance I already have the track…

    So it seems like this is more of a fix for Google and not for the customer. Now instead of trying to update apps you’ve already installed (and get a failure message reminding you that you have to update them through a different store), you’ll just buy them again!

  • The guys waiting for this fix will be very happy.  From code.google.com ->http://bit.ly/I3O0nm

  • petrochemicals

    Now if only we could finally delete apps from our accounts.

  • summit1986

    I had this problem after purchasing Osmos in the first Humble Bundle.  Got real annoying everytime it tried to update and gave me an error.

  • possomcrast1

    Just wish the market could sense humble bundle people.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Always happened with my Amazon App Store purchases …. I couldn’t figure out which one to update lol. Good to know that it’s fixed. Thanks Google. You’re the best

  • Its about time! ive had several apps that i wanted to true up but it wouldn’t let me.

  • g_what

    It was JUST fixed with 3.5.16 (not with “3.5+”). I had apps from Amazon App store that were showing up in the Play Store until I got the update to 3.5.16.

  • NemaCystX

    Finally, that glitch was so annoying

  • I have noticed this issue for a long while, as I have a tendancy to “test run” apps before purchasing them.  Don’t ask.  When I would go to want to purchase the app, it would not allow me to do so.  I would have to uninstall the app, then try again.  That sucked as I would also loose saved settings and such.  This is great now that I can install the paid app and not worry about loosing any settings or saved games.

    • Josh Groff

      I tried that with Spectral Souls, not going to fork out $15 for a mobile game without trying it first. Unfortunately, the “test run” didn’t work. For stuff like that, Google needs like a 1 hour refund period, can’t do the ~1.5GB data install and have time to decide you like a game in 15 minutes.

      • Noyfb

        My problem is the few .99 apps i got from amazon, which are ad free versions that play doesn’t have, now says i have to update once from amazon and once from play store. Or the keep notifying me of updates. So I have to double update four apps.

        • Jake

          I have that problem with Angry Birds Rio. I got the Ad-free version from Amazon App Store back when it was the Free App of the Day. Even though I now have the latest Google Play Store, Angry Birds Rii keeps showing up in the updates available list.

          • You could try clearing your settings for the Google Play Market application (settings-manage applications-click on Play Market-clear data). You will need to sign back in with your account, but everything else should re-populate automagically. Hopefully with their new update, it should also fix your double-install issue (unless you did buy the ad-free version from both places).

  • It said I bought GTA III a few days ago, months after I sideloaded and uninstalled it on my tablet.

  • normmcgarry

    Bob Slydell: Yeah, we can’t actually find a record of him being a current employee here. 
    Bob Porter: I looked into it more deeply and I found that apparently what happened is that he was laid off five years ago and no one ever told him about it; but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, he still gets a paycheck. 
    Bob Slydell: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch. 
    Bill Lumbergh: Great. 
    Dom Portwood: So, uh, Milton has been let go? 
    Bob Slydell: Well, just a second there, professor. We, uh, we fixed the *glitch*. So he won’t be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it’ll just work itself out naturally. 
    Bob Porter: We always like to avoid confrontation, whenever possible. Problem is solved from your end. 

    • Kevoskee

      Office Space: Classic

  • RedPandaAlex

    It was always a little weird seeing “Superuser” in the Play Store.

    • QtDL

       “Superuser” is still in my Play Store. Wi-fi Tether and GWallet are gone though. 🙁

      • NemaCystX

        ugh, your right, thats not good, if they continue to update the app and it requires the latest version to use, Google Wallet might not be usable in the future

        • Stewie

          Possibly … as far as wallet or others that were sideloaded, one might find them doing a search, then install if possible. But we know if an update comes out for wallet, the dev’s will have a sideloadable one shortly thereafter for all who want …

          • Guest

            Yea, I was worried about the google wallet issue to, but Google Wallet also appears to have a way to receive updates via the Settings of the app. I have an entry that’s grayed out and says “Updates: Google Wallet is up-to-date”. Hopefully, this button becomes activated as updates are pushed out to the Market

        • QtDL

           I’m hoping the sneaky browser trick will still work for updating the app. I did that last time and it worked.

  • Good riddance to that glitch.