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How to disable in-app purchases on Android

Avoid costly and unwanted bills by adding some security to in-app purchases

In-app purchases tend to be a real nuisance for Android users which can lead to problems and issues. Unfortunately it’s a system that more developers are relying on and one that can be lucrative if the app is decent enough. Some people have been caught out by not realising they’ve made a series of in-app purchases, some are well disguised within apps and some unwitting parents may not realise that their children have racked up a massive bill in an innocent looking game.

Although there’s no way to permanently get rid of in-app purchases from appearing in the apps you enjoy, there’s a way to add a layer of security which can help stop unwanted purchases being made by you, or your family. In this tutorial we’ll take you through this process which will hopefully help save you and your wallet.

  1. Open Google Play

    Open up the Google Play app from the app drawer on your device. Press on the menu icon located on the top right of the home page and select the Settings tab from the drop down menu that now appears in front of you.

  2. Find User Controls

    Scroll down through the various settings until you reach the User Controls sub-menu. From within here you’ll want to find the Use PIN for purchases option. Currently this will be greyed out and you’ll need to select the Set or Change PIN option instead.

  3. Add and confirm PIN

    This screen will require you to create a unique PIN for your phone or tablet. There’s no restriction on the length of it, but make sure it’s easy enough for you to remember. After adding your new PIN, you’ll need to confirm it on the next screen.

  4. Use PIN for purchases

    You’ll now find that the Use PIN for purchases option is now available for you to select. By ticking this option any subsequent purchases you make on your device, including in-app purchases, will require you to first enter the PIN before confirming it.

  5. Open an app

    After setting everything in place you’ll want to make sure it’s working properly. Open up an app that you know includes a range of in-app purchases. We used Temple Run 2 here. Find an in-app purchase and click on the Buy option.

Read these other Android tutorials

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Secret codes for Android – no hacking required!