Posted by Chang Liu and Lydia Gemmond, Product Manager, Google Play

Did you know that one of the main reasons users uninstall apps is to free up space? Today, whenever users try to install a new app on an almost full device, they see a dialog that allows them to manually uninstall the app to make room. However, sometimes it is not necessary to uninstall the entire app including all the user’s app data.

To reduce unnecessary uninstalls and help users install new apps successfully, we’re introducing a new feature: Auto-Archive. Once a user opts in, Auto-Archive can help them automatically free up about 60% of the app’s storage space without removing the app’s presence or users’ data from the device.

What is Auto-Archive?

Image of phone screen showing the storage experience
Archived apps can be seen with a cloud icon and remain on the user’s device.

Auto-Archive is a new feature that lets users free up space on their devices without the need to completely uninstall the app. Once a user opts in, less-used apps will be partially removed from the device to save space, while preserving the app icon and the user’s personal app data. When the user wants to start using the app again, they can simply tap it to download it again and start where they left off (as long as the app is still available on Google Play). .

Auto-Archive Eligibility

Auto-Archive is only available to developers who are using App Bundle to publish their apps. If your app supports archiving, users will be less likely to see it among uninstall suggestions.

how it works

Users can opt out of auto-archive at some stage.

  1. The user tries to install a new app when the device is out of storage.
  2. A pop-up window appears asking whether the user wants to enable auto-archive.
  3. If the user opts in, unused apps on the user’s device will be auto-archived to free up enough space for a new app request.

Auto-Archive is an easy way for users to manage their device storage, and a great way for developers to reduce the chances of their apps being uninstalled.

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