Using the Google Play Store is pretty simple: you pop it open, search for the app you want to download, and install it on your device. That’s about all there is to it.
But what happens if you move to a different country? You’ll need access to the proper version of the Play Store for billing information. And Google Play features different apps for various regions, which can sometimes allow or block access to certain apps.
Whether you’ve recently moved or want to try accessing another region’s Play Store (which comes with a big caveat), here’s how to change your country setting in Google Play.
How to Change Country in the Google Play Store
- Open the Play Store app on your Android device.
- Slide out the left menu and select Account.
- If you have access to the country-switching option, you’ll see a Country and profiles entry in this menu.
- Tap this Country category, and select your new country. Proceed through the prompts to add a new payment method for your current country, if needed.
- Review the warning prompt and accept the change. Once you’ve switched countries, you’re now able to browse the Play Store for that region. The change may take up to 24 hours to go into effect.
This option won’t appear for everyone. It only shows up if you were previously in a different country than you are now (based on IP address). This means you can’t just switch your Play Store to any country that you feel like.
If you use the Google Play Family Library feature, you also won’t see the option to change your Play Store region. Note that you don’t need to use this process to update Google Play services—you can do that using other methods.
Caveats When You Change Google Play Store Country
When you change your Play Store location, you must be aware of a few important points.
First, you cannot use your old payment method. You’ll have to use the one from your new country. After swapping, you also can’t spend your Google Play balance from the old country. That includes any gift cards you’ve added but not spent yet, as well as credit earned from Google Opinion Rewards.
In addition, you can only change your Play Store country once per year. You can visit the same menu again to change back to your old country after this amount of time.
Because of all this, we recommend changing countries in the Play Store only if you’ve actually moved countries and plan on staying for at least a year. While you could probably trick this by using a VPN, it’s not worth it just to get access to a few different apps. You’ll be locked into a Play Store outside your region for quite some time, which will be a big pain.
Instead, trying using the best Google Play alternatives to find apps that aren’t available on the Play Store. If you run into problems, try our guide to troubleshooting common Google Play Store issues.
Image Credit: bloomua/Depositphotos