1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores may be removed for not being updated in 2 years

May 16, 2022

A few weeks ago, Apple began warning developers that they would be removing apps that haven't been updated in a long time, from the App Store. The Cupertino company is not alone in doing this, Google does the same for outdated apps on its Play Store.

A report by an analyst firm, Pixalate (via CNET), reveals that 84% of the apps which were downloaded over 100 million times from the stores, were those that had received updates in the past six months.

So, this raises the question. There are over 5 million apps in total on both storefronts, just how many of these apps could be removed? According to the chart, around 28% of apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are outdated. The term outdated here refers to apps that have not been updated in the last six months, and these number over 1 Million apps.

1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores maybe removed

If you think that is bad, wait till you hear this. The report tells us that there are over 1.5 Million apps on the two app stores, that have not received an update in the past 2 years. These are classified as abandoned apps, i.e, no longer supported by the developer. 31% is no small number, that is nearly one-third of the entire app stores' offerings.

Is removing the apps the only solution to this problem? How do they affect the app stores anyway? The problem with outdated apps is they show up on the app stores when users search for them, especially if they were popular at one time. But when a user comes to realize that the app has not been updated in a while, they may choose not to download it. This will result in another search query, possibly for a more up-to-date alternative app. So the outdated apps clutter the store, and the search results without serving any purpose. This explains why both Google and Apple view outdated apps as a nuisance. There are of course other factors that may have contributed to the decision to remove such apps, since they are no longer being worked upon, they could potentially be vulnerable to security issues, or cause other adverse effects.

Google's guidelines are clear, it will delist apps that have not been updated over 2 years. If they are hidden from the Play Store's search, new users won't be able to download them. However, the apps may still be accessible from the Library, whether the app would work or not is a different story. Apple's rules concerning outdated apps are slightly harsher. When an app is found to have few downloads in the past 12 months, and hasn't been updated recently, the developer will be warned that their app will be delisted from the App Store. The company will give them a second chance, i.e., to submit an update adhering to the latest standards, within 90 days. Failure to comply with this deadline, will result in the app's removal from the app store.

Android users have an advantage in that they can sideload an APK quite easily, so if someone really needed an outdated app, there are other ways to obtain it. Apple users don't have that freedom, but things could change when the European Union enforces the Digital Markets Act (DMA) next year, to allow installation of apps from third-party sources.

Google and Apple may remove 1.5 million outdated apps from their app stores
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Google and Apple may remove 1.5 million outdated apps from their app stores
1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores have not been updated in 2 years. The outdated apps could be removed permanently.
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  1. BM said on May 17, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    I suppose a one-bit change (0 to 1 and, then, back again) sent as an update will qualify?

    Now we will be seeing useless, minimal changes every six months just to circumvent the trigger for removal.

  2. G said on May 17, 2022 at 3:54 am

    Fun fact old apps are actually good apps, and you may not know, guys pay money for app devs to clone hot new apps to make money, that’s why most of the new apps are considered trashes.

  3. Yanta said on May 17, 2022 at 3:10 am

    Some apps get to a point where they do everything they need to do. Why should the developer be forced to update an app that doesn’t need updating, but still does everything it needs to do so that it can still be available for people to download?

    That would just force updates with change logs that read “Nothing actually updated, just updated version number and re-released to satisfy Google’s expectation that programs must change for the sake of change whether they need it or not”.

    Then we have games. It is common for these not to be updated once bugs are addressed.

    Don’t like this policy.

  4. Anonymous said on May 17, 2022 at 2:47 am

    Sick of big techs. They should archive them instead.

  5. Had Enough said on May 16, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    To be honest, 99.99% of all apps should be removed. We don’t need 5.000 different stopwatches to choose from, we need 5 good ones. That’s all. Apps should compete in getting to the FIVE list in all categories, if your app doesn’t make it your app won’t be available. At all. Because it’s s**t. Too many ads? Bye bye. I’m tired of human greed. I’m tired of greedy lowlife stealing open source apps and making them adware and spread them as original work.

  6. Mohamed Samir said on May 16, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Next time they will remove all apps except Google and Apple apps.

  7. Leland said on May 16, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    I have lost access to purchased apps because of this policy. Making a purchase does not protect you though it seems like it should.

  8. John G. said on May 16, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    I like this measure but it should be applied only for security reasons. Thanks for the article!

  9. Tony said on May 16, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    That’s why you should make regular backups of your installed apps (APKs), because they could be removed any time.

  10. Jed said on May 16, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    So what about all those games we have purchased that have not been updated in years?
    Will the buyer lose access to their purchases too?
    Or only the new user will not be able to buy the app?

    1. Someone has to speak up said on May 17, 2022 at 1:49 am

      A game is not an app. A game is 100% useless. All mobile/computer games have zero value or function in peoples lives. Timewasters. Time you do not have.

      1. Anonymous said on May 18, 2022 at 2:21 pm

        You should try just speaking for yourself there because you definitely don’t speak for the rest of us.

      2. bait said on May 17, 2022 at 8:32 pm

        @Someone has to speak up


        nice bait

      3. Anonymous said on May 17, 2022 at 12:29 pm

        @Someone has to speak up

        Your comment is a time waster. Please shut up.

      4. Someone has to speak up said on May 17, 2022 at 12:43 pm


        Have someone bring you another sandwich and energydrink for you while you sit and play in front of your screen, living in your moms house aged 45 suffering from multiple ailments caused by obesity and sitting on your ass all your life.

        But yeah, reading MEAN comments make you sad and wastes your time. Eat some more. Play some more. That’ll fix everyting.

        Anyone over 18 years old that has games on their phones need mental help. Games are for children. FOR CHILDREN.

      5. beemeup5 said on May 18, 2022 at 4:27 am

        @Someone has to speak up

        Tell that to all the adults who watch the Super Bowl or the World Cup.
        I think playing video games is at least more engaging than watching other people play sports, but hey different strokes for different folks.

        If the “safety first” lockdown mania that has taken over society for the past couple of years has taught us anything it is that there is more to life than just staying alive. Just because YOU don’t see the point in having fun or a good time doesn’t mean everyone else has to join you in personal misery.

      6. Anonymous said on May 17, 2022 at 7:02 pm

        @Someone has to speak up


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