Google Play is the best source for apps, games, movies, music, and books for use on Android smartphones. Sadly, however, it is not available everywhere; which means you might need a VPN to unblock it.
What's more, not all games and apps get released at the same time. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, for example, will arrive in the UK and US up to one month before everywhere else !
This is because Google Play is different in each country. Not all apps are available everywhere. Some games, movies, and music are delivered in different versions to people and the release date can often be delayed.
If you live abroad, or in a country that bans certain apps - you need a VPN! With a VPN for Google Play you can pretend to be in the UK or the US to get any app you wish. No waiting.
Google Play uses two methods to assign you to a regional library. Firstly, it checks the country of your payment source in Google Wallet. As such, if you travel abroad on vacation, you can still download from the library intended for your home market. However, if you haven't set up a Google Wallet account, the Google Play system checks your IP address and works out which country you are in. That is the country library it allows you to access. Annoyingly, the system logs the first location you access Google Play from and records it. That is your official Google Play country for the rest of time. Thus, if you decided to access the system for the first time while you were on vacation, Google Play will still allocate you that foreign library when you return home.
If you are one of the millions of Google Play users who haven't set up a Google Wallet account, you can switch locations easily by using a VPN. A VPN can make it seem that you are in another country. You can then access a different entertainment library.
There's a full set of instructions on how to switch locations with Google Play further down in this article.
VPN for Google Play: Considerations
Getting into a different region with Google Play isn't just a case of installing a VPN and turning it on. This solution is appropriate for those who don't have a Google Wallet account set up. Those who do should read the next section as well.
To switch locations in Google Play:
- Get to your apps library and tap the Settings app.
- Select Accounts from the settings list.
- Tap on Google in the apps list.
- Click on the menu icon in the top right of the Google settings page. This is a vertical line of three dots.
- Tap on Remove account. Respond to the warning message that appears by clicking Remove Account
- When a confirmation window appears, click on OK.
- Enter your device PIN (the code you enter to unlock your phone). The account will be detached from the Google settings. This won't delete your account - you don't need to do that.
- Open your VPN app and select a server in the country that you want Google to give you the library for.
- Open Google Play as per usual.
- Enter your account name in the first screen. This will probably be your Gmail address.
- Enter your Gmail password when prompted, then tap Next.
- Tap Accept in the terms of service page.
you'll now be back into Google Play, but in a different country. Google Play will prompt you to allow it to back up your data to Google Drive. The second screen that appears before you can select apps will ask you to add payment account details. Be very careful about what you select in this screen. If you never intend to pay, tap on the No thanks button to continue through to the store.
Google Play Payments
Google Play uses your payment source to set your country location. If you enter bank account, card or PayPal details, Google uses them to set your country.
Don't enter payment details unless you have a bank account in the country you want to access the Google Play library for. If you have a bank account there, you don't need to remove your Google account details in order to switch. You can just amend your payment information:
- Enter payments.google.com.
- Click on the settings icon (the cog symbol in the left-hand menu).
- Click on Edit in the Home Address section.
- Change your address to one in the country that you want.
- Remove all card and bank account details that aren't based in that country.
- Save the changes.
- Go to the Play Store and select any app that requires payment.
- Go through the download process until you reach "Accept and buy." Don't buy it.
- Return to your apps library. Select Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Tap on Google Play Store.
- Press Force Stop in the App Info screen.
- Tap on Storage, then Clear Data.
- Return to your home screen and enter the apps library again. Tap on Play Store.
- Accept the terms of service.
- Browse the apps library for your reassigned country.
The reappearance of the terms of service statement is a good sign. This confirms that Google Play has allocated you to a new country. Don't worry if you don't see the new library immediately - it can sometimes take a few hours for the reassignment to take place.
You may be tempted to skip the aborted purchase step. Don't - or your home location won't be changed!
Other Google Platforms
If you're looking for a VPN to use with your other Google devices and platforms, we recommend checking out our VPNs for Chrome, VPNs for Chromebooks or VPNs for Chromecast guides.
How to download Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
If you have been waiting months for the release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite you may be frustrated to find out that its release is being staggered.
Wizards Unite is being released in the UK and the US on Friday, June 21. However, in Asia, South America, Europe, and many other places; the Harry Potter game will not be released until July.
The good news is that you can use a VPN to pretend to be in the UK or the US to get access to the Google Play store. As a result, you can download Harry Potter: Wizards Unite as soon as it is released.
Everything you need to know to unblock Wizards Unite is in this guide. So simply follow the steps provided to bypass the annoying blocks and gain access to the Harry Potter game!
If you don't have a bank account in the country that you want to get apps for, you won't be able to pay for apps that are presented in the library for that country. Unfortunately, there is no way around the bank account address check that Google uses to discern your location. The only way to get into the Google Play service for another country, if you don't have a bank account there, is to use a VPN and forget about registering a payment method.
The VPN trick to switch Google Play locations is quick and simple. However, you have to make sure that the VPN you choose has a server located in the country you want to select apps from. The US library is the most popular, and all of the VPNs on our list have servers there. Take a look through the server location lists of each of the VPN services in our recommendations and prioritize those that have servers in the country that you want to access. This will get you the right content and help you escape the restrictions imposed on people who live in your location.
IMAGE CREDIT: Google, The current Google Play logo
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain