Google just added back one of my favorite Android features

The Google Play Store icon on a phone home screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google is bringing back a useful feature to Google Play. Now, you can go to the Google Play Store with your Chromebook or Android phone and remotely remove applications. If you suddenly hear about an app that's stealing user data and you can't get your hands on a device with that app installed, you could use this returning feature to remove it. 

This feature has been missing from Google Play for approximately 10 years, so it's nice to see it making a triumphant return. Remote app removal was first spotted by Android Authority, and it seems to work just as smoothly as it did when the feature was removed a decade ago. 

If your phone or Chromebook has it enabled (it's rolling out gradually, so you may not have it just yet), here's what you need to do to remove an app from a different device:

  1. Tap on your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap Manage apps & device.
  3. Touch the Manage tab.
  4. Tap the arrow in the box that says This device in the top-right of the screen.
  5. Touch the device you want to remove the apps from.
  6. Tap the box next to the apps you want to remove.
  7. Touch the trash icon to delete the apps.

The steps are the same if you're using a Chromebook. However, as of this writing, the feature doesn't work on the web version of the Google Play Store, which could be a security limitation implemented by Google to give you more control over who can remove apps from your devices.

Again, this feature is rolling out gradually, so you may not see it on your device yet. If you don't, there's no way to rush it, so you'll need to wait for it to arrive. Either way, it's nice to know the feature is coming if it's something you think you'll use. Anytime a new (or returning feature) makes its way to Android, it's a good thing.

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Dave LeClair
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Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.