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5 Best VPNs for Accessing Google Play Store in 2018 - Unblock All Apps

Google Play is a great source of apps, games, movies, music, and books for use on Android smartphones. The service launched in 2012. By 2017 it hosted more than 2.7 million apps. The system has delivered more than 82 billion app downloads.

Many of the apps available on Google Play are free. This is great, because if you have to pay for a download you have to go through the hassle of setting up a Google Wallet account. This includes saving your bank account or credit card details in the system.

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You may not realize it, but 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 in different countries. Additionally, the release dates of games and entertainment can sometimes be delayed, or slated in a lot of places.

If you live abroad, or in a country that bans anything interesting, you're stuck with the lousy local library. Perhaps it is in the wrong language for you, or has limited content that is approved by your government, which you object to having to settle with. Thankfully, there is a solution - a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

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. However, first let's take a look at the five best VPNs for Google Play.

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:

  1. Get to your apps library and tap the Settings app.
  2. Select Accounts from the settings list.
  3. Tap on Google in the apps list.
  4. Click on the menu icon in the top right of the Google settings page. This is a vertical line of three dots.
  5. Tap on Remove account. Respond to the warning message that appears by clicking Remove Account
  6. When a confirmation window appears, click on OK.
  7. 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.
  8. Open your VPN app and select a server in the country that you want Google to give you the library for.
  9. Open Google Play as per usual.
  10. Enter your account name in the first screen. This will probably be your Gmail address.
  11. Enter your Gmail password when prompted, then tap Next.
  12. 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:

  1. Enter payments.google.com.
  2. Click on the settings icon (the cog symbol in the left-hand menu).
  3. Click on Edit in the Home Address section.
  4. Change your address to one in the country that you want.
  5. Remove all card and bank account details that aren't based in that country.
  6. Save the changes.
  7. Go to the Play Store and select any app that requires payment.
  8. Go through the download process until you reach "Accept and buy." Don't buy it.
  9. Return to your apps library. Select Settings.
  10. Select Apps.
  11. Tap on Google Play Store.
  12. Press Force Stop in the App Info screen.
  13. Tap on Storage, then Clear Data.
  14. Return to your home screen and enter the apps library again. Tap on Play Store.
  15. Accept the terms of service.
  16. 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.

Conclusion

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.

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IMAGE CREDIT: Google, The current Google Play logo

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Written by: Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper is a techy geek with a social edge. Downshifting from a successful IT career in Europe, Cooper moved to the Caribbean and now keeps up to speed with Internet technology poolside.

4 Comments

  1. Aloisia
    on July 1, 2018
    Reply

    I ended up doing each step listed here and the only reason I got it was to get an app that ended up costing money, luckily my cousin showed me giftcards2u.com so I could purchase a US google play card. The app I wanted cost $9 USD! How do I end up going through all this; subscribing to a vpn, creating new account, etc to end up seeing it cost money ..... My taste is obviously not of the frivolous sort.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Aloisia
      on July 2, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Aloisia, A VPN will allow you to buy or download free apps from different regions, but you will still need to pay for paid-for apps.

  2. Don Diks
    on May 4, 2017
    Reply

    I'm new to this. I have a media streaming box. They suggest getting a VPN. Snap VPN through Google is free. Is that good app for increased speed and security?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Don Diks
      on May 4, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Don, I am not familiar with Snap VPN, but for reasons outlined in this article, we do not recommend using free VPN services. This is especially true when it comes to free Android VPN apps.. If you are not paying for a product, then you are the product. It is well worth paying a little in order to get a much higher quality services that won't sell you don't the river.

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