How to Change Play Store Location
Updated: March 24, 2016
- Start by signing up for a VPN account
- Next download and install the VPN software to your device
- Then open the VPN software and connect to the server location you want to change your Play Store location to
- Once connected, return to the Play Store and you will have access to your chosen version of the Store
- If your Play Store country did not change, then go to your mobile app setting, clear the cache on your Play Store app and force stop it. Open it again and you will have changed country
How to change Play Store location in more detail:
NOTE: To get straight to the solution click here and you will snap down the page to the steps.
I use my Android device religiously. I assume you're the same and use your Android smartphone throughout the day every day? Yeah I know, isn't it just the handiest thing in the world?
Of course with so much daily use comes a myriad of downloads from the Play Store practically every other day of the week, too. New apps, some music and even the odd TV show get added to my beloved Android smartphone all too often.
So when I took a trip to the US from my Scottish homeland I was beyond excited to see that a whole new world of apps, movies, TV shows and music at my fingertips in the Google Play Store. I had no idea that you get offered a different "version" of the Google Play Store depending on what country/region you are physically in at any moment.
This was a revelation, but one that only lasted a few weeks -- because as soon as I returned from my US trip back to the UK I was upset to see that a lot of the Google Play Store content that was super entertaining was once again unavailable to me since I had left the US.
Being the type of person I am, I decided to see if there was a solution for this issue that would allow me to change my Play Store location whenever I wanted; from wherever I happen to be physically located.
So I did some research to see why and how the Google Play Store does this, and whether there is an effective solution -- and I figured it out!
Thus, as soon as I did this I wanted to write up this quick guide so that anyone else looking to do the same thing will be able to check here and do it in less than 5 minutes. So here is my guide on how to change Play Store location. Enjoy.
Why is the Play Store Location-Specific?
To help me find the best solution, I did some quick research into exactly why the Google Play Store chooses to offer different versions of the Store depending on each user's physical location every time they access the Store.
After a bit of reading up on this I quickly realised that this essentially comes down to licensing rights agreed on each and every piece of content offered in the Store between each content's owner and the Google Play Store itself.
You see, when the Google Play Store adds a new app or show or album to the Store, they will have agreed on where in the world they can offer that new content to with the content owner -- and in many cases the content owners do not want their app/show/music/etc offered to the entire world through the Google Play Store; choosing instead to charge Google to license their content on a "per country/region" basis.
So to have an app offered worldwide on the Play Store, Google usually have to buy such global licensing rights for that content, which is obviously more money than just offering the content in regions that Google believe it will be most popular in -- thus making their investment in the licensing rights worthwhile.
How is the Play Store Location-Specific?
OK, so now we know why the Google Play Store offers different versions of their Store depending on user locations. What about how?
This really helps to understand, as knowing how Google does this makes it very clear why the solution I lay out below is so effective for how to change your Play Store location.
So after a bit more research I quickly figured out that the Google Play Store uses a very common process used by most online services nowadays -- a process known as "geo-blocking". What this does is basically determine each and every user's location from their IP address.
This process happens instantly every time you access the Google Play Store, which is why I was automatically presented with the US Google Play Store when I was physically located there, then once again shown the UK version upon returning back to Scotland.
What this means is that if you can change your IP address to make your location appear wherever you want; you can thus access whatever country/region of the Google Play Store you want, regardless of what your actual location is at any moment.
The question then becomes: Is there a way to effectively, securely and completely change your IP address to wherever you want; whenever you want?
Yes. By using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). So let's get right into how you set this up now!
How to Use a VPN to Change Play Store Location
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
As mentioned at the start of this guide, there are a lot of VPN providers to choose from nowadays, which is great -- but means you need to invest a significant amount of time to compare and try out a bunch of them to find the best one for your budget. For this reason I wanted to help you out and reviewed the "best-rated" VPN providers out there and chose to go with ExpressVPN as it just offers a solid service for a very affordable price.
Thus, for this quick step-by-step setup walkthrough I'll use ExpressVPN as the example. Let's go!
Firstly, head over to the ExpressVPN website and choose the plan that best suits your commitment/budget preference. Once you've done this, confirm your account setup via the email you will receive. Here's a glimpse of the important info for this step:
With your account setup, the next step is to get the VPN software onto the device(s) you want to change Play Store country location on.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
In your account confirmation email will be a link to the download area of the ExpressVPN website. This is handy, but to get the VPN software setup as fast as possible I recommend you just go straight to the Google Play Store and download the dedicated ExpressVPN Android app therein.
You get it by simple searching "ExpressVPN" and downloading + installing the app in a few seconds.
Once the app is installed onto your Android device, go ahead and open up the app.
Step 3: Connect to Desired Server on VPN
With the app opened, you will see that it's really simple to use. All you have to do is just choose the server location you want to connect to the VPN through.
This is the all important step that will change your IP address accordingly depending on whatever server location you choose. For example, when I was located in the US, I tested this out by choosing to connect to a UK-based (London) server location on the VPN app:
... and after connecting I had effectively changed my IP address (and thus my "location") to appear within the UK, all while sitting in a New York cafe.
So decide on the Google Play Store country/region you want to access, then choose the according server location on the ExpressVPN app and hit "Connect".
Step 4: Do Some Quick Preference Changes
Once you're connected to the VPN, you will want to quickly refresh the cache settings in your Google Play Store app. To do this, simple navigate to Settings > Apps > Downloaded on your Android device, then hit "Clear Data" and "Force Stop".
NOTE: If you still get presented with the same Google Play Store version of your actual location, then you may need to quickly change your address in your Google Wallet profile settings (over at wallet.google.com) to reflect the country you want Play Store access to.
Step 5: Sign Up/In to Google Play Store Account
With that last step done, go back to your home screen and open up the Google Play Store app and you will have full access to the version of the Play Store you specified by your VPN server location connection.
Should you want to change the version of the Google Play Store again, all you need to do is open up your ExpressVPN app, disconnect from your current server connection, then choose the new server location you want and reconnect. You can do this as often as you like.
Enjoy total access to all Google Play Store country regions!
This concludes the super quick setup guide on how to change Play Store location effectively in less than 5 minutes with absolutely zero "technical expertise" required at all.
Like I said at the beginning of this guide, there are many VPN service providers to choose from these days. After personally reviewing the best of the best out there, I narrowed down my selection to five providers and went with ExpressVPN. So to give you some more options, here are those top five providers:
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions at all regarding this guide then definitely let me know in the comments section below. I'm always happy to help out!